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Published on Oct 4, 2010
I was treated to a tasting of Chef Joe Cicala's new menu at Le Virtu, located at 1927 East Passyunk Ave. in Philadelphia. Chef Cicala's smoked potato gnocchi with lamb ragù stood out as one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had. The gnocchi was light and airy. The lamb ragù was rich and flavorful. And the smoke on the gnocchi added this wonderful extra layer of deliciousness to this dish that seduced my taste buds. I was so blown away by the flavor and texture of this composition that I couldn't imagine how Chef Cicala worked the smoke into the pasta. After asking Joe, I realized how obvious it was. He simply smoked the potatoes before milling them and creating his gnocchi dough.