Last night, Akemi and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a romantic Italian meal at Giulietta on College Street – with our foodie friend Dr. Blackjack!
The last time we’d visited was a little over two years ago – just prior to the pandemic. Hopefully, it won’t be another two years before we make a return visit.
Carne Crudo (hand-cut beef, umbrian black truffles, hens egg, parmgiano reggiano & crostone): This one was more for Dr. Blackjack and I as Akemi isn’t a big fan of truffle (which she says: “Tastes like old man’s pillow.”), but I suspect this is more of a reaction to phony truffle oil than it is to actual truffles – which is what we have here, shaved atop the tartare toast. Akemi DOES, however, like crusty bread and, in the end, ended up enjoying the end pieces just fine.
Crudo di Pesce Spada (marinated swordfish, olives, capers, lemon, chili, mint & olio nuovo): Akemi is, on the other hand, a huge fan of sashimi and raw fish preparations, so she wanted to try this one, even though she’d never had swordfish before. I’d had it cooked in the past and found it texturally similar to cooked tuna, a preparation I avoid at all costs. The dish was served with tiny slices of birds-eye chili that packed a powerful pop. Dr. Blackjack and I really enjoyed this dish but Akemi, it turns out, is not a fan of swordfish. She prefers hamachi.
Polpo e Fagioli (grilled octopus, cannellini beans & salsa verde): On the other other hand, we could all agree that this dish was spectacular. Special shout-out to the cannelloni beans that reminded me of the preparation my grandmother used to make back in the day.
Trippa alla Romana (roman style braised tripe, tomato, pecorino & pangrattato): This dish is probably not for everyone – but it WAS for everyone at our table. One of the best plates of the night.
La Valentia (tomato, spicy ‘nduja sausage, smoked scamorza, roasted garlic & basil): This smoky, spicy, and a little sweetness c/o of the generous pieces of roast garlic.
Tagliolini alla Genovese (braised veal cheek ragu, white wine, soffritto, olive oil, pecorino & parsley): Of the two pasta dishes we ordered, this was Akemi and Dr. Blackjack’s favorite.
Tortelli ai Funghi (porcini & ricotta filled pasta, foraged mushrooms, butter & thyme): While I preferred the stuffed pasta. Given the choice, I’ll almost always prefer the stuffed pasta.
Red Fife Tiramisu (red fife ‘spagna’, custard, rhum, espresso & dark chocolate): I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to tiramisu, but this one was great.
As was the nutella soft serve.
A wonderful dinner.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Akemi made a super dense, ultra-rich sake-laced chocolate cake.
Akemi informed me that February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is a huge deal in Japan. MUCH bigger than the rather tame celebration we tepidly enjoy here in the West. It’s a day where Japanese women do special things for their significant others – like baking cakes! A month later, March 15th, is White Day. And, on that day, the tables are turned. The hunter become the hunted! Akemi is very much looking forward to what I have planned for HER. She is expecting it to be “Shi-bang!”
Suji wasn’t left out! Akemi prepared her daily soup (turmeric and mussels) which she roundly ignored after getting a sniff of the egg Akemi had made for her. My girl likes what she likes. Like her dad. It’s obviously genetic.