I am half Italian. My Mother was born in Italy. I feel that it is important for you to know before you read on because this ancestry predisposes me to a couple traits relevant to this post. First predisposition; Celiac Disease. Second; a love of food. Not just any food, but GOOD food. Another important aspect of growing up Italian, that should be known, is that Italian women of my Mother's generation take care of the ones they love, by feeding them...good food. As a result when someone prepares a meal full of good food for me, it is, tantamount to a loving embrace.
Since going gluten free, there have not been nearly enough loving embraces of this sort in my life, and weary I have begun to long for them. So when I heard about NFCA's Monthly Meet-Ups at local restaurants, I was more than a little excited to attend one. So I did.
This month's Monday Meet-Up was on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia at .....
Here is your devoted writer engrossed in the menu, but this was not the menu we ordered from, it was this one...
Neither can I, but I will tell you what I ordered and all its merits.
First course...Bay Scallops on a Sweet Potato puree & Allspice.
It was... yummmmm.
I meant to take a picture of it to share with you, but the kind waitress removed the empty plate from my hands while I was licking it clean, so I missed my chance.
Second Course...Steamed Mussels with Whole Grain Mustard, Leeks, Garlic, Rosemary & White Wine.
You wouldn't think that you could get all those flavors into a clear broth, but somehow Chef Zagorski managed it. Delightfully.
Third Course...Grilled Sword Fish with Winter Vegetable Stew and Basil Pistou. I remember this dish was lacking something I needed...what was it...oh yes...more.
But that was not all, next came dessert and Finance Guy generously ordered me the Chocolate Torte, and Blackberry sorbet for himself. Now I am more of a creme brulee girl, but how often does someone, besides myself, bake anything that I can eat? I will tell you how often...never. This torte was lovely. Cakey-brownie like on the outside with warm melted chocolate sauce inside, paired with the sorbet... ooooooh, that was some embrace.
It was at this point that I realized I had consumed the whole feast without taking any pictures to share with you. So I quickly grabbed my camera and took this...
Don't they look happy? Not just because they just received a culinary embrace, (although that would be reason enough for me). This dynamic duo is Nancy Ginter and Alice Bast the driving forces behind NFCA. They have much to be happy about. With the help of an amazing staff and devoted volunteers, they been working diligently to promote awareness and raise money for research of Celiac disease. In five short years they have successfully launched events like Appetite for Awareness , Gluten Free Cooking Sprees , Cupcake Parties and now Monday Meet-ups. If any two people deserve an embrace, it is them and all the people working for NFCA's cause.
Me? I shall bask in the afterglow of my Rouge embrace until I am fortunate to receive another.
Maybe next month? At Legal Sea Food ?