Monday, March 22, 2010

This Photographer Will Work for Food.

Subtitle for this blog post: Abby is reminded that she has the greatest job evar.

A few months back a new Italian Specialty food store/restaurant opened up around the corner from us in Watertown.  Literally, around the corner.  I had shyed away from going in because I'm clearly not cool enough, cultured enough or sophisticated enough to take up oxygen in an upscale food store like that.  Eventually my curiosity overcame my shyness and I decided to pop in and take a look around....

What I found was not a stuffy, pretentious food shop like I had imagined in my head, but a warm, inviting little store with an incredibly friendly staff who welcomed me upon entrance, inquired if I needed anything, but otherwise let me just poke around on my own.  (Side note, this is one of my favorite things about living in Watertown--friendly people! Customer service! Huzzah!)  I spied, in their prepared foods case, a dish of Tiramisu that looked like no other Tiramisu I've ever looked so--soft, dense--not like usual Tiramisu which retains it's shape in a stiff little square.  The woman who helped me said that the way the owner makes it is more like a pudding.  I was skeptical because I'm not a huge fan of pudding, but I asked for a taste.

Oh. My. God. Seriously. Omigod. And I believe that was the exact phrase that I not just said, but shouted, loudly upon the spoon touching my tongue (This is why I don't go into fancy stores...I'm obnoxious).  And as I cried out in amazement and surprise and deliciousness, the owner, Ana, happened to come out from the back room and SHOUT back at me "That's what I like to HEAR!!" And we got to chatting....

So, do you have a website? Nope not yet. Ah, well, I'm a photographer, and I love this shop--I'd love to do some work for you if you need it? Absolutely! How about we exchange a quick photo shoot for dinner for you and your friends? Um...OKAY.

Friday I went in and spent a couple hours drooling over her food  photographing Ana in her shop preparing food, and of course, 10 or so of her dishes.  Having grown up in Nebraska I'm not terribly well versed in the ways of traditional Italian food, so I was pleasantly amazed to see all of these beautiful dishes she kept bringing out to me: stuffed cabbage leaves, chard wraps, blood orange salad...did you know that meatballs were never eaten with sauce until they came to America? I didn't! And that's how Ana prepares and serves her meatballs (which you will see below): instead of swimming in sauce, they are served as is, warm and with a shot of fresh lemon juice. Beautiful!

What follows is a sampling of Ana in action, her cozy store, and her beautiful food:

Drunken Pears: Pears cooked with clove and poached in red wine (we had some of these at dinner and they were incredible!)

stuffed tomatoes
Traditional Meatballs
Chicken Breast Stuffed with spinach and prosciutto (we had this with our dinner and it was fantastic!) 
Chard Wraps: Chard wrapped around walnuts, prosciutto and gorgonzola. Holy Hell.
Stuffed Cabbage leaves.  Not sure what's in these but they looked amazing.
Fennel Salad with bacon.  This salad looked SO yummy but unfortunately fennel is one food that I just really really can't do.  Pity--it looked delicious!
Wonderful, cozy rustic details around the shop...
Blood oranges with red onion and olives.
So Pretty!
Homemade fresh pasta!
That's right. Ana whipping cream by hand.  This lady does it all. 
And she makes it look so easy!

And so began, what I hope to be, a long lasting friendship between Lorenz Photography, and La Romangoli and Son....

How was dinner? Wonderful.  Simply wonderful.  Ana prepared for us a traditional Lasagna, a vegetarian Lasagna and an eggplant parm.  Everything was so fresh and clearly made with love.  It was by far the best lasagna I've ever had--and what's great was, it wasn't amazing because it was done in an unusual or fancy way.  The exact opposite--it was simple, rustic lasagna, made with fresh ingredients and perfectly made pasta.  It was simple, and done right.

If you are located in the Boston area, La Romangoli and Son is WELL worth the trip to Watertown (the 71 drops of literally in front of the shop).  If nothing else, come out here, poke around, chat with Ana and her friendly staff, and just take some of that Tiramisu with you.....

1 comment:

  1. Bravo Abby! These photos are stunning. Your blog is looking sharp. Hope all is well.
    Stephanie "Hunger Pains" Read:)