Showing posts with label italian food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italian food. Show all posts

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cinema Italian Style Kick Off Dinner with Verona's Chef Leandro Luppi

by @discovering_LA

Cinema Italian Style is the Los Angeles showcase for the best Italian movies of the year. In an 11-day marathon full of events, attendees will be immersed in the Italian culture in the way of film, food and culture. The event kicked off with a US premier of the 4k digitally restored version of Blow Up and Red Desert by Michelangelo Antonioni. Part of the activities included a Gala Dinner celebrating the Italian showcase and was held at Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel. Held in the hotel’s Penthouse, we benefitted from having a panoramic view of the city. The place was buzzing as people were excited for what was to come.
 
The people at our table were ecstatic to find out that guest chef Leandro Luppi, a Michelin starred chef from Ristorante Vecchia Malcesine in Verona, was at our table. This was his first trip to the US and he was here to help promote Cinema Italian Style. While he didn’t speak much English, he smiled often and was quite friendly. Two individuals at our table aided in the translation between English and Italian.

The first course was a tuna tartare surrounded by a base of creamy smoked mozzarella and topped with passion fruit. The dish was delicious and had an interesting combination of flavors. The acidity from the passion fruit paired nicely with Mr C’s Prosecco.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bite of the Beast Dinner at Locanda del Lago (Santa Monica, CA)

by Bryan Tsunoda @discovering_LA

I watch for restaurant special events because it is an opportunity for a chef or an owner to execute a concept that makes them stand out above the others. My latest discovery was Locanda Del Lago’s Morso Della Bestia or “Bite of the Beast”. The last Thursday of every month, Locanda Del Lago hosts a communal meal, featuring animal roasts and traditional, rustic Italian dishes. The Morso Della Bestia includes a 4-course dinner featuring the choice animal, and an optional wine pairing.

For the May dinner, the “animal” was salmon. Locanda Del Lago created a four course meal to feature this popular fish. To make the event extra special, they partnered with the Italian winery, Fasoli Gino, to provide a unique food and wine pairing.

The first course was a Salmon Tartare.
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It was surrounded by a delicious avocado puree, pine nuts, giardiniera and wild arugula. The salmon tartare was extremely fresh and creamy to the taste. It was paired with a clean tasting pinot grigio from Fasoli Gino.

Salmon that was cured with limoncello liqueur was combined with fresh herbs, chicory and asparagus.
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This dish had a lot of bold flavors and I was surprised that chicory worked well with this dish. The Soave, a dry Italian white wine, was fruity with a nice amount of acidity to balance this dish.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Taste of the North End Returns to Boston on April 28, 2017

Since 1993, restaurants in the Boston's North End join forces each year for a food festival that benefit North End charities at Taste of the North End. This year's event will be held on April 28 at the DCR's Steriti Memorial Rink.

Guests will be able to taste food from smaller North End businesses that normally don't participate in food festivals.

Taste of the North End
Capt Jackson's Historic Chocolate Shop

This chef and this porchetta tower was everything ..
Taste of the North End

The porchetta was from Filippo Ristorante, and they will be participating this year as well.
Taste of the North End


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Preview: Taste of Italy in Los Angeles on October 1

by @btsunoda

The Taste of Italy is an upscale food and wine event which features some of the best regional Italian cuisine, food products and wine LA has to offer. This year is the 8th annual event and I had an opportunity to preview food served by Celestino in Pasadena.

Celestino has been in business for over 17 years, originally located in Beverly Hills. It is owned and operated by the Drago brothers, known for their quality Italian cuisine since the 1980’s. Celestino’s cuisine is mostly Sicilian and some other regional dishes such as squid ink risotto or osso buco.  
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One of the starters was a squid ink arancini filled with seafood. These were triangular black rice balls served piping hot and very crispy. It was one of my favorite dishes that evening and I hope they serve that at The Taste of Italy.
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Porcini mushrooms are more earthy and woodsy and for that reason they make an excellent foundation for soup. Celestino’s porcini soup was topped with shaved black truffles. Taking a bite of the truffles with the porcini soup was the marriage of two great flavors.
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The third dish was a veal carpaccio topped with grated pecorino cheese and shaved truffles. By this time, I was grateful that everything was paired with truffles. The veal was very delicate in flavor and didn’t overpower the remaining ingredients.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rediscovering the Italian Food in Boston's North End at Artu

