Tag Archives: 5 star

Welcome to Ciao Fiore!

Che piacere vederti! How nice it is to see you!
Benvenuto Amici!
Welcome Friends!

Welcome to the Grand Opening of Ciao Fiore! An enchanting outdoor ristorante on the Mediterranean Coast featuring alfresco dining in an ambrosial garden. Chefs Norma from Platanos, Mangoes & Me!, Debi from Table Talk, and Lori Lynn from Taste With The Eyes are collaborating and cooking together in a virtual Italian cucina to create a captivating five-star four-course meal enhanced with edible flowers and herbs dal giardino.

Il Menu

ANTIPASTI TAVOLA
Ricotta Fresca, Arugula Flowers
Roasted Vegetables
Italian Sausages and Prosciutto
Assorted Breads and Focaccia
Giardiniera – Pickled Vegetables and Olives
Mixed Greens with Nasturtium Flowers

RISOTTO
Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto

PRIMO
Pan-Seared Branzino with Cucumber Salmoriglio
Over a Wild Arugula Salad with Cannellini Beans & Feta
Garnished with Borage Blossoms

DOLCE
Lavender & Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Strawberry Caviar
Chocolate Arancini and Pistachio Creme Anglaise
Garnished with Micro Flowers

(please click on the menu heading for complete recipes of all the menu items)

Relax and Enjoy the View

To begin your experience here at Ciao Fiore! we’d like you to offer you a glass of Prosecco infused with our wild hibiscus flowers. Then, at your leisure, help yourselves to the fabulous offerings on the antipasti tavola. Don’t miss our ricotta fresca, try this fresh cheese on the homemade bread with roasted peppers, sprinkled with peppery arugula flowers. Please have at seat on the terrace at the seaside table and enjoy the view of the sparkling blue Mediterranean while you relax and savor the first course.

Antipasti Tavola
Seaside Table
Arugula Flowers
Ricotta Fresca
Nasturtium
Prosecco Infused with Wild Hibiscus
Blue Hibiscus

We hope you enjoyed the first course with-a-view at Ciao Fiore! Now if you’ll please follow me to your table in the garden area where we’ll be serving the primo and dolce courses. Watch your step. As we stroll through our gardens you’ll notice all the various flowers and herbs that grace our menu. Chefs Norma, Debi, and Lori Lynn are passionate about using the beautiful color, texture, and flavor of edible flowers to enhance every dish.

To the Garden...
Garden Table
Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto

For the risotto our Chef says that the aromas of citrus plus floral make for a heady perfume. She adds just a hint of rose water plus a chiffonade of “passionate kisses” rose petals to transform this creamy citrus risotto into a blissful dish.

Our Meyer Lemon Tree
Pan-Seared Branzino, Cucumber Salmoriglio, Borage

Fresh from the sea pan-seared fillets are served with salmoriglio, a Sicilian fish sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs. For our Grand Opening, this particular version of the classic sauce is enhanced with Meyer lemon confit, red chiles, cucumber, and Castelvetrano olives.

Fishing Boat off the Coast

Our Chefs feel fortunate to have fresh-caught fish delivered to our restaurant daily. It’s simply not possible to get branzino any fresher than here at Ciao Fiore!

Borage Blossoms to Mirror the Color of the Sea
Borage & Lavender
Maso Canali Pinot Grigio

Our Sommelier at Ciao Fiore! recommends enjoying the primo course with a crisp dry white wine. She suggests a Maso Canali 2009 Pinot Grigio from Trentino’s finest hillside vineyards. It’s well-balanced with light citrus aromas, fresh acidity, and a long clean finish.

Ciao Fiore! Edible Gardens
Dessert Plate

Our Pastry Chef adds frozen chocolate ganache to the center of a risotto ball before rolling it in bread crumbs and frying. Once out of the oil, these arancini are rolled in a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar. The warm chocolate center spills out like lava with the first bite. They are pretty amazing.

Lavender
Lavender & Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Strawberry Caviar

By employing molecular cooking techniques our Pastry Chef transforms her strawberry sauce into strawberry caviar, tiny micro pearls that burst in the mouth. She flavors the creamy mascarpone panna cotta with the bountiful lavender in our the garden.

Micro Flowers
Chocolate Arancini and Pistachio Creme Anglaise

The Pistachio Creme Anglaise gives the plate a nutty warmth which brings the dessert elements together. It is really nice with a spoonful of the panna cotta, and equally enjoyable as a dip for the chocolate arancini.

Would you care for a cappuccino to sip alongside your dessert course? The garden setting at Ciao Fiore! is tranquil, here we hope you will savor all that the Mediterranean Coast has to offer. Feel free to linger just a little while longer…

Arrivederci! Thank You for Visiting Ciao Fiore!

