I just love the food at Cafe Tiramisu. We try to go there as often as possible. I would love to have the recipe for the warm Shrimp Dip appetizer. Some friends and I were there recently and shared this appetizer, and it is out of this world. If the chef would share his recipe, I would be so grateful. -- L.T., Raleigh
Cafe Tiramisu (6196-120 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, 981-0305, http://cafetiramisu.net) celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1996. That's an impressive milestone, but the owners boast a local reputation for Italian cuisine dating back to 1973, when Paul DeMartino opened Piccolo Mondo. That restaurant closed after a 20-year run, and DeMartino then opened Cafe Tiramisu with his sons, Richard and Rodolfo.
Chef Rodolfo DeMartino goes the extra mile, not only sharing two recipes but also adapting the Shrimp Dip appetizer for home use.
"We use a steamer in the restaurant and use the steaming liquid to add flavor to the dip," he says. DeMartino's clever solution for home cooks who don't happen to have a restaurant steamer handy? An ever-so-gentle poaching in a small amount of water.
Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, c/o The News & Observer or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Find past columns and recipes at www.newsobserver.com, search specialty.