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The Royal Wedding Menu Savors the Flavors of Vino con Vista Monaco

English: Photograph taken at the 2009 Monte-Ca...

English: Photograph taken at the 2009 Monte-Carlo Television Festival in Monaco. Pictured: Albert II and film producer Arick Wierson. Location. June, 2009, Monte-Carlo, Principality of Monaco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2002 Monegasque commemorative coin

2002 Monegasque commemorative coin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: General view of Monaco

English: General view of Monaco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


the “real” Monte Carlo Casino – France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monaco is nestled in the  French Riviera along the sumptuous Meditteranean Coast. There are more that 170 restaurants in Monaco’s small but mighty epicurean paradise. A plethora of dining options include charming sidewalk cafes and quaint brasseries in Old Town  as well as Michelin-starred establishments in landmark hotels. Monaco has plenty of   gourmet menus with signature dishes that offer fresh and flavorful options.

Bouef and Potatoes in Monaco

Pasta with clams in Monaco

Mussels (Moules) in Monaco

Culinary accolades in Monaco

Street Cafes in Monaco

Menu in Monaco on Rue Caroline

Monaco’s cuisine is a flavorful fusion of southern French ( Provençal and Nicoise ), Italian and other Mediterranean influences.  These influences on Monaco’s palate generate a plethora of savory options that meld French Provencal with many locally-produced products. Stuffed zucchini flowers, truffle and fois gras tortes and Provençal-style artichokes braised in wine with olive oil are other Monégasque favorites. In Monaco, try some traditional Monegasque specialties including:

*Barbagiuans, a crisp, baked or fried puff-pastry-filled fritters treat with Swiss chard, ricotta, leeks, garlic and herbs usually served as an appetizer

*Fougasse, a small, sweet bread flavored with oranges and decorated with nuts, raisins and anise

*Swiss chard pie, layers of pastry filled with a mixture of Swiss chard, parmesan cheese, parsley, eggs, onions, and rice

*Socca, a thin pancake made from chick-pea flour and olive oil

*Stocafi, dried cod stewed in tomato sauce and flavored with black olives  .

Sleek new hotels like the Fairmont Monte-Carlo and the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel have recently opened new restaurants in the Principality of Monaco.   The Fairmont Monte-Carlo’s restaurants allow guests to savor the flavors of Monaco: (1)  L’Argentin is a meat-lovers favorite in the Fairmont with wood and charcoal spits for roasting and grilling; (2) breathtaking Mediterranean views are available at Le Pistou located on the hotel’s panoramic terrace with Italian and regional cuisine (www.fairmont.com/montecarlo). You may also want to try Bar & Boeuf,  Alain Ducasse’s second restaurant in Monaco.

Five of Monaco’s restaurants have collectively garnished eight gourmet Michelin stars.

The Michelin Man

Yoshi in the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo earned their first Michelin star this year. Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo  has a Michelin star and is also located in the  Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo (http://www.metropole.com/). Le Grill is located in the Hôtel de Paris and  Chef Sylvain Etievant”s rooftop restaurant has incredible “Vino con Vista” panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea  and was recently awarded one Michelin star.  Le Vistamar at the Hôtel Hermitage has earned chef Joël Garault a well-deserved Michelin star with the bonus of having spectacular “Vino-con-Vista” views of Monaco’s harbor.  Try the romantic Michelin star-rated La Coupole in the Hôtel Mirabeau with classic French cuisine.

The incredible menu at the Royal Wedding was prepared by three-star Michelin Chef Alain Ducasse who presides over Ducasse’s acclaimed Le  Louis XV.  His Michelin-starred restaurant is located in Monte-Carlo’s Hôtel de Paris and features a legendary wine cellar. His opulent restaurant is in the luxurious Hotel de Paris has more than 600,000 bottles of valuable vintages.  Ducasse was born in France but officially became a citizen of Monaco three years ago.

Ducasse has a collective total of 19 prestigious Michelin stars with restaurants in Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and France. His elegant “Vino con Vista” Jules Verne restaurant in Paris France is perched on the legendary Eiffel Tower. He also runs restaurants in the United States  in Las Vegas, New York, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Alain Ducasse was assisted by Franck Cerutti Executive chef of the Hôtel de Paris.  A total of 285 staff members including ten chefs and 54 cooks; seven pastry chefs and 14 pastry cooks prepared the Royal Feast. Nearly all of the ingredients used to prpare the royal feast will be sourced locally. Some of the vegetables will be sourced from Prince Albert’s farm.

The following menu and wine list was released by the Government Office of Tourism:

***Alain Ducasse Menu for the Royal Wedding Dinner of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Miss Charlene Wittstock   with the Wine List  (Saturday July 2nd 2011)

 Created by Alain Ducasse and Monte-Carlo SBM for the Princely Wedding


“As a starter, the Barbagiuan

It’s a natural guest, a full member of every family in Monaco. Traditional prelude, eaten with the fingers, the summertime Barbagiuan is served warm in a fabric presentation box. Under a silky crust of delicate rissoles stuffed with swisschard, spinach, leeks, onions, parsley, basil, marjoram and chives,blended together with sheep’s milk ricotta, egg and Parmigiano Reggiano, beats a meltingly soft green heart.

Tender Vegetables, Tomat olive and marinated golden mullet, Poutargue (Bottargo)

The dish is large, oval and generous. The food is arranged to portray a landscape typical of the coast ofthe Riviera. First, Roma tomatoes cooked until soft and smooth, slices of beetroot, zucchinis “Trompettes” and rawturnips, just marinated in olive oil, salt and ground pepper, on which stand cooked fennels, flakes of celery heart, radishes and mushrooms, a stick of cucumber, tomato confit and yellow and white semidried peaches, all sprinkled with fresh almonds, courgette flowers and borage, sprigs of celery, wild purslane and chervil. Guérande Fleur de sel, extra virgin olive oil and organic black Sospel olives complete this masterpiece of nature, conceived as a real example of plant architecture.

Then, a thinly sliced filet of golden mullet simply served raw, marinated in olive oil, Guérande sea salt and black Sarawak pepper, capers, lemon thyme from Nice and lemon zest from Menton, all seasoned with flakes of bottarga from Martigues, in translucent, fragrant petals. A subtle play of layering and the association of softness and crunchiness. Part sea, part hills, a synthesis of local produce and a relaxed lifestyle. The golden mullet, known as the “daurin,” fished by Gérard Rinaldi, a member of the last fishing family in Monaco, is highly migratory and travels along the Nisso-Ligurian coast from east to west from May to July. It is rarely fished. Every year it offers itself for our delectation, like the little seasonal vegetables, which are deliciously tender and naturally sweet.

Small spelt, seasonal vegetables with herb pistou

Small spelt, an ancestor of wheat grown in Haute Provence, is cooked as a riso with diced carrots,onions, celery and mushrooms sweated in olive oil, mixed with raisins, girolle mushrooms and haricotbeans from Lantosque. Carrots and turnips, artichoke quarters, spring onions and leeks, peas and fava beans, green beans and flat green beans are sautéed and moistened with vegetable stock, then arranged on the spelt. The acidic cooking juices with rocket and basil are pounded in a mortar to make a herb pesto topped with some toasted pine nuts. Real bounty from the earth, this is a tribute to cooking that is healthy, modest and tasty, from the local terroir. An essential approach, a return to the source of nutritional values. Playing on textures and subtle cooking, this small pale spelt is as tender as could be.

Local fish in a delicate bouillon with marine flavours

On a base of new potatoes cooked in saffron broth, a rich catch of fish is a concentration of the flavoursof the Mediterranean. The famous shelled gamberoni “rossi” from San Remo, fillets of rock mullet,calamaretti stuffed with gamberoni meat, cuttlefish and lemons from Menton, filets of capon, seabream, Saint Pierre, denti and rock octopus tentacle. Everything is moistened with a fish stock madefrom rock fish, cooked like a fish broth with saffron. Wrapped in sunshine-coloured spice from the terroirs of Haute Provence, mixed with white onions, garlic, dried fennel, fresh tomatoes, moray and conger, demoiselle, green wrasse, ballan wrasse, goldsinny wrasse, rainbow wrasse, weeverfish, small black and brown rockfish and eriphia crab – localfishing is invited to the feast.

