Given that Akemi hails from what I consider to be the best city in the world for eating, I was a little apprehensive about taking her out while she was in town.  Now the great thing about Tokyo is that you can be blown away by the culinary offerings at a simple hole-in-the-wall ramen-ya just as easily as you can at one of the city’s many fine-dining establishments, but would Vancouver be able to offer up a comparable experience?  Well, judging from Akemi’s reactions to the various meals enjoyed to date, I’d have to say Vancouver has a lot going for it.  To be specific: Don Francesco’s seafood risotto, Sea Harbour’s seafood congee and prawn dumplings, Refuel’s creamy onion soup, hand-rolled potato gnocchi, and creme brulee, Aki’s salmon nigiri, Bishop’s Qualicum Bay scallops and its pear and cherry galette.  Oh, and Joe’s peach-schnapps poached/amaretto-tossed roasted peaches with amaretto-amaretti ice cream.

And so, in the hopes of keeping the streak alive, I decided to take Akemi to one of my old stand-bys, an Italian restaurant that has never disappointed – Gusto di Quattro.  Our meal…

We started with - what else? - the wonderful house antipasto platter.
The Pasta Pazza et Pezzi (for two) is comprised of the famed Spaghetti Quattro, Fettucine Ghiottone (that Akemi adored), Penne Arrabiata, and the Fusilli Tartufate.
And, of course, no visit to Quattro would be complete without my personal favorite - The Galletto al Vino - Roasted and braised rock hen, pinot grigio, black truffle mash, and organic baby vegetables.
Don't miss one of the best desserts in town - the Cilliege Filate: cherries, marscapone, and phyllo

Yet another memorable outing.

To work off last night’s dinner, we ran errands, walked the dogs, and made a flourless chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.  First, that cake…

The ingredients.
Akemi on chopping duty.
Only premium chocolate for this cake.
I prefer this method for melting chocolate over microwaving.
Almost there.
Okay there.
Mix in the butter, cream, and sugar...
Then whisk in your eggs. Make sure to create an image of a dude snowboarding in the chocolate.
Almonds are optional. Akemi decided to go with a half and half: almonds on top one one side, almonds inside on the other.
Bake for 45 minutes and...

Now cover your eyes, count to ten and...

Now onto that ice cream…

The ingredients.
After bringing your milk to a boil and take it off the heat. Split your vanilla pods and drop them inside the pot. Allow the flavor of the vanilla to infuse the milk for 30 minutes.
Assemble the eggs, sugar, and corn starch, then whisk together. Strip the vanilla pods, then bring milk to a boil and pour into egg mixture. Whisk and put back on the stove.
Stir over low heat until it thickens, then transfer to a refrigerator to cool.
Once the custard has cooled, pour it into your ice cream maker.
Let the machine do its work.
Once your ice cream has started firming up, add the secret ingredient. I prefer Galliano for its neutral vanilla flavor but I was out so had Akemi decide. The liquor will keep the ice cream relatively soft, even after freezing.
Akemi says: "Yoku dekimashita."

Akemi celebrates our double dessert success with liquor and dancing.

44 thoughts on “February 20, 2010: Gusto di Quattro! We get cookin’!

  1. YES,more food pix, yum again, thanks. No wonder the guys like to come over to watch tv, look at the liquor spread. wow. The rock hen looks wonderful.
    Glad you let Akemi do the chocolate, knives are not in you best interest just now.
    Well how was the cake and ice cream? Looks delicious from here. No calories in any of it I presume. Practicing for iron chef, are you.? I know you would be great, try to do that flip like Mark does, so cool., wait, scratch that part,,not so sure a good idea..the flip I mean.
    I can tell you are enjoying yourself so I don’t need to remind you to do so. Thanks for sharing.

  2. people microwave chocolate to melt it??!!! I don’t do that much cooking with the stuff, but even I recognise the barbarity of that.
    The meals you described and the desserts you cooked up all looked incredibly yummy. I feel I’ve gained several pounds just reading and looking at the pictures.
    Glad to see the time off is going to good use. Thanks for keeping us updated and hope you continue to have fun.

