+39 Restaurant, Market & Cantina in Ames, Iowa is the 8th restaurant that I’m judging food at for the 2014 Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala event in Des Moines, Iowa.
Chef Robert Anderson and I are the main judges. It is a privilege to get to work with him, the IRA staff, and members from the Soy and Beef Council.
During the next couple of weeks, leading up to the September 25th event, we have 9 different restaurants to visit. These restaurants are all across Iowa.
This restaurant is all about homemade Italian food, tradition and the American dream. To read about how +39 got started, read their awesome story.
The Chef at +39 Restaurant, Market & Cantina
Chef Brian Gorman is part owner and one of the chefs at +39 Italian restaurant. Chef Gorman has a skill by making traditional risotto and hand made fresh pasta so well that it takes Alesandro, another owner of +39, back to his grandma’s traditional recipes. Chef Gorman was really fun to talk to. He has a great sense of humor, has had quite the tour of Italy as well as really seeing all sides of the restaurant world from bartending, to cooking eggs, now to being a head chef.
Rules: With this event, each competitor will prepare a main entrée recipe utilizing Braveheart Black Angus Beef Ribeye, donated by Performance Food Group (at least six ounces of cooked beef must be used). Additionally, each competitor will prepare a Tofu (soft-silken or water packed) side dish or sauce (at least a 1⁄4 cup of tofu must be used).
The main dish featured a “surf and turf”. A 16oz center cut of the ribeye was removed and trussed. The “surf” was 2 large scallops with salt and pepper. Another part of the surf was the barramundi skin which was fried at 300 degrees until crispy. This is very authentic with Italian food and something I had definitely not seen before. There was also a butternut squash puree which did include silken tofu.
One thing that was kind of funny during dinner is that we didn’t even realize how big of a steak we had until after we had finished it. Chef Anderson and I only had a couple of bites left before we asked how large the steak was. When we found out it was 160z we about fell off of our chairs. I was definitely full that night. We were told to do a “tri-fecta” bite which included the steak, scallop and a little bit of the barramundi skin. We all gave it a shot and thought it was interesting! It was something that we would have not thought of if it wasn’t for Alesandro’s knowledge of authenticity! It was fun to learn about tradition Italian food that night.
Chef Brian Gorman displayed a wonderful plate. He should be proud of his presentation.
Contact+39 Restaurant, Market & Cantina
2640 Stange Road
Open 7:00am Daily Monday – Saturday
Breakfast 7-11 (Monday-Saturday) 10-2 (Sunday)
Lunch 11 to 1
Dinner 5 to 10
Friday & Saturday Late Night Until 1:00am
Open Sunday 10:00am to 9:00pm