As a countdown to the Best of Broward Palm Beach 2011, coming in June, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida. Send your own nominations to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
No. 2: Gnocchi from Caruso Ristorante
Alchemy is the ancient "science" of turning lead into gold. Culinary alchemy is the modern art of turning potatoes, eggs and flour into gnocchi. I know, you've eaten gnocchi at places other than Lillo Teodosi's charming little Boca ristorante and you believe it's really Italian for, "Oh, shit, I've got a giant dough barbell sitting in my stomach." Those are bad gnocchi. Caruso's gnocchi are wondrous--light, delicate, fluffy pillows of finely mashed potato combined with as little egg and flour as possible and then kneaded for just as long as it takes to make a dough. The starchiness of the potatoes, the precise amount of egg and flour, the precise amount of kneading, the feel of the dough, every one of those has to be taken into account and mastered before dough barbells become featherly lumps of deliciousness. They're usually served with a classic Bolognese sauce but ask Teodosi and he'll whip up a wicked gorgonzola cream sauce, which incites its own personal bit of alchemy: making an entire plate of gnocchi disappear.
187 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton