If you’ve never been to Jimmy’s Food Store in Dallas, you don’t know what you’re missing…

Last night I was Paolo Cantele’s wing-man as he led a guided tasting and dinner featuring his family’s wines at the amazing Jimmy’s Food Store in Dallas, a national culinary treasure and a great resource for Italian and Italian-American gastronomy in the U.S.

Those are rigatoni with (housemade) sausage alla vodka. Legacy owner Paul Di Carlo did the cooking himself last night and the sauce was spot on, with just the right tang you achieve when you deglaze the tomato with the spirit. This was straight out of 1989 and full-on delicious.

Not only is Jimmy’s a fantastic old school Italian deli (like the “pork stores” in Brooklyn) but it’s also the best Italian wine shop in the state. Paul really knows Italian wine. Spectacular selection.

Jimmy’s has a special place in my heart because it was there, 11 years ago, that Paolo and I did our first event together. I was working for a supplier rep at the time and Paolo was one of my first ride-withs in Texas after I moved here to be with Tracie P. It was really neat for us to relive that moment.

A few years ago, Paul renamed his wine room. No explanation needed. If you have worked in Italian wine in this century (and/or the last), you know why this image is so special.

Paolo and I are headed to Tulsa today where we’ll be hosting an event at Vintage Wine Bar (at 5:30). Please join us! I’m SO PSYCHED to finally make it to Tulsa, a city I’ve wanted to visit for a long, long time. I know it’s going to be a great time.

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