Ciao Fiore! is a Virtual Restaurant
participating in
The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group “Restaurant Wars” Competition

Links to all the competing restaurants will be posted Friday (here).

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Ciao Fiore! Virtual Italian Cucina

Ciao Fiore Restaurant
Un Ristorante Alfresco Virtuale

***Press Release

Scheduled opening May 28, 2012 of Ciao Fiore! An enchanting outdoor ristorante on the Mediterranean Coast featuring alfresco dining in an ambrosial flower garden. Chefs Norma from Platanos, Mangoes & Me!, Debi from Table Talk, and Lori Lynn from Taste With The Eyes will meet in the virtual Italian cucina to create a captivating five-star three-course meal enhanced with edible flowers and herbs dal giardino. Reservations are not required.

Ciao Fiore Ristorante
Ciao Fiore!

Ciao Fiore! is a Virtual Restaurant
participating in
The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group “Restaurant Wars” Competition

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Grilled Baby Potato & Broccolini Picnic Salad

Though June 21st is the official first day of summer ,  don’t you feel like Memorial Day weekend is the quintessential kick-off for summertime festivities?
Kids are either out of school, or counting down the days to “No more pencils, no more books…..” The weather is getting warm (or if you live here, HOT!), and we are ready to hit the road, whether its to the beach, the mountains, or your best friend’s backyard.
What better way to celebrate these extended days?
Let’s eat our food outside!
 

This month’s 5 star Makeover theme is picnic food; just in time for Memorial Day weekend, and all of the lazy days of summer that lay ahead.

When it comes to picnic food, I can’t help but think of the American staple,  potato salad.  So many directions you can go–I had to put a spin on this classic perennial favorite.
Having just finished a week of cooking classes,  I had a  jar of roasted garlic oil  reserved from the carnitas I made. I  told everyone in class, that saving the olive oil in which the garlic roasted was a very good idea. It would make  wonderful as a base for a salad dressing, drizzled on bread or as I have used it here, brushed on vegetables before grilling.

I don’t know about you, but when the weather is nice, I like to do as much cooking out on the grill as possible, and that goes for veggies too. So my potato salad will get its start with the warm garlic infused flavors you see here. The vegetables really don’t need a whole lot of anything else, and would be wonderful sitting alongside some grilled chicken or steak all on their own.

But to make this a “salad” I needed to add a few additional ingredients. Tomatoes and cilantro were added along with a roasted jalapeno vinaigrette to add a little bit of zip.

 

 

You’ll want to serve this salad at room temperature to enjoy all of the flavors at their finest, which makes it ideal for the portable picnic. You can make it ahead of time, and  if you want to have some fun with this, pick up some Chinese take out boxes at our local craft store, or pack in individual mason jars.

Go ahead and vary the ingredients too, depending on what you find at the market: corn, zucchini, asparagus, all would make excellent candidates for this spin on traditional potato salad.

So what about you? Are you heading anywhere this weekend?   I have been traveling a lot these last few weeks, and think that spending a quiet weekend here at home on the back porch sounds just about right. I plan to catch up on my favorite blogs, and can’t wait to see what all of the other participants have come up with this month!

Thanks to our hosts, Natasha of 5 Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! who  will be posting a round up of all of the recipes on their sites tomorrow. Be sure to check them out!

Grilled Baby Potato & Broccolini Picnic Salad

Garlic Oil (see recipe below)

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes

1 pound broccolini

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings

2 medium tomatoes, diced (red & yellow if available)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic oil over potatoes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to coat potatoes evenly with garlic oil mixture. Bake potatoes 30 minutes. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauce pan filled with water to boil. Add broccolini, and cook 2 minutes. Transfer broccolini to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking process. Set aside.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Brush potaotes, broccolini, and red onions with garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes, onions, and broccolini directly on grill grate.

Cook time:

Broccolini: 2 minutes per side

Potatoes: 5 minutes per side

Onions: 5 minutes per side

Remove vegetables from grill as they finish cooking, and transfer to a large bowl. Cool to room temperature.

Add tomatoes and cilantro to bowl. Add desired amount of dressing (recipe follows) and toss well to combine.

6-8 servings

 

Dressing:

2 or 3 roasted jalapeno chilies, peeled and seeded

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

For dressing:

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

 

Garlic Oil

3/4 cup olive oil

3 heads  garlic, excess paper removed, top trimmed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic in small baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic. Cover with alluminum foil; bake 1 hour. Remove garlic from oil and cool completely. Reserve garlic oil.

 

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