Three mini crostini, one of which sings the praises of the juices from red mullet liver, capon andanchovies; the second of rouille, the third of spider crab meat and coral, complete the bouquet of marine flavours that explodes in the mouth. The whole sea has shaped this amazing dish. Abundance and feasting recall mythical scenes on the ancient shoreline, sparkling with light and saturated with blue. This is an expression of memory, the universal message of a Mediterranean that represents the concepts of mutual exchange and sharing.

Red fruits bursting with sunshine, Rocagel milk ice cream

In an elegant crystal coupe, on a delicate, lightly sweetened strawberry jelly are placed wildstrawberries and raspberries picked early in the morning and a velvety scoop of ice cream made with milk from the Rocagel and a spoonful ofwarm strawberry juice. A flaky palmier biscuit accompanies the exquisite sweetness of this seasonal fantasy.

Refreshing and soft, in symbiosis with the season, this dessert with red berries radiates the colours of the Principality. While banners and flags flutter in the wind in the gaily bedecked streets, the subtle milk ice cream and the flavour of sun-drenched berries are a gentle introduction to the long-awaited moment – the wedding cake.

Red currant and vanilla wedding cake

Silky and flowery. On a soft biscuit base with almonds, a delicate red currant compote and a light mousse of vanilla, covered in a layer of white chocolate and some gooseberries. Forming a cornucopia of pearly sugar, the wedding cake presentation piece unites the flowers of the Riviera and the majestic Protea, the emblem of South Africa, in tribute to Princess Charlene.

An ephemeral pleasure, the crowning glory of a dinner that is intended to be both simple and precious;jellied fruits with lemon and limoncello to surprise and delight the guests for one last time while the sky over the Principality is lit up with bursts of colour.

 The Table Setting

A place of honour for the art of the table

An enlargeable basic map of Monaco

An enlargeable basic map of Monaco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The china, selected and created especially for the tables, which are dressed in white tablecloths, is present but discreet, forming part of the spontaneous “ballet” of this great dinner.

The guests are served by 200 Maitre d’Hs, chefs de rang and commis – a precise choreography of agile gestures, porcelain and crystal treasures that cast sparkling reflections on the festivities.

In a combination of modern design and culinary tradition, five little sourdough rolls are arranged on a narrow porcelain dish in front of each guest. Miniature loaves set out in a row, gently shaped by Jean-Paul Veziano, a baker in Antibes, and baked at the Hôtel de Paris a few hours before the dinner: round rolls with olives, floury hand-shaped focaccia from Nice, michettes (Provencal bread rolls) with oil and bread with borage form a harmonious palette of flavours, symbols of life and the perpetuation of the craftsman’s skills.

Splashed with blue, in a very simple style, the china bowl, created by Pieter Stockmans for the delicate fish bouillon, is naturally clear. It is deep, and delicately evokes generous fishing and the clear waters that surround the Principality. For an evening of magic, Alain Ducasse and the Pieter Stockmans studio have redesigned the world in blue, white, and light. From cobalt blue, which is so characteristic, to the pure white porcelain, the dish represents an aesthetic language where motif and material are one and the same.

Alain Ducasse’s recipe gave rise to the search for a specific shape of bowl. Design and creativity come together – a duo in honour of the arts of the table. A delicate coupe in Saint Louis crystal holds the dessert of red berries topped with milk ice cream. The “Bubbles,” a slender, stemmed coupe, reflects a lifestyle that has its sources in the great tradition. This alchemy in glass from the Royal Factory dedicates its exquisite finesse to the celebration of the royal wedding. A resplendent recipient for a dessert in the Principality’s colours, it marries perfectly with the little white napkins edged with red berry fruits.

