A new tradition at Alessio’s Restaurant: Third Thursdays wine dinners, complete with produce from Tom Spicer’s FM 1410 around the corner. We tried out the first one on March 27 and found it to be a great value and learning experience, well worth a return trip.
The evening started off with a Doria “Contessa” Spumante from Lombardy (“spumante” means the foam at the top of a wave in Italian). The sparkling, yeasty notes were light and fresh. For the antipasti, we had a Bagna Cauda that was a little heavy and light on the garlic to our taste, paired with mortadella, and finocchiona, a salmi with fennel, both of which were excellent. The Pinot Grigio seemed a little soapy with apple notes; not our favorite.
The risotto with mushrooms (courtesy of Tom Spicer) had a wonderful flavor, but a gummy texture. No complaints with the Ravioli Aurora. The Quattro Valli Primitivo (zinfandel grape) was smokey, leathery, and just perfect. Next, we tried a house salad with wonderful Asiago cheese, but with an oil that was a little heavy (we would have like to have seen the new Texas olive oil there instead).
Alessio brought out his best with the secondi. The rolled veal and Gorgonzola pork loin were superb, served wtih fiddlehead ferns (courtesy of Tom). We tried a Doria Barbera that was a little tannic for us, but a tasty bubbly fruity Trevisani “Diana” from the Lake Garda region was our favorite for the night. Finally, finally the dolci…gelato with almonds and chocolate was far from light, but added a perfect punch to the evening.
Alessio is partnering with a local wine purveyor who guides the group through the evening and sells wine to those who so desire at the end of the evening, with volume discounts. To sign up for April’s Third Thursday, give Alessio a call.