I was recently in New York City where my good friend, Contessa Enrica Rocca was on tour for her latest cookbook, “Venice on a Plate.” Enrica and I filmed together in Venice this past July and I was not about to miss her even though I needed to travel to the cold North to see her.
While we met in Manhattan for lunch, it turned out that her big book signing dinner was in Jersey City, NJ at a newly opened waterfront restaurant, Battello. I was quite happy to hear this since I was staying in Hoboken, NJ, just around the corner pretty much. Because it was so cold out a quick and easy taxi ride was right up my alley.
Battello is located at the Newport Marina in a huge loft like space that has been transformed into various dining spaces including a private wine room, a gorgeous bar and with simply fabulous views of the NYC skyline.
Enrica’s dinner was arranged in a back area with high ceilings, many comfortable seating spots and our beautifully decorated table. The dinner was prepared by Chef Ryan DePersio, who designed the meal around recipes from Enrica’s book. Each course was paired with a wonderful selection of wine.
First was our amuse bouche of mortadella and ricotta on crostini, reminiscent of Venetian chiccetti. Served with a Spanish white, the Laurent Miguel Albarino that was tasty and crisp.
This was followed by 4 more courses that included: grilled octopus, PEI mussels, gnocchi, and quail. The Chef is known for his pillow-ey soft gnocchi and I have to say that it was rather delicious with just a light tomato sauce and some cheese.
As each course was presented, Chef DePersio spoke a bit about his inspiration and what led him to make the dish that way. The portions were larger than I think they needed to be but, who’s complaining?
The dessert was a home made tiramisu and with a glass of tawny port seemed the right ending for such a filling meal.
Here is the actual menu and wine listing:
Amuse Bouche – mortadella, whipped ricotta & tomato confit crostini paired with Laurent Miguel
1st course – grilled octopus, compressed celery and peporanata paired with Scarbolo Sauvignon Blanc
2nd course – Pei mussels in a white wine garlic broth paired with Donna Paolina Greco
3rd course – potato gnocchi with tomato sauce and parmigiano reggiano paired with Mater Domini “Marangi”
4th course – pancetta wrapped quail with creamy polenta paired with La Formica Amarone
5th course – tiramisu paired with Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port
Cheers and all the best,