Tag Archives: cured meat

the whole animal

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael's Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

Slow roasted porchetta at Michael’s Pizzeria is served on a pizza or as an entree.

This summer Michael’s Restaurant Group in Long Beach is featuring the “whole animal” menu at all three of its restaurants: Michael’s Pizzeria, Michael’s On Naples, and Chianina. The whole animal concept involves utilizing the entire animal in a variety of menu options. I was lucky enough to sample many of these delicious offerings. Here’s what you have to look forward to –

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael's Pizzeria.

Chef loads a pizza into the wood burning pizza oven at Michael’s Pizzeria.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Housemade fennel sausage with rapine and garlic pizza.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael's On Naples.

Duck prosciutto, goat cheese mousse, mission fig and aged balsamic at Michael’s On Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael's Of Naples.

Chef David Coleman carves a whole duck at Michael’s Of Naples.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Whole Liberty Farm duck with lavender and local honey.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Smoked duck neck with homemade cavatelli pasta.

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette. Truly great!

Corned beef tongue, pickled ramps, rye bread crostini and mustard seed vinaigrette at Chianina. Truly great!

Bacon gelato at Chianina -  this actually works!

Bacon gelato at Chianina – this actually works!

I love the emphasis of the whole animal menu. It forces you to try things you may not have considered gourmet in past. Chef David Coleman’s menu is successful at all three restaurants. Cheers to new food experiences in Long Beach!

diavola pizzeria

kimchee and sirloin pizza

kimchee and sirloin pizza

Last week, while in Sonoma, I had the opportunity to visit and taste at a number of great wineries as well as to explore several new restaurants in the area. After tasting many noteworthy wines with Ron Washam of Quivira in Healdsburg, Ron recommended my friends and I cruise over to Diavola Pizzeria in Geyserville for dinner. Thank you, Ron! This turned out to be one of the most memorable highlights of the trip and I am still thinking about the kimchee with sirloin pizza… amazing!

diavola

buffalo_pizza

summer vegetables with fresh mozzarella pizza

We also enjoyed a vegetarian pizza which had local summer veggies and fresh mozzarella. This was also excellent but it didn’t impart the the same food-lust imprint on my brain as the kimchee version.

untitled-67

What we drank…
We started with a bottle of 2012 Sauvignon Blanc we had just purchased at Quivira. It went great on a hot day with appetizers. Then we shared a bottle of 2007 Guido Porro Borolo from their wine list to go with our pizzas. They waive the corkage on the first bottle if you purchase a wine from their list. Nice.

oven

Diavola’s pizza oven adorned with an angry ceramic boar.

The secret to any great pizza begins with a super hot wood-burning oven. It’s impossible to get a bubbling crackly crispy rim without an oven that can reach temperatures higher than 600° F.  In addition to awesome pizza, Diavola cures their own meats which I’m told are excellent. Next time I’m in Sonoma, I will come here at least once and give the charcuterie a try as well.