The restaurant was open Saturday night, and we served chicken breast scaloppine from Forks Farm with sage and prosciutto, a typical Roman preparation usually made with veal, known in Italian as “saltimbocca”, or “jump in the mouth”. It was, in part, an homage to a meal we had several months ago at Mario Batali’s Roman trattoria, Lupa, in Greenwich Village. Instead of being run under a broiler with prosciutto, as most recipes suggest, Lupa’s version seemed to have been browned in a pan, with the result that the prosciutto melded with the chicken in a lovely way, which is how we make the dish now as well.
Unfortunately, the portion was the size of one’s head, a totally crass and unappealing thing to behold on a plate. Fortunately, we had decided to share the second course after each having our own first courses (Dillon, spaghetti all’Amatriciana and Justin, ricotta gnocchi with tomatoes and sausage). It was such a sad thing to see at a restaurant as well-intentioned as Lupa. Certainly no Italian would recognize or appreciate a portion of that size. Even at Lupa, Italian food in America showed signs of being “Americanized”. The menu was organized in courses in the typical Italian manner, but few guests seemed to be eating that way, and the portions really made it impossible. I asked for a smaller portion in advance, knowing what to expect, and I was told it wasn’t possible. Eating in America has come a long way… but we still have a long way to go.
Old Tioga Farm ~ September 11, 2010
Arancini with Lamb
Lasagne with Mushrooms
Chicken Breast Scaloppine with Prosciutto and Sage
accompanied by Roasted Red Peppers
Apple Tart with Cream
Photography by Lex O’Brien