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Spaghetti Carbonara

Seth Zurer | Dec 18, 200311:27 AM

Last month, I followed in Calvin Trillin's footsteps. On a rare intimate Thanksgiving day without extended family, I observed Spaghetti Carbonara Day with my girlfriend in the comfort of my own home. We used american bacon, not pancetta (over Marcella Hazan's vehement written objections) and included the non-traditional but delicious half-cup of heavy cream to the eggs (3 large, one extra yolk). Heated serving bowl, vigorous tossing, and an extra sprinkle of 8 buck a pound parmigiano reggiano from our Caputo friends in melrose park. We followed it up with the ceremonial reading of the Carbonara Day Essay. Last night, we made carbonara again - Kerensa said it put her in a holiday mood.

All very pleasant. But it brought up the question: where is the best restaurant carbonara to be found in chicago. I haven't done any kind of extensive search for this dish - I may have only had it in a restaurant in chicago once - at La Donna in Andersonville, which was perfectly good, but doesn't have any qualities that linger in the memory to this day. I know that Pizzeria DOC has been mentioned in the carbonara vein, but I have yet to have a superlative meal there, and the sense I get is that things are going steadily downhill there, consistency wise.

Has anyone had a superlative spaghetti carbonara outside of their own home? (Or even in their own homes, if you're willing to invite me over). Was it pancetta or bacon? White Wine reduced with the pacon as marcella suggests? a hint of garlic in the bacon fat? Or just the basics? Perfectly barely congealed egg with good old maerican bacon and plenty of cheese and parsley? I'm eager to hear about it!

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