Thursday, January 1, 2009

Inspired Addition

After an emotionally draining morning closing My Beloved's mother's apartment, he treated me to lunch in tiny Chester, CT at the River Tavern. Chester has changed from the blue collar mill town of my girlhood, where the now-defunct Otto's was the local eatery serving plate-sized, thin-cut steaks for a song, to a weekend getaway town for New York celebs such as Morely Safer. The food at the River Tavern is far more sophisticated than Otto's was, but I enjoyed each in its own way.

As it was a cold, cloudy, raw winter day, I ordered the butternut squash soup as soon as we arrived and was agreeably surprised when it arrived at the table almost immediately.

The soup was lovely. There was a little spicy heat to the mellowness of the squash - I don't know what the chef added but it was perfect - and it was garnished with one-inch squares of bacon (we've already established that bacon improves everything), a sprinkling of cilantro and a drizzle of truffle oil, all laudable additions, but what really set it apart was the grating of Grand Padano cheese in the center of the bowl.

Grand Padano is similar to Parmesan cheese, but a little rounder and richer. It's savoriness added an unexpected note in a familiar dish and raised it above the ordinary. I would not have thought to add cheese to butternut squash soup, but I'm glad the chef did. A great warmer for a cold, sad day.

Happy New Year! Aren't you glad 2008 is gone? I am!

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Blogger Kailyn said...

Happy New Year! And yes, I am so glad that 2008 is gone.

That soup looks so yummy.

Thursday, January 01, 2009  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

That's one beautiful soup alright.
Toes & fingers crossed 2009 is a good one.

Thursday, January 01, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

IDEA! Grill your winter squash in the new pan, then puree it for soup. Flavor!

Thursday, January 01, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kailyn, hooray for 2009!

Morgan, it almost _has_ to be better than 2008 - Bush will be gone soon and Obama takes over! :-)

Cookiecrumb, oh, my! What a fine idea! I'm off to the store to buy a squash!

Friday, January 02, 2009  

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