Wines in Unison (The Wine List)

Aware of how the soul of wines reflects their terroir, Gérard Margeon, head sommelier at Alain Ducasse’s restaurants and Noël Bajor, head sommelier at the Louis XV, have spent many months meeting exceptional small-scale growers and exploring vineyards to find wines to accompany the meal.

The selection is the fruit of their intuition and insight, but is also symbolic and reflects their meetings.

Western Cape Chardonnay, Anaïs vintage 2009

A wine from Orrance, 100% chardonnay, charming and gourmet

A white wine from South Africa will open the dinner as a tribute to Princess Charlene. A classic Cape wine, it is a perfect accompaniment to the starter of tender vegetables and golden mullet.

Bellet Le Clos, Le Clos Saint Vincent 2009

Bellet wine, 100% Rolle, lively, elegant and youthful

The small spelt and seasonal vegetables blended with a herb pesto complement the subtle nuances of a fresh white wine with a mineral taste. It has been developed by Gio Sergi, who uses biodynamic farming methods that are helping the Bellet appellation to evolve.

Bellet, Cuvee Baron G, Château de Bellet 2008

Bellet wine, 40% black folle, 40% braquet, 20% grenache, harmonious and smooth to accompany the locally caught fish bouillon. This astonishing red Bellet is a young vintage, elegant but very light, generous and fruity. At the Château of Bellet, Ghislain and Catherine de Charnacé form a link between Nice and its hills and their personal stories of persistence and hard work.

Château d’Yquem 1996

Appellation Sauternes, harmony in complexity

A Château d’Yquem with a remarkable aromatic potential takes the stage with the coupe of red berry fruits and Rocagel milk ice cream. Thanks to ideal weather conditions, this great, classic vintage fully respects the balance of a Château d’Yquem. A mystery of nature – time has no mastery over this sweet wine. With its very long finish, it holds the promise of a moment of happiness.

Perrier-Jouët Champagne, Cuvée Belle Epoque 2002

Legendary bubbles. A flute of Perrier Jouet’s iconic prestige cuvéee Belle Epoque 2002 champagne rounded off the dinner with the wedding cake and its delicate covering of white chocolate. The foundation of the House of Champagne Perrier-Jouët in 1811 was itself  born of a marriage between its founders Pierre Nicolas Perrier and Adèle Jouët 200 years ago. An elegant and romantic flower champagne bottle for a fairytale Royal wedding.

Facts & Figures

1,600 barbagiuan, 150 kg of fish of ten different varieties, 100 kg of mullet for a delicate carpaccio,

300 kg of tomatoes, 50 kg of strawberries, 20 kg of wild strawberries, 30 kg of raspberries in every

variation of passionate red, 100 litres of milk for a creamy dessert, 750 delightfully soft limoncello

sweets, 2,000 majestic sugar flowers, the crowning glory of 250 hours of work for the seven- tier

wedding cake, 1.50 m in diameter and 2.50 metres high.

The staff Alain Ducasse and Monte-Carlo SBM

In the kitchen, Alain Ducasse will be assisted by Franck Cerutti Executive chef of the Hôtel de Paris and Bruno Caironi, consulting chef. Both where part of the opening team of Le Louis XV in 1987.” (Office of Tourism, Monaco)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

The Casino de Monte-Carlo

The Casino de Monte-Carlo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Plan an Iconic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Vino con Vista Party at Your House

Kendall-Jackson California Meritage 2004: Cabe...

Kendall-Jackson California Meritage 2004: Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 34%, Cabernet Franc 1%, Sonoma County. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cabernet Sauvignon grape cluster, shown by DNA...

Cabernet Sauvignon grape cluster, shown by DNA studies to be a cross of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Wine Cellar at Hess Winery

The Wine Cellar at Hess Winery (Photo credit: Don J Schulte)

English: bottle of stag's leap cabernet sauvig...

English: bottle of stag’s leap cabernet sauvignon Français : bouteille de cabernet sauvgnon stag’s leap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes growing in the viney...

