To dinner this evening at Dr. J’s; a terrific cook, skills learned over four years at The Ritz Carleton’s kitchen while working his way through graduate school. The food at Dr. J’s is always a major treat, not necessarily because of its complexity, but from his superb mastery of technique with the simplest ingredients.

Tonight’ starter was Pappardelle Bolognese, featuring pasta from La Campofilone, a small Italian artisanal pasta maker. I’ve never seen this brand in Montreal, and Dr. J tells me he gets it from his butcher. It is the best pasta I’ve ever tasted, and 250 grams (half a pound) served 4 people with one large serving left over. A pound of regular pasta at our house usually serves 3-4 people, so it must be due to the huge amount of eggs in La Campofilone, which makes it really swell up once boiled.

The pasta was followed by dry-brined organic chicken, a wonderful cheese plate including Spanish Manchego and English Stilton, cantaloup, sfogliatelle, and Grappa.

I’d never had sfogliatelle, and it is frankly, the best Italian pastry I’ve ever tried – it really struck a chord, so much so, that I asked Dr. J for a couple for breakfast. With a cup of Greek coffee tomorrow morning….wow!

P.S. I found the full range of La Campofilone at Cavallaro in the West Island. Crazy expensive for 250 grams, but it seems to go a long way.

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