All the tourists and locals alike know that Boston's North End is the place to go for Italian food, yet most of the time I go there, I end up at Neptune Oyster for a lobster roll, instead - I can't help it! Sure, I've had my cannolis and I've been to a couple of the Italian places there, but for the most part, North End remained fairly unexplored to me. But thanks to a recent blogger dinner at Artu, I got the chance to experience another part of the North End.
Artu
Our dinner started with a simple salad of Roasted beets, pistachio vinaigrette, gorgonzola
Artu
Polpetti (homemade meatballs, parmigiano, $8)
Artu
I love meatballs when the texture is right, just like the ones here. Tender homemade meatballs with traditional Italian tomato sauce - why mess with something so simple and perfect!

Grilled country bread, smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, Backyard Farms tomato
Artu
I loved the smoked mozzarella on these!

Artu also had some solid cocktails, and the bar is open until 2 AM every day. Every day! That's one of the latest places to grab in the drink in the area, especially on a weeknight. I stuck with the classics, which they do very well.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Progressive Dinner at Bel Ari and Les Zygomates (Boston, MA)

I recently got to explore more of the Boston restaurant scene with a progressive dinner at Bel Ari and Les Zygomates in the Leather District. Bel Ari and Les Zygomates are just a few doors down from each other and they're actually owned by the same people, so they organized this progressive dinner with Blog and Tweet Boston. Bel Ari was named after the owners' children while Les Zygomates refer to "the muscles in the face that make you smile". 
Bel Ari
While we were waiting for the rest of our party, I started off the night with a cocktail with Bulleit bourbon, lavender infused honey, and limoncello.
Bel Ari
We went back to the private room and kicked off our dinner with a glass of Bellussi prosecco to pair with the first courses.
Bel Ari
Whipped ricotta, honey, pistachios, crispy sunflower cranberry bread
Bel Ari
A great table starter, the ricotta was smooth and cloud-like, I loved it with the honey and couldn't stop eating it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Preview: Taste of Italy

by guest blogger @iam_robot

The Taste of Italy will be back for its seventh year, and this year’s food and beverage participants include food-scene mainstays like Drago Centro, Valentino, Rao’s, Locanda Del Lago, Pedroncelli Winery, and Peroni, among others. Benefitting The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, these restaurants will feature finest Italian cuisine and wines on October 10th in Little Italy’s iconic 1869 Pico House, right across from the Union Station. And let’s not forget about cooking demos from some of the most revered Italian Chefs such as Chef Peppe Barone (director of the Mediterranean School of Food and Wine in Italy) and Chef Gianfranco Minuz (Locanda Del Lago). Slated to open later on in 2015, the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles will showcase the history and ongoing contributions of Italian-Americans to Southern California and the U.S. In addition to historical exhibitions, the museum will host film screenings, language classes, and a variety of cultural public programming.

Last week I had a chance to sample many of the wonderful bites and wines to be featured at this premier food event. There were many memorable bites but my favorite was the Baked Little Neck Clams with Italian Breadcrumb Stuffing from Rao’s.
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This dish is the ultimate comfort food – It reminds me of Thanksgiving. Maybe in a better way! Clams were pleasantly supple yet the stuffing didn’t mask the inherent brininess of the shellfish. Stuffing was equally delightful - breadcrumbs were warm, moist, and crunchy. I could eat a tub of these!

My other highlight was Rao’s Fiocchi Ravioli Filled with Ricotta Cheese and Bartlett Pears.
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Initially I was quite thrilled with the buttery flavor of brown butter but as I chewed through I loved the creaminess of the ricotta cheese and the sweet finish of the pear and dried cranberries. All the flavors meshed beautifully in right proportion.

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