Friday, November 14, 2008

Eating Regionally

Each month, Portofino features a special a la carte dinner menu that focuses on a specific region of Italy. This month’s regional menu spotlights “Piemonte,” the nation’s Piedmont region, and the menu offers appetizers, entrees, desserts and wines all inspired by the regional cooking of Piedmont.The culinary trip starts with an appetizer such as Bagna Caudo – tempura-fried vegetables topped with a sauce blend of anchovy, garlic and olive oil. Entrée choices include Carbonada – a rich, hearty veal stew scented with truffles over potato hash. Land in the sweet spot at meal’s end with mocha cinnamon bonet – a flan custard dessert with crushed Amaretto cookies and Amaretto di Saronno. Specially selected wines from the Piedmont region include the crisp, white Pio Cesare, Cortese di Gavi, ’07; Fontanafredda, Barbera, Briccotondo, ’06 with its hints of pepper and chocolate; and Pinot Noir-like Massolino, Langhe Nebbiolo, ’04.

I haven't made it in to taste this month's menu yet, but I was in recently and had a bruschetta appetizer topped with braised short ribs, creme faiche and what I think was a pesto. Oh my deliciousness, it was can-not-stop-eating-this-just-box-up-my-entree-because-I'm-so-full good. I'm looking forward to seeing if this menu lives up to my now very high expectations.

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