28 March 2007

Alla salute!

The city's best Italian restaurant, Caffe Amici, had one of its wine dinners last night. These things are awesome. David, the chef, gets to cook some dishes that aren't on the menu. So he whips together a five-course meal and an area wine distributor pairs each course with a different wine. It's $50, and well worth it.

The menu for last night started with an appetizer of some calamari and Italian-style pizzas. After that, they brought us a cold honeydew melon soup, which was interesting (maybe a bit heavy on the mint, but still quite tasty). Things really got kicking, though, when the white and green asparagus risotto came out. I'd never had white asparagus before. It's a bit firmer and less sweet than the green stuff. Next course was Chicken Amice with roasted sweet potatoes and green beans. The chicken was pounded flat, stuffed with shrimp and prosciutto, then rolled over, cooked and sliced. Holy crap, it was good. ... Finally, dessert was tiramisu di strawberries.

The wines were good, but not exceptional, this night. As a trade-off, they were all inexpensive. Best, in my book, was the Lionello Marchesi Sangiovese di Toscana that we started with. If you like dessert wines (I don't), the Renwood Orange Muscat was good, too.

They hold these things every few months, so keep an eye out for the next one. Some tips if you go:

*Swallow your pride and ask for a box up front. Go ahead and put half of each course in there to start with. You'll be glad by the time the tiramisu comes out...

*Even though they'll keep refilling your wine glass and it seems wrong to prevent them from doing so, pace yourself. You'll want to try all the wines with the appropriate course. And you'll want to be sober enough to enjoy both the food and the wine at the end.


lisa mc said...

This sounds SO awesome. I wish I would've gone with y'all last night. I definitely will next time.

Brad Barnes said...

Food is good, mmmkay?

Allison Kennedy said...

Hey, me too for next time!