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Capodanno at La Balena - Cinghiale Caps and New Eats

We always celebrate with Italian bubbles. New Year's Eve 2015 was no exception. Here's my first flute of prosecco...


We love to end our year on a culinary high note. Feasting at La Balena definitely qualifies. So, we booked a table - for our Capodanno dinner - shortly after Anna, Emanuele, and Chef Brad opened their doors after their two week hiatus. Many of their new menu items reflects their recent trip to Italy. I'm jealous that they went to Italy, but my tastebuds are grateful. We also had lots of fun with their new cinghiale cap while we waited for our food.



We started with a trio of Bruschette. From left to right - burrata with sea salt and olio nuovo; cavolo nero and wild boar salumi; chicken liver toscano and gorgonzola.


This dish - Animelle - was a first for all of us. I've heard of sweetbreads, not be to confused with sweet breads, but I've never tried them. Sweetbreads are offal or organ meats. When I saw them on the menu last night, I couldn't resist trying Brad's creation. These were fried crisp and served with shaved fennel, kumquat marmellata, and a dusting of fennel pollen. It was phenomenal.


Another new dish was the Panzanella Toscana. Most panzanelle, mine included, is heavy on the bread. I love that Brad's version was centered more on the leeks, fennel, and radishes.


We shared an order of Polpo Grigliato, R's favorite, and followed it with D's absolute favorite: Pappardelle alla Erbe, pappardelle with a wild boar-pancetta sugo.


I always order the whole fish, Pesce Arrotso. I just can't resist. Last night's version was beautiful and delicious with holiday shades of green and red with fennel, arugula, and blood orange. It was gorgeously festive and equally delectable.


And, as if this wasn't enough deliciousness, Anna brought out the last Spumoni Bomba for D. It wasn't even on the menu. Look at his glee! Jake indulged in an affogato; R had a slice of cheesecake; and I ordered their raspberry panna cotta. That's definitely on my list to-do this year.


And I have to share a photo of our culinary hero. We were thrilled to be seated at the Chef's table last night; you can see straight into the kitchen and watch the magic for yourself.


Grazie mille a tutti e complimenti! Ci vediamo presto. 
Buon Anno!!!

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