  3. Not seeing any Stohli in that booze colection, it must be in back hidden by another bottle, huh?

    That ice cream looks really really really good, low cal right?
    So do get some for helping you the chores???

  4. You are sure the order of those pictures are correct? First it’s the Voila and then she covers her eyes *g*

  5. that’s a lot of booze.

    Also, next time you chop chocolate, try a bread or pastry knife if you have one. Might not make that big of a difference on a thinner piece of chocolate, but for thick pieces, it works wonders

  6. Holy cow!! Looks great.

    @thornyrose and all interested in a movie campaign.

    We GOT A FB group FOR THE CAMPAIGN! Right now were just gathering people but were growing fast and could love to use your help. Got some great ideas floating around, just need to grow in numbers though!!!! I’m so happy this has taken off. I didn’t think that in 2 days after starting the campaign, it would have grown so fast!!! Sooo psyched. So here’s the link.

    Let’s do this!!!!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  7. Who’s f’ing kitchen looks that neat after cooking? You’re a freak Joe Mallozzi, a wickedly funny freak but a freak all the same…… however, if I’m ever in town would you cook for me? lol

    Cheers, Chev

  8. Melting chocolate…the trauma and nightmares these pictures conjure up. I am most certainly “kitchen-inept” – which someone really should have reminded me about before I signed up for a baking exchange last Christmas (with the ladies in my husband’s office, no less!).

    After full-blown disaster trying to melt chocolate in the microwave ($20 down the drain), and then in a double boiler (another $20), I stumbled upon the greatest solution.

    Purely out of utter desperation, and a draining bank account, I tried my electric wok. It was a thing of beauty! Smooth and creamy, quickly and with NO burning!! Once melted, the low setting kept the chocolate at a perfect temperature. It is quite possible that I inadvertently broke baking rules, but….I, ummm…so not kidding when I said desperate!

    Looks like you’re both having an awesome time – enjoy the rest of your holiday!

  9. hmm…Joe, I really want to learn from you…oh and on a side note, within a couple of days I would like to show you something you might be able to use for a written alien language. I doubt most people would get it at a glace, but I think once I have learned this particular method of written code, I could send it to ya to see what you think. (I doubt you seriously would ever use it even as screen text.) Also, barring that I fail to learn it I could still get you some samples of the text to use. it would have to be sent via scanner tho…

    Back on track, your flour-less recipe sends me into shivers, I kinda want to find it and figure it all out, serve it at my folks house when they have a 150% club dinners. It’s a thing at my father’s office, when sales make 150% of their quota, they get a dinner of their choosing. This is treated by the company. Seeing as I am a Culinary Major, I might end up getting sucked into doing a few dinners for them.

    okay, well I think this will do for now kina share for share, your Place seems fun, and you must be a great host, I could learn from that

  10. Akemi is a cutie! Glad you both are having such a great time. But I’m surprised about the restaurants. With all the Olympic hoopla, I thought that they would be jammed. But you don’t seem to have any problem getting in. Are there less tourists than expected?

    On Friday, the senior director of our department was hovering around my cube. Not a good sign. I’ve been exhausted with family issues, and not able to work the long hours I have in the past. Plus I’ve had a miserable sinus infection and have felt like shit all week. Just as I was trying to escape for the weekend, he pounced.

    “How would you feel about getting another computer” Huh? Well, at least I’m not being fired. But seriously, I have two monitors already. I’m not multi-tasking enough? “Or would you rather have a laptop?” I tried to look more contagious than I was, but he kept on. “The new system upgrade probably won’t increase delivery speed, so which would you like?”