Let’s throw an iconic  Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Party. Invite your generous friends and have them pick a bottle of Cabernet wine from the list provided.

Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa...
Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Heitz Cellars Cab from Napa
Heitz Cellars Cab from Napa

Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley, California...

Filet Sliders

Far Niente from Napa

Far Niente from Napa

Corison from Napa

Corison from Napa

Napa Cellars Winery

Napa Cellars Winery (Photo credit: Jason DeRusha)

Cabernet grapes growing in the vineyards of th...

Cabernet grapes growing in the vineyards of the Napa Valley winery of Opus One. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dehydrated Cabernet Sauvignon grapes left on t...

Dehydrated Cabernet Sauvignon grapes left on the vine in mid-November at Sterling Vineyards in the California wine region of Napa Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)








Cabernet Sauvignon grapes gained prominence in Bordeaux wines where they are often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Cabernet Sauvignon vines growing in Bordeaux.

Cabernet Sauvignon vines growing in Bordeaux. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have included some iconic bottles of Napa Cabs that will make all the wine snobs swoon!

You can’t throw a Napa Fest without plenty of flowers. If your party is held in the late summer, you can get some sunflowers and cut the stems short and place them in a clear vase on all your tables. Your friends will be so impressed! I also have some grape lights that I use on my Christmas tree; if you can find some use them to decorate your dining space.



Here’s what we are serving:

Make your antipasto on a wooden cutting board. Make sure you have plenty of imported Prosciutto de Parma sliced paper thin, Genoa salami and soppressata. Get a large chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and place it on the cutting board. Slice some fresh, crusty Italian bread and offer plenty of colorful imported olives on the side. Add some dried fruit like dates and apricots on the tray with some walnuts and almonds.

Parmigiano reggiano piece.jpg

Grab some Silver Oaks Cab, Nickel & Nickel and Rubicon too!!

A bottle and remnants of a 1994 Silver Oak Cab...

A bottle and remnants of a 1994 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Napa Valley California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cellar at Rubicon

Cellar at Rubicon (Photo credit: K. Todd Storch)



When  your friends what to bring some wine, create a checklist and have them sign up. This will provide a wide array of Cabs that pair nicely with the menu.

They can also bring some Champagne, Franciacorta or Prosecco for toasting before dinner.

Nickel & Nickel Napa Valley Cab

It’s fun to display the wine on a barrell if you can find one. Start your festivities with a champagne toast.

Display your wine on a Barrel if you can find one

Display your wine on a Barrel if you can find one

English: Fall in Napa Valley

English: Fall in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think your wine buddies will open up their wine cellars and pull out a few iconic bottles of wine for the party.

Here are some of the other Cult Cabs that your friends may have in their wine cellar:

Screaming Eagle, Colgin Cellars,

Bond from the Harley Estate, Maya from Dalla Valle Vineyards, Kapcsandy Cabernet.

Opus One Winery makes a Bordeaux-style blend based upon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery is located in Oakville California. It was founded as a 1980 as a joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothchild and Robert Mondavi.

Exterior of the Napa Valley winery Opus One fo...

Exterior of the Napa Valley winery Opus One founded by Mondavi and Rothschild of Bordeaux. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Château Mouton d'Armailhacq Philippe de Rothsc...

To-Kalon vinyard at the Robert Mondavi winery

To-Kalon vinyard at the Robert Mondavi winery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can get some Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cab from the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. In 1987, the original winery established by Warren Winiarski was sold to Chateax St. Michelle of Woodinville, Washington and Marchesi Antinori of Italy for $185 million.

Elivette Cab from Napa

Elivette Cab from Napa

Opus One from Napa

Opus One from Napa

Bottles of the California wine Stag's Leap Win...

Get some Chateau Montelena as well. I love the old-world charm of their winery in Calistoga California!

Chateau Montelena in Calistoga

Napa Valley

Napa Valley (Photo credit: Sarah_Ackerman)

If some of your friends don’t like red wine, prepare plenty of Margaritas with Gran Marnier or whip up some glorious French Martinis. Don’t forget the cherries!

