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Carpaccio....... NOT! (slightly oversized rant)


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General Discussion

Carpaccio....... NOT! (slightly oversized rant)

linguafood | | Nov 15, 2007 11:03 AM

My man and I gave the one local Italian resto its 3rd and probably last chance yesterday (on previous visits their pasta dishes simply didn't deliver = huge portions with forgettable sauces, while their appetizers are fairly reliable -- so we decided this time to go the antipasti & secondi route).

The place advertises itself as "Simple. Authentic. Seasonal." No problem with the 'simple'. 'Seasonal' apparently means changing a couple items on the menu twice a year, but in Central PA with no competition, that seems sufficient.

What really bugs me is the 'authentic' part: I ordered the beef carpaccio as my starter, described in the menu -- quite correctly -- as 'thin raw beef slices with cipriani sauce, parmesan,' etc. etc.

The dish arrives, and it is... very thinly sliced roast beef. When the waitress came by to ask how we liked our appetizers, I told her just fine, but this was not beef carpaccio. Beef carpaccio is RAW, not rare. She apologized profusely and said she'd ask the chef about it. She returned to inform us that "since many customers felt uncomfortable with the idea of eating raw beef, the chef had decided to slightly sear the beef before serving."

Here is My Beef ;-P with that, or rather: where I would like youz houndz's input.

1. Was the chef right in caving in to some customers' requests in cooking a dish that, by definition, is meant to be consumed raw? I am saying 'by definition', being quite aware that carpaccio doesn't necessarily have to be beef; any sort of fish, or even thin sliced mushrooms/vegetables can be called a carpaccio, BUT it is almost always (99.9%?) served raw.

So, if a customer isn't _comfortable_ eating raw meat, how about ordering another item from the 8-10 item appetizer menu instead?

2. Should the dish even be called carpaccio? I suppose the least they should change is the word 'raw' in the menu -- when it is in fact served rare.

Sorry. That was long. So what think you, my critical DCs?