Saturday, April 13, 2013


The Great Dim Sum Quest is on hold for a while. Not much point to it on the Gulf Coast of Florida (but if you have a fave around the Tampa Bay area, I'm open to suggestions). (Come to think of it, a fave around the South China Sea wouldn't be rejected, either)
However, there is more to life than dim sum, so I happily go on to the next obsession. You would think that, after my "Not a Pretty Post" on Feb. 22, I'd be totally off calamari. Puh-leeze! I am always looking for calamari, I just am a bit cautious around a dish full of perfectly formed ones.
The question to be asked is not only are they all perfectly round and taste a little odd, but: how do you want them prepared? I had thought, until recently, that a perfectly breaded (light, keep it light) and perfectly fried (crisp but not immolated) says it all. Served, of course, with lots of lemon, and will you for godsakes stop with the paper-thin slices and give me real wedges?
Then I ordered calamari at Pia's Trattoria in Gulfport, Florida. And what did I get? An entire beast! What a rush! A photo will follow afer my next visit to Pia's. The thing came on a large platter in a very sharp (in fact, borderline waay sharp) lemon sauce, and lots of parsley. It was excellent: tender, cooked to perfection and (best of all for my increasing pant size) not fried. You know how tough calamari can be when cooked improperly? Not at Pia's. This was done to perfection. A repeatable dish.
The other might at Da Sesto Italiano in Pinellas Park, I continued the quest and again ordered calamari, the fried version. Nice and light, cooked 95% perfect. A tiny touch of flour taste marred the overall taste. But how did this happen? The breading was not at all heavy. Was it that the fat wasn't quite hot enough? Another ten seconds would've been good? Beats me. See photo at right: the usual presentation was okay, not much you can do with the things, is there? The two sauces was a nice touch, but something with some real punch would've been sensational. Overall, I'd try it again.
But I'm still looking.
Stay tuned!

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