When you have a chance, I highly recommend a visit to Taste Unique. You’ll meet Chef Stefania Toscano and her husband Lawrence Mc Cormick– both gracious and charming. They serve up delicious Italian comfort food, neatly-packaged to take out for lunch or home for dinner. And although it’s a small space, you’re welcome to eat there, if you can snag a table.
A month or so ago, I received a message from another blogger in town, Josh of PDXploration. It was an invitation for dinner– a private party at Taste Unique. Not only was the guest list made up of bloggers and chefs that I’d been wanting to meet, but the menu sounded amazing.
We were to enjoy a five course Taste of Sicily:
–Sfincione Palermitano. Focaccia made with Onions, Pecorino, breadcrumbs and tomatoes. .
–Pasta ‘Ncatenata Rigatoni with broccoli, crushed peppers and anchovies. Spicy and delicious.
–Sarde Beccafico This is a dish of baked stuffed sardines. Long preparation for one of Sicily’s most famous traditions.
–Bastaddu Affucatu Cauliflower cooked ‘drowned’ in red wine with olives, anchovies and pecorino.
–Cannoli Siciliana with pistachio and chocolate.
The menu intrigued me. Having not been to Sicily (yet!), I was not used to a menu of pecorino, anchovies, sardines, olives, anchovies, pecorino. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of all the above, but I could tell that the flavors were going to be bold and perhaps a bit brackish. I was correct, and I ate until I was stuffed and had to take leftovers home.
Chef Stefania took time to describe each dish.
My favorite dish: The sardines. I wasn’t expecting that this would be my favorite, but they were so silvery and beautiful to look at– a feast for the eyes. Their sweet breadcrumb stuffing was delicious– a perfect compliment to the assertive fish.
Great hosts. Great wine. Great food. Great conversation. Great night.
Taste Unique offers classes and private dinners like ours. I’ve also heard rumors that the tiramisu is not to be missed. I’m going to have that next time.
My iPhone pictures do not hold up to the pictures taken by my fellow bloggers, so check these sites out:
Eating is Art http://www.eatingisart.com/2010/04/taste-unique.html#comment-237
Good Stuff NW http://goodstuffnw.blogspot.com/2010/04/night-in-sicily.html
2134 SE Division
Portland, OR 97202 (503) 206-7059