Date Nite. Every. Friday. Night. And can I make a confession?! It still gives me butterflies. Because last week was cold and stormy, Mr. RGBistro made a request to go someplace cozy. (Can you see why I love this man?!) We were about to head down to Britta’s Café (our usual haunt) when I suggested we try someplace new. So we ended up at Ecco, a little Naples-inspired pizzeria.
Ecco Pizza. According to their website, “ecco” literally means “here it is,” or “lo and behold.” The restaurant strives to serve fresh Italian cuisine with an emphasis on locally farmed, organically grown ingredients. The pizzas are made in wood-fired ovens and the pastas are made in the house. Many of the wines are from Southern Italy, with a focus on small producers making extraordinary wine.
San Marzano tomatoes. We discovered these Italian gems over a year ago while making a pot of Spaghetti Brunelli for the family. They’re sweet and tangy in a way that you can’t duplicate in a stateside tomato. (Sorry locavores, sometimes the good stuff is worth getting, even if it is from far, far away.) So for the past year, San Marzanos are the only canned tomatoes we keep in the house, and they’re the perfect solution for wintertime tomatoes.
Glee. It’s what I felt when I discovered that San Marzano tomatoes were all over the Ecco menu; especially their pizzas. So we ordered one to split with our Chianti Classico. And because we were hungry, we also ordered the Chef’s Special for the night: a lamb stew.
I didn’t expect the stew to be as good as it was. It was more than a stew; it was served with a bright, lemony risotto. And it wasn’t heavy; it had eggplants and tomatoes… so much more than a pile of meat. We had no trouble finishing every last bite. The stew was so lovely we make a knockoff version for dinner at home two nights later… Disclaimer: This is NOT the Ecco version; it’s a cheap knockoff – not unlike the Louis Vuitton you buy in a parking lot on the Vegas Strip. But it’s still good because we used the San Marzano tomatoes. </End disclaimer>.
Bistro Eats is a collection of recipes we think could work in a bistro setting, i.e. the brick and mortar Rustic Garden Bistro. Click on this category to see a snippet of what the menu may look like.
Date Nite is a collection of restaurants we’ve enjoyed (while out on the town). Click on this category to see a snippet of where we’ve been.