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Perfetto Italian steakhouse aims for splash in Friday grand opening

Three weeks after its soft opening, Perfetto is set to open big in the Theater District, said owner Jay Haynes.

On Friday, the grand opening party starts at 4 p.m. with live jazz, specials on food and drink, and a complimentary champagne toast. Plus an Italian waiter and others singing in Italian. When's the last time you saw that?

You can check out the menu at perfettoonmain.com or click here. (617 Main St., 768-3728).

The 8,300 square foot venue is the site of three failed brew pub restaurants. Haynes said Perfetto's fate should be different.

First, they poured money into renovations to give the space a classier look. "We redid all the floors - they look like Venetian marble. We added a fireplace, and adorned all the walls in cherry wood and stone," he said.

He weighed the return of vehicular traffic to Main Street, and the growth of downtown housing, Haynes said. "These people are looking for a venue of our caliber." Chef Dana White is from the Mansion on Delaware.

The restaurant will also be tied into the Theater District scene with a stage area that'll feature comedy, theatrical and jazz performers, said Haynes.

Recipe: Butternut creme with goat cheese cream, from 'Home Made Winter'

Here's an elegant squash soup recipe from "Home Made Winter" by Yvette van Boven (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 253 pages, $35), featured in today's Buffalo News.

Butternut crème with goat cheese cream & sage

For 20 small glasses. It’s quite a lot, I know. But it’s really nice for a small party. The soup freezes well, but the goat cheese cream doesn’t. If you serve the soup warm in regular bowls, it's enough to serve 6 people.

for the butternut crème

1 butternut squash

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small (6-oz / 170 g) can tomato paste

splash of white wine

3 cups (750 ml) vegetable broth

a few sprigs of fresh sage

salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the goat cheese cream

8 oz (200 g) cream cheese

2/3 cup (150 ml) soft, spreadable goat cheese (I use 1 small container of Cavour, but any soft goat cheese will do)

for garnish

5 tbsp (75 g) butter

a few nice sage leaves

 

Make the butternut crème: Peel the squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds, then dice it. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Fry the squash briefly, then add the tomato paste and stir well, sauteing until it exudes a sweet aroma. Douse with the wine, stir for a few seconds, then add the broth. Add the sage sprigs and lower the heat to low just as the broth begins to boil. Let simmer for about 35 minutes with the lid askew.

Make the goat cheese cream: Blend the cheeses in a food processor to make a smooth sauce. Fill a pastry bag (if you have one) with the cream or cover the processor bowl. Refrigerate until use.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth (or let it cool a bit, then transfer it in batches to a standing blender to puree). Continue longer than you think is necessary, so it becomes a soft and silky crème.

Let the crème cool to room temperature.

Make the garnish: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Carefully pour the clear part of the melted butter into a clean pan and discard the white solids at the bottom. Heat the clarified butter over medium-high heat and fry the sage leaves in it for a few seconds. Let them drain on a paper towel.

(Keep the clarified sage butter. You can use it to fry just about anything. Very good!)

Right before serving, fill small glasses with the pumpkin crème. Carefully pipe the goat cheese cream on top. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can use two spoons and flatten the cream with a knife.

Top with the fried sage and serve with a small spoon.

 

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