Man, what a week last week! Four planes in four days!
On Tuesday, I flew up to Dallas to have dinner with the president and communications director of the Abruzzo consortium.
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to love Fachini as much as I did. The whole Eye-Talian concept as presented on their website seemed a little bit misguided at first glance. And the waiters in tuxes, while cute, made it seem like it was going to be more of a show than substance.
But the homemade gardiniera that they served as an aperitivo at the bar was fantastic, as were the ricotta and focaccia.
Those are the cappelletti above. I had never seen green cappelletti before and we were a far cry from the traditional way this filled pasta is served (traditionally in capon broth with generous amounts of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano). But the pasta was delicious, the stuffing perfectly calibrated, and the tomato sauce was more of a coulis than a true sauce. The latter was light and not overly acid-driven. I loved this dish.
And after all, as Tony used to say (and I agree wholeheartedly), Italian food is not authentic unless it’s creative.
The next day, I led three seminars at Eataly — Moscato d’Asti, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, and Abruzzo — over the course of four hours with 15-minute breaks between each one. Huge shout-out to the event staff at Eataly for another job well done and heartfelt thanks to my friends at IEEM in Miami/Verona who asked me to come up for a morning of tasting and sharing notes on some great wines. It was exhilarating but exhausting. I made a mad dash the airport and flew home… only to get on a plane Thursday morning and fly to NYC.
Friday found me at the swank and beautiful surf and turf Carne Mare at South Street Seaport in Manhattan where I joyfully dug into the chicken cutlet alla milanese. Again, not traditional but utterly delicious. I really enjoyed and highly recommend this place.
South Street Seaport has been totally renovated and is super fun, with high-end shops and restaurants. It was a beautiful day in New York and the view of the Brooklyn Bridge… as my friend Paul says, it just never gets old.
Also have to give a shout-out to the fine staff at Ulivo on West 28th St. They took such great care of our party and I loved the fried burrata (below). It was as decadent and as delicious as it looks. And man, their kitchen really knows how to slice prosciutto correctly.
All in all it was an amazing week of wines and wonderful italophile folks. I feel so blessed to do what I do for a living. But I couldn’t wait to get home to Tracie and the girls and our chihuahuas.
Thanks to everyone who took such good care of us. The wave of Italian cuisine in this country only gets better and more compelling every year. And it’s so wonderful that New York has opened up again. I can’t wait to get back next week (yep, life on the road keeps on keeping on!). Stay tuned…