Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Lunch – 2014

Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Lunch
held at

 

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Sorry about the detour, back now to the Italian pavilion and the matter in hand.

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I was the first to check in at the desk at Tutto Italia and was told to have a seat in their lobby to wait for them to begin seating for the lunch to be held next door at the wine cellar, Tutto Gusto. When they began seating at shortly before 12:00, I was the first to be seated at our table for six…

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I had just enough time to take a few photos before my tablemates were seated.

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Yes, you counted right. There were 6 glasses placed before me, but don’t worry…only 5 of them were for wine. ;)

The always impressive-looking Tutto Gusto bar…

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When they saw me taking photos, the wine presenter (on the right) and his helpers put on a happy face. :laughing:

While I was looking over the menu for our lunch…

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…another lady traveling solo and two couples filled the other five spots at the table. All of these people were very friendly and my uneasiness about dining with strangers was soon put to rest. I told them that I would be taking many photos of my food because I planned to do a dining review on the DIS. Though they had never heard of the DIS, they were very willing to help me in whatever way they could. They even asked if I would like to take a photo of our bread plate before anyone partook of its contents.

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I really like the soft bread here but the hard bread sticks, not so much…although I have a daughter who loves them. But I tried to eat only a few nibbles of my bread because I knew that there was much more food coming my way, starting with the first course of…

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Tomato & Fior di Latte Mozzarella

This was different than any of the other caprese salads I’ve had. Instead of the tomatoes being sliced they were chopped into small pieces and made into a compote. The tomato compote was tasty and the fresh mozzarella cheese was delicious. I didn’t take a photo of the wine bottle when we were served the white wine which was paired with this course but this photo includes my glass of Pecorino from the Abruzzo winery, Il Feuduccio.

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I might be partial to this wine because my grandparents were from the Abruzzo region of Italy, but it was my favorite of the five we were served. It was a light and fruity white wine which paired quite well with our first course, cutting the acidity of the tomatoes.

Our next course was hands down my favorite of the five…

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Lobster Ravioli with Truffle Butter

OH…MY…GOSH!!! Best lobster ravioli ever! Ate every last morsel and then finished up what was left of the truffle butter with my bread. So incredibly delicious!!

By the way, the ravioli was served with another white wine, Pinot Bianco, Montegrande.

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And here is another photo which includes our cute Italian server…

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I don’t remember much about this wine, probably because I was so focused on the ravioli. I do remember two things about it though, the first was that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Pecorino. Which is good, because the second thing is that this wine is not available for purchase in the U.S. other than at Tutto Gusto.

My favorite course was then followed by my least favorite…

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Duck Breast with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Sauce

This was my least favorite not because it was not good but because I am not really a fan of duck. As duck goes, this was well-prepared. Oh, and I really enjoyed the sweetness of the butternut squash and the pomegranate sauce. If you enjoy duck then I’m sure you would have enjoyed this course.

A red wine, Barbera d’Asti, Castello Poggio, was served with this course. Again I’m not a fan of most red wines, but this one was drinkable for me.

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Our cheese course included three cheeses…

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Two of these were soft cheeses (La Tur and Robiola) and the third was hard (Parmigiano Reggiano). I would have enjoyed the Parmigiano Reggiano with some honey, but since there was none it was probably my least favorite of the three. The Robiola seemed similar to Brie. I liked it but the creamy La Tur was my favorite.

The cheese course was paired with a very sweet dessert wine (think ice wine), Fior d’Arancio Passito, Montegrande.

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This was too sweet, even for me.

Our final course, which was my second favorite of the meal, was this delicious dessert…

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And a close up shot…

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Gianduia Profiterole – Vanilla Cream Puffs with Gianduia Chocolate

This was the best profiterole I’ve ever had. Who would have thought that the Italians could make a French dessert even better than the French? Take that France! ;)

Oh, and the dessert course was paired with a sparkling red wine which was similar in taste to Rosa Regale, but slightly sweeter…

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The Corbinello was from the same winery (Montegrande) as two of the other wines which were served. Although it was good, I still prefer Rosa Regale.

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And one last photo to share, this one of our very happy group after we had been wined and dined…

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Salute!

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