Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited to the new menu launch tasting party for Poor Italian. We got to sample lots of dishes, and had a great time chatting with fellow foodies. Dishes came out in random order, because the event was three hours long, and people were constantly coming and going. For clarity, I'll present the dishes in a more orderly timeline. The first one is their Caprese Salad - skewers of baby mozzarella and grape tomatoes, in a pesto sauce with basil sprinkled on top. I love foods on a stick, so much easier to pop into your mouth, don't you think. The juicy tomatoes were a nice contrast to the smooth and dense mozzarella.
I know, doesn't this look like an advancing army of deliciousness? Many thanks to the servers who patiently posed for lots of pictures from all of us food bloggers.
These are their Crab Cake with a Giant Scallop on top. Not quite sure of the best way to eat this, so I did both. First one I tried, I took a bite of scallop and crab cake all at once. The next one (yes, I had two, oink) I ate the crab cake first and then the scallop. I think the second way was better because you really got the best taste of each of the ingredients. The crab cake was loaded with crab, not filler, and the scallop was sweet and juicy too.
The next dish I tried was their Short Rib and Mushroom Risotto. Oh my...fork tender short rib nestled against a scoop of risotto, heavily scented with gorgonzola. This was really good and I doubt you'd get this meat to pasta ratio in the regular serving, but it works well here!
Another army platter of food...this is their Shrimp and Scallop Pasta, made with Seattle-sourced quinoa pasta. Great to see old classics reinvented for today's dietary needs.
The first thing that hits you about this dish is the strong curry scent, with additional spices from North Africa. The curry is hot, not blow your mind hot, but definitely packs a punch. And the texture of the shell pasta is perfect, not mealy or mushy as I had expected, due to it being made with quinoa.
Another pasta dish followed, and it was their Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli. A classic combination paired with a nice tomato sauce.
Can you see the grooves in the pasta itself? All the better to hold onto the sauce. And in traditional Italian style, there is a drizzle of olive oil on top. Plump and pretty, this dish is a lovely to look at as it is to devour.
This is a Paccheri Pasta with Lamb Sausage - this little noodle has quite the history. Read about its scandalous history here. Sitting on top of this tubular pasta was a tasty lamb sausage. If you got a regular serving of this, it's definitely a knife and fork dish. The noodle was really smooth and the freshness was undeniable. First of a few dishes to arrive on a crostini...here we have the carpaccio, with a few greens and a mild creamy sauce that seemed to be there more for texture than for taste.
Next up were more Bruschetta, a Mushroom one on the left, a tuna one in the middle and the classic pomodoro on the right, with a sliver of grano pandano on top. I think the mushroom was the more flavourful with the pomodoro one next. The tuna seems a little out of place for some reason.
And now, onto desserts! This is their version of a canelloni, I know, it doesn't look like one, right? Essentially, it's a sweet taco, with a ricotta cheese topping. It's a fun bite, but not overly dessert-y.
The last bite I tried was their Lemon Millefoglie...but instead of serving us sliced up portions, they decided to offer up the lemon meringue cream in a little cone. This was good and the tartness of the lemon did counteract the sweetness of the cone quite well.
So if you haven't been to Poor Italian Restaurant before, or in a while, give their new menu a try. And of all the dishes here, I think I'd have to say my favourite was the Paccheri Pasta with Lamb Sausage.