    Hmmm, if I get a PC then I could end up with four monitors instead of only two. A laptop would give me only one more with no possibility for a fourth. In my fever addled mind, it seemed like a no brainer, so I said laptop please! His broad grin was chilling. I fled work, then visited my mom at the nursing home, went grocery shopping, checked out my place, went to my mom’s empty house for my usual overnight stay in a sleeping bag on the couch, and chugged cough syr…wait a minute! Laptop?!? Ack! He expects me to work from home after I work at work. Bloody sinus infection has doomed me to enslavement.

  11. Wow, that food looks amazing! Especially the pasta and the homemade cake and ice cream. If you ever leave the TV business, I suspect you should go into the restaurant business, Joe…

    Love the oven mitt

  12. Well, you are a neat freak, or scared all of the cleaning crew will return with a vengence. Wow, everything is just perfect.

    Love the bar, the food, and love Akemi – she is a delight!

    Oh, you have papayas…regular or the red flesh ones?

    One day, please invite us for a tour – you can even charge admission. To see the TV room and the babies will be worth the admission. Then we all go to Re-Fuel. Hope they have the corn soup. Missed that the last time we were there.

    YUM Yum Yum

    By the way, others have asked and I have meant to: How are Sis and MamaMallozzi doing? Please, sir, enquiring minds want to know.

    Arigato gozai masu

  13. Ah chocolate, that one temptation I can’t seem to ignore. Props to Akemis Cooking skills. yoku dekimashita essentially means well done.

    In other news Gateworld had an interesting article about Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment filing for bankruptcy, It’s sad to hear as it was a Stargate game but I never personally thought anything would appear from this studio.

  14. Id like to live with you, Joe! I never seen so much good food together! Can you add some dog videos? My mum, which cannot speak English and doesnt know what the stargate exactly is, started visiting your blog, because dog videos.

  15. Seriously, what kind of animal doesn’t know how to fashion a double-boiler for melting choclate? What a world, man.

    Kinda random, Joe, but do you know of any books or documentaries about the goings-on at Hollywood Hospital in New Westminster?

  16. Joe – Let me state the obvious. You are tasked with squiring this gorgeous woman to the many fine eating establishments in Vancouver? I’m envious. I need to become a television producer. This blog has given me a case of mallozzi-envy-itis.

  17. Hey Joe,

    Well I can see by the photo that the arrangement of the liquor bottles met with your approval. I didn’t realize in the beginning how MANY there would be. Looks like all went well though.

    Always my second favorite (pups my 1st) is the food photos. If I can’t be there to eat it with you I love seeing every bite of what was on the table. You display everything so well…such a great photographer. Always such a pleasure to come here to be delighted with all your fun food.

    Isn’t is great to have friends from around the world. I am just so happy for you. Having friends come to visit must be a special treat. You are quite the host. You even walk into poles to amuse them.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  18. Joe, have you tried playing Stargate Resistance? you’re probably not into games but since this one is related to your work i thought i should ask. i think both stargate resistance and stargate worlds should be dropped for a first-person shooter (gun on the side of the screen) OR an Indiana Jones type of game in space or just an RPG like mass effect, but an MMORPG is not what fans need right now, not really practical either. as for SGR, from what ive seen, i hate games that have players just moving around searching pointlessly for other players to shoot at or whatever, there is no real tactical team work like in Battlefield.

    and what do you think about the tiger woods thing?

    and i was thinking, for the SGA movie, can you have atlantis on the moon? maybe on the dark-side of the moon so those low-level NASA guys dont realize they’re running a bogus operation. anyway, most of the problems of having a gate on earth could be resolved by just having it on the moon instead. although, im aint too sure how the SGC one will work when atlantis is there.

    like here:

  19. Joe…you should be on Food Network. I think they would love you. You could be a food analysis or soemthing. You always make me so hungry with your photos of food. And…they you describe food makes my mouth water. That chocolate cake looks devine! I wish you could send me a piece. I’m such chocoholic.

  20. Hello Joe,

    I’m glad you and Akemi are having such a great time. Akemi seems like such a sweet person.