Then cut up a bunch of ripe delicious fruit and stack it artistically on a pretty platter. Use pinapples, honeydew, cantalope, strawberries and crown the platter with bunches of red grapes.

Fruit Platter

Fruit Platter

Now it’ time for some grilled vegetables. Grill zucchini, eggplant, red onions, red and yellow peppers and smother them with a layer of portobello mushrooms. Everyone will love it!Grilled Vegetables

Then place some big juicy chilled shrimp on an iced  platter with some lemon wedges.



Next, grill some medium rare fillet mignon that was marinated overnight in olive oil, garlic, rosemary and cabernet sauvignon.

Grilled Filet Mignon

Grilled Filet Mignon

Slice the meet up and make some Filet Sliders. Don’t forget the Bernaise Sauce.Filet Sliders

Now it’s time for dessert. Make or buy colorful mini-cupcakes and stack them on a three-tiered tray.

On you computer, play videos of harvest from the Napa Valley vineyards at www.napavintners.com/harvest.

Everyone can

Bottles of the California wine Stag's Leap Win...

Bottles of the California wine Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars from Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

order tickets for Flavor Napa Valley that is held annually in November.

I love Napa Valley

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com


Cupcakes on a stand

California Cabernet from Napa Valley including...

California Cabernet from Napa Valley including Chateau Montelena, Nickel & Nickel & Paul Hobbes in stemless Reidel glasses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cheers and Bon Appetit!



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A Night on the Red Carpet 2014 at Morton’s in Rosemont

Cabernet Sauvignon grape cluster, shown by DNA...

Cabernet Sauvignon grape cluster, shown by DNA studies to be a cross of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oscar Night (#0167)

Oscar Night (#0167) (Photo credit: regan76)

Join Morton’s in Rosemont as they toast the best of Hollywood.  Watch the award show live on their 9-foot screen while enjoying Morton’s signature cuisine paired with Award Winning Wine and Best Supporting Spirits.

WHEN: Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cooked Morton's of Omaha Steakhouse Classic Tr...

Cooked Morton’s of Omaha Steakhouse Classic Tri Tip beef bottom sirloin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


$75 per guest Inclusive of tax and gratuity

Red carpet photo will be taken upon arrival. Cocktail attire suggested.

Menu for the Evening

Hors d’Oeuvres

Roma Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil, Crostini

Crab, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Crostini



Mixed Field Greens Salad, Dijon Vinaigrette, Blue Cheese, Sliced Apples and Walnuts


Tenderloin Medallions al Forno, Parmesan Crusted, Garlic Butter and Fettuccini Alfredo

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Mustard Mayonnaise

Chicken Christopher, Garlic Beurre Blanc Sauce


Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Sautéed Broccoli Florets, Parmesan, Toasted Breadcrumbs and Lemon


Key Lime Tarts

Double Chocolate Mousse

-Best Supporting Spirits-

Prediction Punch

Motion Picture Mojito

Three Olives Red Carpet Cosmo

-Award Winning Wine-

Canyon Road Cabernet Sauvignon

Canyon Road Pinot Grigio

 For more information, please contact Jill Koss at 847-678-5155 or mtrmcsm@ldry.com.

                            Have questions about A Night on the Red Carpet – Rosemont?
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Italian Buglioni Wine Dinner at Francesca’s Amici in Elmhurst Illinois

Giuseppe Garibaldi - Portrait of an Italian Pa...Attend the Buglioni Wine Dinner at Francesca’s Amici. This event features Italian wines from the Buglioni Vineyards.

Francesca's Restaurants

Where: Francesca’s Amici
174 N. York Rd., Elmhurst, IL 60126; 630-279-7970
When: February 23, 2012
Cost: Tickets are $58 per person, excluding tax and gratuity & Reservations are required.
A Vineyard in the Italian wine region of Valpo...

