Post-concert delights await downtown… or at home

Aug 15, 2013

You might have termed it a band concert, a sprint race and a taste test for epicures.

The moment the conductor of the Around the Sound  concert band twirled his baton to end a rousing Sousa march, the music lovers and entrants in the sprint competition  at Edmonds City Park leaped to their feet, grabbed folding chairs and headed in the general direction of the finish line.  That also happened to be the patio door at Girardi's Osteria Italiana.

If a music lover is also fleet of foot, he or she might score one of the last vacant tables during the happy hour, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.  And as the menu points out, there are happy hours every day at the corner of Fifth and Walnut where menu items average about $5.

The crowds have been consistently early and hungry, particularly those customers who manage to find empty patio seats on warm Edmonds evenings. With local friends and out-of-town visitors, we have sampled many of the happy hour specials and have seldom been disappointed.

For example, the pollo farcito, described as  chicken breast stuffed with cranberry, sage and cheeses topped with a black truffle and cream sauce served with grilled asparagus is one of the featured $5 selections.

A pork shank with wild mushroom linguini was another winner, at $6.50.  House wines are $4 and a bellini mixed drink is $5.

How are you going to beat those prices? La Galleria next door to Giardi's is trying, with its own, recently-added small dish happy hour menu.

Or you could rush home after the park concert to construct the following dinner for two.

McPasta

1/4 pound smoked salmon

1 cup cream

1 tablespoon green onion, chopped

2 tablespoons white wine

salt, pepper

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

penne pasta to serve two, cooked

Put half the salmon into a blender along with two tablespoons of cream and the green onion. Lean on the blender button until you have a puree.

Heat the wine in a skillet, add the rest of the cream and the salmon puree and simmer (don't boil) until it is hot and thick.  Add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the peas and heat for a minute.

When the penne is cooked, drain quickly and dump into the skillet. Stir once or twice then serve into two bowls, scattering over the top the rest of the smoked salmon, crumbled.

Whether you are eating at home or at Giardi's, the park concerts run from 3 to 4 each Sunday through Aug. 25.

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