But this post isn’t all about me. I met Mary Ann because we were both invited to the same media dinner hosted by Tuscan Market – a 10,000 square foot artisanal market with a 65-seat cafe featuring Italian-imported and inspired foods and products. The market - which is located right next to Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, N.H., and owned by Joe Faro – will open in October.
Our evening kicked off with innovative bellinis, which we got to sip while walking around the store and admiring the almost-filled shelves full of authentic Italian items (including olive oil, wine and candy, to name a few).
|Delicious, freshly-baked olive bread.|
|Parmesan cheese...straight from Italy.|
Our meal for the evening - which was presented and prepared by Tuscan Brands' Corporate Chef Eddie Payne - consisted of five courses. Unfortunately, Z and I only had the chance to try a few of them, since most of the dishes were not vegetarian-friendly - but we still were able to get a good enough taste of what Tuscan Market will have to offer the public in a few weeks.
|Smolak Farms' heirloom tomato, caramelized fig, house-made burrata, local truffle honey, and purple basil.|
|The vegetarian version of the Cappellacci of Roasted Butternut Squash & Duck Brasato with simple sage sauce, shaved black summer truffle, and Parmigiano Reggiano.|
|Payne talking about the dishes.|
Everything we tried was flavored beautifully, and all of the ingredients used were clearly fresh. It was a bummer we couldn't try all of the dishes, but we did make up for dinner with dessert. Meet the most delicious, moist carrot cake I have ever eaten (hands down):
The cream cheese frosting was also delightfully tart, smartly lacking the unnecessary added sugar.
We finally cleansed our palates with some house-made pistachio gelato (the market features 24 different flavors of gelato) and a cup of strong cappuccino.
I would definitely return to Tuscan Market once it opens in October. From the freshly-baked breads to the local produce to the authentic Italian products, this will be the one-stop shop for all of your quality, local food needs. Trust me: It’s worth the short drive to Salem.
Tuscan Market will be open seven days a week: Monday to Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
My food and drinks were complimentary, but, as always, the opinions expressed in this post are honest and 100 percent my own.