january 12, 2022

We are kicking off the new year with an Italian-inspired menu that’s pure Silverlake.

Let’s start with some authentic Italian from Ceci’s Gastronomia, Silverlake’s new spot for prepared, handmade food. Everything in this little storefront is created and served by a husband and wife team, Francesco and Francesca, with a side of integrity, charm, and thick Italian accents that will melt your heart, fill your belly and sate your wanderlust. We are offering their Lasagna al pesto (layered handmade pasta with basil pesto, bechamel, and parmesan) and zucchine alla parmigiana (thinly sliced and grilled zucchini baked with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, and parmesan.) You can make these dishes the star of your meal, freeze them for later, or serve them alongside our chicken Vesuvio. This is our California version of a Chicago-Italian classic; spatchcocked, local, organic chickens marinated with farm-fresh citrus, garlic, and oregano. You can roast this chicken and eat it as is, or use our directions on how to make a little white wine, chicken stock pan sauce to pour over the roasted chicken, and maybe even some roasted potatoes and peas or artichokes. 

We are suckers for a good Caesar salad, so Jason Kim from Forage is making his Caesar dressing for our crisp farm box lettuces. As the story goes, the Caesar salad was invented by an Italian immigrant, running a Tijuana restaurant, nearly a century ago. And Californians, Julia Child among them, shared this “sensation of a salad” which captured American palates from coast to coast.

We’re also making an Italian-style porcini, white bean, and kale soup. This soup is hearty and rich and also happens to be vegan. You can add pasta, farro, or barley to it or serve it with some crusty Bub and Grandma’s ciabatta bread and garnish it with parmesan.

We’ve got Bianco DiNapoli canned tomatoes, grass-fed ground beef, Peads and Barnett’s ground pork, and Rustichella’s Torchio pasta. You could do a million different things with these ingredients, but a pot of bolognese is what we had in mind. We’ve also posted our recipe for oven-roasted tomatoes, which are delicious with burrata. So of course, we’ve got burrata and ricotta from Gioia Cheese Company in South El Monte. This is our favorite burrata, and the ricotta is nice and dry, perfect for making ricotta gnocchi, lasagna, or ricotta pound cake. You can also blend it with a bit of cream and spread it on a slice of toasted Bub and Grandma’s spelt polenta loaf with jam on top. I find this sandwich loaf incredibly versatile and long-lasting. You can use it to build a familiar-looking sandwich for a kid’s lunch or a luxurious tartine for breakfast or dinner. There’s also Ora King Salmon and our addictive marinated olives

To wash it all down, we have some delicious organic wines from Small Town. From Rabasco Cancelli’s vineyard in Abruzzo, Italy, we’ve selected a red and rose; both 100% Montepulciano grapes, bright, fresh, and pleasurable. We also have more of the Tiberri il Musticco Pet Nat Rose; a natural sparkling rose from Umbria.

For something sweet and now, we have Ceci’s tiramisu. And for your freezer, to slice and bake later, we are adding our classic chocolate chip cookie dough logs, which Sam (the person who makes this all happen and our resident chocolate chip cookie aficionado) believes to be the perfect cookie.