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Rowan Jacobsen dinner at North Pond, Pasticceria Natalina closes, Scott Harris expands

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Shadows on the Gulf: A Journey Through Our Last Great Wetland, the latest from Beard-award-winning writer Rowan Jacobsen (A Geography of Oysters), was released last week, and in its honor chef Bruce Sherman of North Pond (2610 N. Cannon, 773-477-5845, northpondrestaurant.com) is hosting a five-course dinner and discussion on Wednesday, May 18, at 6:30 PM. Jacobsen argues that, bad as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was, the Gulf was already headed for trouble—the amount of dispersant sprayed daily during the BP cleanup attempt is matched by the amount that washes down the Mississippi from dishwashers and washing machines, to cite just one hazard.

Jacobsen will attend the dinner, which includes Gulf oysters with Chioggia beets and smoked pimenton flatbread, blackened shrimp with grits and ramp coulis, grilled red snapper with pork belly and asparagus, and a candied pecan baton with sage pastry, bourbon-banana ice cream, mangoes, and chickory. It's $85, $120 with drink pairings.

Pasticceria Natalina has announced that it will close on May 22. "We will be offering final creamy mouth orgasms by reservation only," says the website, giving dates for when specialties such as cannoli, cassatine, and baba al rum will be available. On the website (p-natalina.com) Natalie Zarzour also announces plans for a Pasticceria Natalina cookbook: "I'm going to totally be meditating on that," she says.

In another sign that doughnuts are the new cupcakes, Scott Harris has announced plans to renovate and put a doughnut shop, Glaze, in part of the Francesca's Forno space (1576 N. Milwaukee), which will also house Panza, a "bruschetteria and wine bar." The Mia Francesca jefe will soon be even more ubiquitous—he's taking Francesca's nationwide.

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