Leaving Los Angeles and heading out to the Arizona desert for a beautiful New Year's weekend, we stopped in at Silverlake wine (open early hours at 9 am...9 AM!!!) for wine. Inspired by Heirloom-LA goodies in the freezer and Cake Monkey noms on the counter, I decided to indulge our friends and set myself up for a NYE blogportunity.
After a successful (no traffic to speak of, even on the Vegas bound 15) 5.5 hour drive, we arrived in style with bags of wine and trays of Heirloom-LA goodness. In their own words, Heirloom-LA:
We are Heirloom, a Los Angeles-based catering company that loves all things food and food related. Creating a modern spin on comfort foods everyone loves, we use the finest ingredients to build a menu for your special occasion.
Silverlake Wine uses Heirloom LA to cater many of their Sunday food accompanied wine tastings. Josh of Food GPS reports about one last spring.
I also know of Heirloom-LA from my friend and ballet instructor Melissa from Controlled Burn Fitness. Melissa has been raving to me about Matthew and Tara's food since I can't remember when.
There were many flavors in Silverlake Wine's fridge to excite an easily excited food person on Thursday 12/31/09. Including a wild boar bolognese and a pre-grated Grana Padano Parmesan cheese. The Parm was grated to a beautifully fine consistency, I was already envisioning it covering my boar bolognese with a snowy cheese blanket.
Something to love about Heirloom's foods even before you put them in your mouth. The ingredients. Heirloom-LA is all about quality ingredients with no preservatives or mysterious sounding chemicals. Please see ingredient labels above.
Two of my very favorite people in the galaxy, Carrie of Ford Visuals (responsible for web hosting and graphics of this blog), Carrie Ford Hilliker Photography and Detangle.us and David of Stearn's, well, they both collect cool stuff.
Of the four pastas we shared that afternoon, the above lobster and eggplant ravioli were the group favorite. Black squid ink colored pillows stuffed with lobster, eggplant and a bold tasting basil pesto. Being an unrepentant garlic addict, I think it was the bold pesto flavoring that really sold me more than the title ingredients.
A beautiful butternut squash agnolotti. I bought this with some trepidation, having eaten two disappointing butternut squash dishes this fall here, and here. Both dining experiences resulted in overly sweet butternut squash dishes, but that was not repeated in the offering from Heirloom. Looking at the ingredient labeling for the agnolotti, they contain only pumpkin and garlic puree in the stuffing. This is the key. Butternut squash is sweet enough on its own, no need for brown sugar or molasses. This was so satisfyingly balanced between sweet and savory, my taste buds sang. Both above pastas were seasoned only with olive oil and the Grana Padano Parm. Grated so finely, it clung lightly to the pasta shapes, adding a little salt and cheesy tang.
Fresh papardelle with wild boar bolognese. I chose this specifically for D. He loves a wide hand made noodle. I had a hard time separating the noodles so I could toss them and cover them evenly with the bolognese. It was delicious nonetheless.
Another highlight were the braised short rib ravioli. I tossed these extremely meaty ravioli with the wild boar bolognese also, but next time I will toss them with something simpler. They were so dense, the meat so flavorful, I think an olive oil and braised cherry tomato sauce would be simpler, a more straightforward way to really let the ravioli take center stage.
Each tray of pasta is fairly small. A small serving for two, enough if accompanied by a veg or salad. Or a more generous portion for one carbophile. We split it all between the four of us, not intending to finish, but we couldn't tear ourselves away. It was the perfect post-journey lunch to line our tummies against the inevitable onslaught of NYE champagne and tequila (Carrie & D).
We also picked up a few pieces of Cake Monkey just to have on hand during the long weekend.
Chocolate Yo-Ho, Raspberry Red Velvet, and a B&W Cakewich.
Again, kudos to Silverlake wine for your excellent taste in vendors. Ingredient labels above repeat the trend of sinfully recognizable ingredients. Nothing scary, just delicious combinations baked into yummy portable treats to share with your friends.
Happy New Year, readers. Happy New Year, 2010.