Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Has Sprung: New Menu at Pelagia Trattoria in Tampa

Seasonal items with fresh flavors inspired by Italy are the focus of the Spring 2013 menu at Pelagia Trattoria and this week, and I was lucky to be invited to sample several of the new items.
First up, the Cured Meat & Cheese Board. A delectable array of Serrano ham, duck prosciutto, Auricchio provolone, Bel Paese and Taleggio cheeses. I love honey on a cheese platter and the addition of the honeycomb block (and the sliced black walnuts) were highlights when pairing with the charcuterie on this plate.
An appetizer course was Char-grilled Octopus with Chorizo Oil, Frisee and Florida Oranges. The octopus was tender and had a smoky flavor that nicely complemented the citrus in the dish. Cast aside your typical fried rings dipped in marinara. Char-grilled Octopus is the new calamari!

One of my favorites of the night was the Jumbo Lump Crab with Tomato Jam. This lovely mound was nearly all crab, seasoned to perfection.

The Grilled Pear and Watercress Salad with maple bacon, blue cheese and cilantro pesto was vibrant green, and in a smoky-creamy-herbacious way, it had so much depth in flavor.

If you know me, you know that I LOVE mushrooms. And I guess now that you just read that sentence, you know that fact about me whether you cared to or not.  Anyway...this earthy pasta dish was an homage to all things mushroom: Cavatelli with Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Cream. Is there any food more sinfully decadent in life than black truffle cream sauce? Give me this over a dessert any day!

Next up was Squid Ink Linguine with Seared Scallops and Blue Crab.  Huge fan of squid ink pasta, I am. Why? Not only does it taste like the ocean has come to life on a plate, but it freaks out non-foodies with its ominous dark color, which means one thing: more pasta for me.

Sauteed Florida snapper, charred yellow pepper bisque and organic quinoa. What I liked most about this dish was the crispy outer texture of the fish and the little micro-greens on top.

The Pelagia culinary team finished this already fabulous dinner on a high note....

Grilled Lamb T-bone, Minted Quinoa and Juniper Berry Saba. I'm not the type of person that would use the word "succulent," but if I were, that word would probably apply to this lamb. Insanely good.  Pelagia has given their wine list a makeover for spring too. You'll find an extensive list of sparkling, white and reds, and many by the glass. Cheers to spring!

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