Yesterday at Lacroix, I was introduced to Orecchiette. This are tiny ear shaped pasta who's name literally translates to "little ears." They are made with semolina flour, water, and salt, and kneaded for a long time to create a dense, tough, pasta dough. This makes them tiny, dense, wonderful pasta, when made right that is.
Yesterday I helped a coworker to shape the dough into the "little ears." He told me that he had come 30 minutes early because it would take a long time to make the pasta. "That's something that's great about working at Lacroix, they don't take shortcuts" I thought.
I left work early to go to dinner for my mom's 30th birthday (I'm scoring brownie points for saying that). We went to a small Italian place right off Rittenhouse square. The restaurant was dimly lit, and a piano man was playing obscenely loud. We were seated in a comfortable booth towards the back of the restaurant. A waitress came over and introduced the specials, two of which had broccoli rabe. I looked past the 4 or 5 other selections with broccoli rabe, and was delighted to find orecchiete! I ordered these, excited to taste the soulfully prepared little ears.
Unfontunately, this blog post does not have a happy ending. Rather than the tiny hand shaped pasta I had made at Lacroix, I received the shells that you get out of the Benne box! I almost got mad, before remembering all restaurants aren't like Lacroix, and that at times, short cuts are necessary. Next time, I go to a restaurant of this caliber, my expectations will not be so high, and I will be more easily satisfied. Sometime in the next few weeks however, I will be dining at Vetri, and for that, my pasta better be homemade!