    Would you mind terribly posting the recipe for that chocolate cake? How much sugar, butter, chocolate, etc? I’d love to try it.

    @Shadow Step: Thanks for the giggle. 🙂

  21. I am impressed with your stash of liquor. I can make out at least 5 of my own favorite types of booze! Very nice.

    I’m living vicariously through you and Akemi because, as a poor college student, I can’t afford to go to such nice restaurants. The food looks soo good. The cake too! Keep going to great eateries. I need to at least see what good food looks like, if I can’t eat it myself.

  22. Yes, I was thinking of whipping up a flourless cake for a friend. I like to put ganache on my cake but I will have to make ice cream for it now. (great idea)

    I went through an ice cream making binge a few years ago. Hubby loved the chocolate peanut butter ice cream I made the best. I like the vanilla custard the best. It goes with everything.

    Plus, the new ice cream makers are so fast. I got my mom one and she was making ice cream nearly every day for a while. Her previous ice cream maker was a hand crank one. It’s one piece of new tech that she loved!

    Glad you are having fun. Loved the pictures!

  23. @Chevron7 whose f’ing kitchen looks like that BEFORE cooking LMAO

    My preferred method of melting chocolate is a little long-winded but worth it in the end: Break chocolate into bite-sized pieces and place one piece at a time in the mouth and wait:)

  24. that is alot of booze!! whatever happened to the weird food purchase of the day, liquid edition?

  25. Ah, I see by your shirt that you’re a giant-robot fan, Mr. M! I myself aren’t wild about them, but they’re pretty cool. (Albeit overused sometimes.)

    Seeing all those pics, for a moment there I thought you were making one of my new favorite recipes! On closer inspection, though (thanks to your illuminating captions), I think the recipe’s a little different. The chocolate cake that I’ve made (found at is absolutely scrumptious. I am a tad annoyed, though, that I forgot to tell you until after you’ve made your own version…but then again, since you’re a chocolate lover, maybe you can still try it.

    Unfortunately, I’m still having that weird problem downloading your photos, but I’m getting used to saving them through my own image program. No need to worry 🙂

    Hope you have another great day!

  26. cake looks good! you should have put the details on the portion for each of these ingredients 😉
    another day at work tonight. It’s a good thing I work evenings! …cause I woke up at 12 today.
    your house looks nice from what I could see of it so far!

  27. Hello Joe.

    And who said you don’t have Olympic spirit? I hope that cake tastes as good as it looked! knowing your affection for food, I’m sure it did.

    How have the waits been at the restaurants, with all the additional tourists in town?

    I also have to ask if there has been any new news in the “Extinction” and “Revolution” front? I hope so. The problem with the last “X-Files” movie is that the crews waited too long to produce a follow up. I followed the series from beginning to end, but the new film didn’t hold my interest. I hope that doesn’t happen with SGA because I just love those characters.

    By the way, how is your mom doing in rehab? We haven’t heard in a while and hope she is doing well. Will you bring Akemi to visit any members of your family on this trip?

    Best Wishes,


  28. If you’re ever inclined to have a contest and giveaway again, I’m sure there are lots of readers out there who would love to receive some of your ice cream! 🙂

  29. I’ve been wondering if getting one of those ice cream makers is worth it. By the looks of what you made, I just might indulge. That looks yummy.

  30. I have to agree with chevron7 Joe, your kitchen looks way too neat and clean to have been cooking and baking all these wonderful looking desserts. You must be a neat person, cleaning as you go. How unalike we are.

    I really like the white cabinets and hard wood floors too, very lovely design. Yeah, lots of liquor. Go gently.

    So, where are the pups with all this culinary work going on? How are they not under foot and seeking attention?
    Whenever I’m in my kitchen, which is usually to grab a cuppa tea or coffee or jam a frozen entree into the microwave, my 2 cats silently appear and are underfoot, watching my every move.

    Joe you did a good job of describing your flour-less cake and home made ice cream! Yumminess abounds!

