Red wine pear sorbet

Red wine pear sorbet

As it’s getting warmer, I get a hankering for something cool and refreshing for dessert. On one of my favorite cooking shows, Everyday Food by Martha Stewart, they featured a red wine pear sorbet that didn’t require an ice cream machine. Score.

This is very simple, and very good. Pretty much, heat up red wine, pear and sugar. Then, add lemon juice and salt. Freeze over night. Then, puree in food processing machine until smooth (which did take a while). It might sound like pear and red wine are fall or winter ingredients, but with the lovely lightness of the sorbet, this becomes a perfect spring dessert.

Posto on 14th street

Posto on 14th street

I finally dined at Posto last night. After writing about it and hearing about it, I was happy to finally experience it for myself. And, well it met and beat my expectations.

The food: so good. I had the house cured olives (good, but it’s hard to make olives taste bad in my book) and the polenta with sausage to start. The polenta was very good, comforting, warm, a little spicy, perfect for a cold rainy night.

Main dishes were the scallops with a lentil ragout and the cinghiale (aka wild boar). The scallops were good, I didn’t instantly think lentils would work with scallops, but they did. It was another warming, comforting dish for winter. The cinghiale, the first I had ever had, was chewy (as to be expected after seeing a recent Iron Chef featuring the ingredient) but so flavorful, so good.

For dessert (because I was feeling decadent, hadn’t had a ton to eat all day, and had just scored my first job interview since losing my job) cranberry and mixed berry cobbler and poached pear with chocolate panna cotta. A nice finish to a great dinner, and I appreciate that the desserts offered weren’t the expected ones you often find at restaurants (usual suspects: flourless chocolate cake, apple pie, creme brulee, ice cream of some sort).

The service: attentive, friendly, nice, in two words: very good. The waiter was very enthusiastic, the hostess and manager were chatty and friendly as well.

The dining room was noisy. I even noticed that they’d put foam at the bottom of the tables to absorb some of the noise, but it wasn’t doing much good. It wasn’t terribly loud though, conversation wasn’t impossible. Though, it’s not a place you’d take a date for a quiet, romantic dinner.

In short, Posto surpassed my expectations for what I hoped it would be: a nice, tasty neighborhood option. I will definitely be returning on a regular basis. Plus: I learned it offers takeout, which will be an awesome alternative to some other options in the neighborhood.

After the jump: more photos. (more…)

Gillian from Flickr's beautiful holiday cookies

Gillian from Flickr's beautiful holiday cookies

Yesterday, the Washington Post released their annualĀ  Holiday Guide, with recipes for 25 lovely cookies. Some of these sound like real keepers.

I’ve gotten into baking every weekend, not so much for myself (because I could never eat a whole batch of cookies on my own) but for friends. Therefore, I’m always on the search for a good cookie, pie, bread, or cupcake recipe.

My one regret is the oven at my parents’ house, where I’ll be spending the holidays, is out of commission so I’ll be unable to make them there.

Here are the ones I’ll be trying:

I’ll have to spend some time in the kitchen and report back later.