Recently a restaurant near me had added carpaccio to their menu for a limted time. I was thrilled, we are talking all kinds of excited and demanded we go for it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. When we placed our order at the restaurant, I noticed that the chef came out with a plate and the waitstaff all kinda crowded around him. They talked for a few moments and the chef himself came over without plate. It turns out that we were the first people to order the dish, and the chef wanted to know about our background, experience with the dish, and to pretty much give us a culinary pat on the back.
I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed to discover that no one was ordering the carpaccio, but considering that very thinly sliced or pounded raw beef is one of the main ingredients, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.
For a pretty decent picture of what all this looks like, check out this link.
The meaning of what carpaccio is has changed a bit over time to be pretty much any thinly sliced raw meat or fish (even fruit or veggies sometimes too) with some sort of dressing on top. When I was a kid however, carpaccio was always the same thing: very thin raw beef topped with shaved Parmesan, a drizzle of good olive oil, capers, and perhaps some lemon juice. Yes, yes, I know, raw beef can be challenging for some people to eat (and even scary considering Mad Cow Disease and all that), but when prepared by a reputable chef, it might be one of my favorite dishes of all time. Imagine if you will the beef melting on your tongue, set off by the sharp and salty toppings…. I am getting hungry just thinking about it!
If this sounds appealing to you in anyway, I highly suggest you try it. The Boy tried it for the first time that night and we have already gone back a second time for more (only to discover that we are still the only people ordering it). Alton Brown even has a pretty easy recipe for those of you who want to take things one step further and make it at home. Considering my level of obsession, this might be a better option than camping outside my local restaurant every Wednesday night for the summer.