Category Archives: Appetizers

Eight is not Enough

I love calamari.  It is one of the things, that when on the menu as an appetizer, I almost always order it.  I usually enjoy it fried like everyone else, but I’ve had it grilled and enjoyed it too.

When I saw calamari octopus on the menu at BG Buda’s in Cazenovia, I was excited.  What I ordered was not what I was expecting, and for one of the rare times, that was awesome.

bg budas cazenoviaAs lent comes to an end, our mission to find the un-fish fry continues and this appetizer tops the list.  It may just be the best appetizer we’ve enjoyed in forever.  Yes, it sounds like a lot of hyperbole but this dish has it all.

The octopus was seasoned well, with just olive oil, salt and pepper.  It is poached first, and then pan seared giving it that wonderful flavor and texture that only heat and oil can produce.  The squid is cooked in the same manner, and any fears of it being rubbery instantly disappeared when it hit my tongue.  It is served on a bed of cannelloni beans and tomatoes which are fantastically seasoned with herbs and olive oil.

The key to this dish is that it is meaty and not rubbery, and the Mediterranean flavors from the beans and seasoning shine through.  It is definitely a winner and a great way to start dinner.


Raw Beef? Yes Please.

I like meat rare…the thought of raw beef is a touch scary to me however. Knowing that, I recently put those fears aside and for the first time, I tried the  Beef Carpaccio at BG Buda’s Italian Cucina in Cazenovia.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Carpaccio is beef (venison, veal, salmon or tuna also work) tenderloin that has been shaved very thin, and then served raw. This version is served with a caper aioli and topped with arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.

beef carpaccio at bg budas italian cucina cazenoviaI was pleasantly surprised at the texture of the beef, and the flavors on the plate all melded together to give the dish a very earthy flavor. It is a great idea for an appetizer especially on a warm evening, where something light and cold sets the tone for the rest of the traditional Mediterranean leaning Italian menu.

The key to this dish was the peppery flavors of the arugula blending with the caper aioli to flavor the well seasoned beef on the plate. It all comes together very nice, and eliminated any fear of ever trying it again. In fact, I’ll be on the lookout for the next opportunity to enjoy Carpaccio. Extend your palate and step out of your comfort zone and try it for yourself. It would pair very well with a nice glass of Pinor Noir.