The mystery restaurant in this month's Name That Restaurant game is Autre Monde, and the featured dish is gnocchi with duck sausage.
Chef Matt Saccaro at Autre Monde developed the gnocchi with duck sausage based on a simple principle he picked up from his Italian grandparents, who lived in Berwyn and loved to cook. Says Saccaro, "they taught me don't overdo it; use good ingredients, and prepare them well."
The gnocchi with duck sausage is one of the tastiest dishes I've had at Autre Monde…or any local restaurant. The gnocchi is prepared with just a little egg, Saccaro explained, "because I don't want it to be too soft or too gummy."
The duck sausage, which is loose rather than encased, is simply seasoned with garlic, shallot, red chile and another ingredient or two, which Saccaro prefers to keep a secret.
Saccaro first browns the sausage in a pan before deglazing with broth and adding crushed oven-roasted tomatoes. Then he folds in the gnocchi and cooks it all until all the ingredients develop a caramelized glaze. Over everything is sprinkled thinly sliced basil, parmesan and bread crumbs; the crumbs add beautiful crunch and texture, and it's hard to believe such a simple thing could contribute so significantly to the final dish.
I had eaten lunch before I stopped by Autre Monde to shoot pictures of the gnocchi with duck sausage, and I figured I'd just have a bite or two. I ended up eating the whole platter of the stuff. I couldn't help myself.
The winner of this month's contest is Joel Schoenmeyer, who tells us he knew the mystery restaurant was Autre Monde when I posted the clue, a picture of neighboring Horrorbles, which is owned by John and Christine Tully Aranza, who are also co-owners of Autre Monde.
Says Schoenmeyer, "Actually, I'm a foodie, a horror movie fan, and a fan of Italian ice, so that block is perfect for me -- Autre Monde + Horrorbles Gina's, all in a row."
At Autre Monde, Schoenmeyer tells us he likes "blood orange gimlet (cocktail), the fontina and wild mushroom flatbread, and the chicken wings."
Congrats to Scheonmeyer, and we strongly suggest that he use the part of the $50 gift certificate to buy a platter gnocchi with duck sausage (it's only $13, which is a huge value for a dish this good).