Dinner last night

October 6, 2022 • 9:15 am

I am in Eastham on Cape Cod for 3 days, in a lovely house just a block from the sea. It was pouring last night, so walks on the beach were out, but we had a nice chat before the fire. My hosts are an old friend from Boston and his wife, who were just married in this house about a week ago. They are great folks, and prepared a fantastic welcome dinner.

We began with a dozen oysters (Wellfleeets, of course, since that town is right next door.) These were absolutely fresh and some of the best oysters I’ve ever had. With a few drops of lemon juice, they tasted like lemon-flavored sea. Oysters are the closest food I know of to the taste of the ocean.

My friend Brit spent a LONG time making this lasagna, prepared with pine nuts, ricotta, Reggiano, onions, spinach, homemade fresh tomato sauce (burro e pomodora), and noodles that he made himself on one of those hand-cranked noodle machine.  It was a fabulous dish, and must have taken an hour and a half to prepare from scratch .

Cynthia prepared this gorgeous salad with chopped romaine, feta cheese, black olives, tomatoes, and peppers.

To go with the meal: a bottle of Léoville Las Cases from 1990. 32 years old and at its peak, it was fantastic, velvety and with a very complex nose. It had been stored for years under proper conditions. A second growth from Saint-Julien, it is highly sought after, and old bottles like this are very expensive rarities.

The dinner, soon to be decimated by big appetites.

Dessert: Leftover wedding cake. This was a fancy one, originally made in the shape of a large cube, covered with fondant over layers of not-too-sweet ganache separating moist chocolate cake infused with raspberry. Below that is a picture of the entire cake at the wedding, provided by Cynthia:

This is not a cake on a pedestal, but the ENTIRE WEDDING CAKE, including the base with marbled frosting and an icing flower. You can see the gold leaf, and next to the cake is a stone painted by one of their friends.

After dinner, a 2011 vintage port from Taylor Fladgate. Full and rich, it was really too young to drink but was still complex, fat, and ripe. In ten years this will be a real winner, but we’ll sample the leftover wine tonight to see if it’s opened up.

Decanting the port:


19 thoughts on “Dinner last night

  1. Ahhh, nothin’ like fresh pasta – it makes a difference doesn’t it – groceries have it – might have to root around a bit. Nothing like absolutely fresh though – a real treat!

    1. Indeed…fresh pasta needs to “rest” for at least 30 minutes, and preferably longer. And a deep, rich tomato sauce can take a couple hours in its own right.

  2. Sometimes I get the feeling that I’ve missed out on a few things in life.
    My dinner: handful of pizza-flavored Pringle’s for appetizer, rice with salsa and fake chicken nuggets, some pre-made kale & cabbage salad mix, half a $2 bottle of Walmart wine, no dessert, eaten alone in front of the TV, box fan on low, no rain for weeks. 🥂 and that’s how the other half lives! 😬

    (Not mocking, I really do enjoy your travel posts)

    1. Pizza-flavored Pringles, fake chicken nuggets, and Walmart wine? Whatever it is you are doing penance for, please consider forgiving yourself.

    2. Oh yeah? Well nothin’ beats my soup :

      Salt to taste
      … umm .. more McCormick bottles..
      … now how do I get it, you know, like soup?
      Ah – water.
      [ turns on faucet ]
      [… taking a while …]
      And now, the heat.
      [.. stirs ..]
      … why is this not soup?!?

      … learned a lot that day.

  3. Looks to be a wonderful Mediterranean meal…I’d like to see a cross-section of that there lasagna.

    Oysters do taste of the ocean…other good contenders are kelp and uni.

  4. I am a descendant of one Edward Doty who, in December 1620 along with a bunch of other weirdos, met Native Americans at “First Encounter” beach in Eastham. Dear ‘ol Edward eventually settled in Eastham after being expelled from Plymouth for stealing a pig (among other crimes).

    When I was a lad, my family spent summer vacations in Eastham; my dad was a high school teacher who moon lighted doing construction during the summer and he always found jobs on the Cape. He’d bring us with him; he’d work while we enjoyed the sun, surf and lobsters.

    Wellfleet oysters are among the best I’ve ever had too.

  5. I hope that that meal was a remedy for insomnia, along with the various vinos and an open window at 2:30 in the morning, so as to have the dulcet tones of gentle breakers waft across one’s auricles as he continues to blissfully enjoy his uninterrupted tenure in the Land of Nod.

  6. Sounds pleasant, and the cake looks lovely. We are staying south of Myrtle Beach, where hillbillies and rednecks go instead of Cape Cod or the Seychelles. We are right on the water, the weather is perfect, and I have been spending my time throwing a tennis ball into the surf for the dog, and reading books recommended to me on this site. I finished “Making History” by Stephen Fry today, and am well into “All the Light We Cannot See”.

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