Is it any wonder that Cafe Lazio has become my favorite restaurant in my adopted hometown? Chef Adriano DiMario made a dish specially for me the other night. I had told him that my favorite dish ever was the crab sauce and pasta that my mother would make for me when I was growing up. My mother's dish used fresh blue crabs stuffed with herbed bread crumbs simmered in a tomato sauce for hours. Served with perciatelli or buccatini pasta, it was heaven in a bowl for me.The real fun, though, was getting down and dirty and digging into the tomato sauce drowned crabs after the pasta. That was bib time and resulted in a napkin and crab shell graveyard.
My mother's crab sauce was (and still is) the best thing I have ever eaten. I have, on occasion, tried to make it myself when I have been able to come by fresh blue crabs and had the time to use them. My efforts have been good, but certainly not up to my mother's. Well, Chef DiMario's linguine with crabs and clams wasn't quite up to my mother's either, but it was pretty darn tasty, especially given the fact, that he used frozen blue crabs instead of fresh and they weren't stuffed like my mother's. Even so, his tomato sauce is so good and between the clams and the crabs, the sauce had a wonderful flavor, approaching my mother's. It was close enough that I scarfed down that meal with great pleasure. Between the wonderful flavor and the effort on Chef DiMario's part, this is clearly my Taste of the Week!