    I’m glad Akemi is enjoying her stay and having memorable adventures in Vancouver. Too bad you couldn’t get into any Olympic events though. I’m enjoying watching from afar. The amazing effort and enthusiasm of the athletes is inspiring.

    in NJ, where the snow is a-melting away… so long snow!

  31. Nummy num nums!

    Why the fuss about clean as you go cooking? I do it, less hassle later when you want to be enjoying the results. Granted, my kitchen is far from spotless, a more ordinary clean, and happily cluttered with kitsch.

    In Kona, we stopped and had “flourless chocolate silks”. Gobbled it up so fast I didn’t get a picture. Looked like a giant bon-bon bigger than my fist, draped in dark chocolate, the bottom dipped in chopped mac nuts. The center was decadent chocolate mousse (that’s the silk, yes?) There was a sprinkling of real gold dust on the top. I made a lot of moaning noises, and told hubby, “Don’t mind me, I’m just going to sit here and quiver for a bit.”

  32. Loved the Italian food! That is somewhere I could lose myself. And the chocoloate cake…. wonderful!

    Well, I start Uni today, so my reflections will be a might slower than you are all used to. But, have faith, I’ll be here when I can. 😀

  33. Meant to comment on the Bath Time blog, but time got away from me (alas the decision that I was waiting for was not good). I love the dog videos, too. They always make me laugh.

    I was on tub duty so thank you all the compliments of the shiny tub. I wished I cleaned my own tub so well. LOL.

    My golden retriever, Maddie, loves the pool. She will dive right into it. She will swim from one side to the other to the other — well, she will do side-by-side laps with me. She loves to get her various floating balls and floating toys they use in training hunters. But put her in the tub to get bathed???? You would think it was the most tragic thing ever done to her, next to the cone of shame, of course.

    Bad news. Apparently they still intend to send this woman to our school meeting. Her boss took the chicken-shit way out. She was supposed to call me at 4:15. At 4:55 I had still not heard from her. I called her, thinking perhaps it was my mistake and she was waiting to hear from me. She emailed me at 5:09 saying that she had “such a busy day” and the director was coming. There is no reason for this director to come than to cause me harm. I climbed into my cave for most of the weekend, thinking of my options so that we don’t have to stay in the same room so I can protect myself from having to see her. This woman stole 7 years of education from my son. And I’m supposed to remain business-like? I think I’ll start a petition calling for her resignation. Not that it will do anything. Apparently she is a part of the local political corruption that includes the school board, a law firm that represents the school district and the State house representative up for re-election (they were all sued for racketeering/false claims back in 2007). My health is deteriorating. She must get some sadistic pleasure in seeing me in pain.

    Thank you all for keeping good thoughts. Please continue to keep good thoughts for the protracted battle ahead.

    I am glad you are enjoying your visit with Akemi. Hope your mom is continuing to progress in her rehabilitation.

  34. Joe, from what I have seen of your house – it’s beautiful.

    Well, more normal temps here in So.FLA. By 8:30 I had the doors and windows open, went for a drive by the beach -packed.

  35. Tammy – Re: FTLOB’s Dad. He’s doing well. Home and recovering. Tumour was found to be non-cancerous. Due to his previous health issues they’re still watching closely, but so far, the news is good 🙂
    I’ll let you know when we hear anything else.

  36. Joe,

    While waiting for the big Hockey game between US and Canada I have been watching episodes of SG: Atlantis. Now I have a few questions for you.

    Q1: Will we be seeing the Travelers in SGU?

    I liked the Larrin and Katana characters. Q2: We will be seeing both of them in SGU?

    In the commentary for the episode: Travelers, there is mention that Jill Wagner was going to be in Season 5. Q3: What was the reason for Jill Wagner not being in Season 5?

    I’m looking forward to new episodes of SGU.

  37. This is an obvious question, and I’m sorry if it’s been posted (frequently) before, but: Why the hell aren’t you sperical!?

    I want to know your secret!!

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