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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wedding Cheesecake & Louise's Italian Cafe

As previously mentioned the primary purpose of our road trip was to share the joy of one of our kid's marriage. The kids had made all the arrangements for the wedding, the cake and the family get together after the wedding. The wedding was scheduled for 11 am Friday morning. It was very hot and humid yet despite threatening rain it remained dry.

Wedding Cheesecake

After the wedding and photo taking we went back to their house to change into casual attire for lunch. They had decided to leave the wedding cheesecake at the house to enjoy with a glass of wine later in lieu of dessert at the restaurant. The wedding cheesecake was made by Simma's Bakery of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They are well known for their specialty cheesecakes. The fluffy yet creamy filling tops a thin layer of cake then topped with a thin layer of raspberry and cream mousse followed by chocolate ganache. The cheese cake was decorated with pale blue Micky Mouse motifs.

The Micky Mouse motifs have a lot of meaning to the kids. They met online playing a Disney game. Their first vacation together was to Disney World. After long distance dating for a year they decided to tie the knot. That proved a lot easier said than done once US Immigration became involved since Canadians need a K1 Visa in order to enter the US with the intent to marry a US citizen. Waiting for the K1 took another long and stressful year where our kid was restricted from entering the US so communication for the couple was by phone or online. The final test for the K1 was an interview in Montreal. We were just so thrilled when the much coveted K1 Visa was finally approved and the wedding could go forward. They are going to Disney World in September for their honeymoon.

The Firepit

The kids chose Louise's Italian Cafe in Brookfield, Wisconsin for lunch. They had discovered this restaurant on a previous outing. It was a perfect choice for a family lunch. The restaurant opening daily at 11 am weekdays and 10 am Saturday and Sunday is conveniently located a short distance from I-94. Enticing smells greet you as you enter the restaurant but the first visual impression is the copper. It is everywhere, the warm copper tones contrast nicely against the sea blue walls. What is most impressive is the copper clad wood-fired oven. Specialty pizzas and foccacia are baked on site in the wood oven. Their pastas are made fresh including their lasagna using fresh made pasta then finished in the wood oven. Why am I impressed with wood fired ovens? The main reason is these ovens give a flavour to the food that can't be duplicated using an oven much the same as grills impart a certain flavour.

Foccacia

Meals come with a good size basket of herbed and garlic foccacia bread served with light extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. The flavour was light yet had a nice depth. The bread itself was nicely seasoned with just the perfect amount of chewiness. This is a must make bread so I will be looking for a good recipe, doing a little tweaking and will report back on the results.

Chopped Insalata Louise

Salad does not come with the meals so we ordered an Insalta Louise to share. This salad is made using mixed lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella, mushrooms, bell peppers and Italian vinaigrette garnished with a hot pepper. What makes this salad stand out is the way it has been prepared. The lettuce is cut very fine and although it is said to be chopped it really is more the texture of shredded, something not often seen in lettuce based salads. The other vegetables were chopped somewhat finer than for other salads. The Italian vinaigrette was quite flavourful. I didn't get a chance to ask if it was a house dressing but suspect so. The hot pepper was a nice addition giving a bit of punch with out adding too much heat. This salad is priced at $6.95 for small and $8.95 for large.


Grilled Chicken Calzone

The groom ordered a grilled chicken calzone. I have to say this was a large calzone! The pizza dough was folded the stuffed with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmigiano cheeses then baked in the wood fired oven (price $10.95).

The immediate comment on seeing the size of the calzone was "Oh my gosh!". The huge calzone came topped with shredded Parmigiano cheese and a side of marinara sauce. It was baked to a golden brown hiding the generous and tasty chicken and cheese filling. This meal got a two thumbs up from the groom. It was too large to finish so part went home.


Chicken alla Parmigiana

Pasta is fresh made daily in the style of Italy's Emilia Romagna region, using only fresh egg yolks and flour. My husband ordered the Chicken alla Parmigiana. The meal came with a breaded chicken breast with grilled fresh Mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. It was served with Tagliolini pasta and Parmigiano cheese, garnished with a sprig of fresh basil (price $13.95).

My husband said he would rate this dish at 8.75 out of 10. It was very good with no complaints. According to him even though the pasta looked different there was no difference in taste. The chicken was nicely seasoned and cooked topped with a generous amount of Mozzarella cheese.

Three Citrus Grilled Chicken

I ordered the three citrus grilled chicken. Two nice sized piece of grilled chicken was served with fresh vegetables and angel hair pasta with fresh Roma tomatoes and basil (price $14.95).

The vegetables consisted of yellow and green zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower. They were cooked to al dente and lightly seasoned. A generous amount of Roma tomatoes and basil topped angel hair pasta. Slices of orange, lemon and lime were under the pasta that had a slight hint of citrus. The chicken was nicely grilled yet still moist. I would definitely recommend this meal. The only complaint I had was it was too much food which isn't a bad thing :)

This is one restaurant that I would highly recommend. Not only is the food excellent the service is fast and friendly. They are quite attentive to your needs. The atmosphere is most pleasant creating a lovely dining experience so if you are in the area do be sure to stop by. Just tell them the Garden Gnome recommended their restaurant :) No I do not have any affiliation with them other than really enjoying their great food and wonderful hospitality.


2 food lovers commented:

kellypea said...

Oh....jeez. Recipes, please. Recipes! Especially for that wedding cake and calzone.

Garden Gnome said...

Sadly I made neither and while I won't try to duplicate the wedding cake in that size I may try a smaller size. I'm pondering how to do that. The calzone I will try duplicating at home using my normal pizza crust recipe (in blog archives). I'm thinking the filling should be chicken pieces in a lightly herbed white sauce with onion and broccoli pieces, mushroom slices and cheese. I'm going to use roasted tomato sauce (also in archive) for the sauce then top with a little fresh ground parmesan cheese. It won't be exactly the same but that's ok :)