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s the Menu:
1. The evening begins with Crostini con Fegatini di Pollo  con Ricotta e Pomodorini, crostini with chicken liver pate or with ricotta and sweet tomatoes. This is paired with “Il Vigliacco” Brut Rose.
2. Following this is Gamberoni con Cannellini al Rosmarino, jumbo shrimp with cannellini beans and rosemary topped with arugula, paired with “Il Intruso” Bianco Veronese.
3. The next course features Pappardelle con Funghi Selvatici e Polletto, handmade pappardelle with wild mushrooms ragu and charred chicken breast with Parmigiano. The Valpolicella Classico wine pairs perfectly with this course.
4. Next is Costine di Bue Agli Aromi con Polenta Bianca, braised short ribs with herbs, au jus and creamy white polenta paired with “Il Bugiardo” Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso DOC.
A bottle of the Italian wine Amarone della Val...

Image via Wikipedia

5. The dinner ends with Degustazione di Formaggi con Frutta, a cheese tasting with fruit, nuts, sweet gorgonzola and pecorino grand cru. “L’Amarone” Amarone della Valpolicella is paired with this course.

Buon Appetito! This sounds like a great event.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com
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Gioco Restaurant in Chicago Celebrates the International Day of Italian Cuisine 2012

Chefs from over 40 countries will take part in the celebration of the 5th annual International Day of Italian cuisine on the January 17th by preparing ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese. Ossobuco which originated in Milan, a Region of Lombardia, means hollow bone and is prepared using a succulent veal shank.

The IDIC – International Day of Italian Cuisine is a “unique opportunity to reward solemnly distinguished professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of the Italian food and wine culture around the world and honors worthy chefs with  a Certificate of Appreciation for their exceptional commitment to authentic and quality Italian Cuisine.”

Ossobuco is one of the most copied Italian dishes worldwide. The goal of the International Day of Italian Cuisine is to preserve the traditional recipes and authentic ingredients of the most beloved Italian dishes.

English: Well braised ossobuco made by Veal sh...

Image via Wikipedia

Past celebrations of Italian Cuisine have focused on Trenette al pesto Genovese,

classic spaghetti carbonara

Image via Wikipedia

 Spaghetti alla carbonara

Risotto alla Milanese, a typical Milanese meal.

Image via Wikipedia

Risotto alla milanese

Here’s a picture of the fabulous Tagliatelle al ragù bolognese at Gioco in Chicago which has also been a featured traditional dish for the annual event.

Chef/Patron Gaetano Ascione of Gioco in Chicago prepares cuisine that is  “authentic, humble, simple and brutally loyalty to his Italian origin and roots.”

Join him for some fantastic Ossobuco this week until January 22nd for $31 in Chicago at 1312.S. Wabash. Gioco’s Chef Gaetano’s Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese is browned with onions and white wine, braised and served with a gremolata of parsley, garlic and lemon zest and served over Risotto Milanese. Watch this video to view Gioco http://youtu.be/_SDPCQ9hGL4

Try this authentic recipe:

By Mario Caramella
GVCI President

This recipe will probably raise some controversial comments, but in my opinion and experience, this is a recipe that respects tradition, gives a clear direction to non-Italian colleagues and allows anybody in any part of the world to be able to produce a great ossobuco in gremolata.

A few recommendations before the recipe:

  • Ossobuco can be served with classic risotto alla milanese or with a simple risotto with grana cheese (Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano) can also be a good. Mashed potatoes or polenta are also valid alternatives.
  • Ossobuco can’t be reheated; it is one of those dishes that should be cooked and served.
  • Do not use demi-glace or obsolete beef juice, if you do so it means you really do not understand what ossobuco is about.
  • Do not serve overcooked spaghetti with it as we have seen in many 5-star hotels around the world, and write its name properly.
  • Not ossibucco or osobbucco or osso bucco; once and for all, the the name is ossobuco! Two s, one c! OK?

Recipe (serves: 2)

For the Ossobuco

  • 4 hind veal shank cut 4 to 5 cm thick and 9 to 10 cm large
  • 100 g celery brunoise
  • 100 g carrot brunoise
  • 100 g onion chopped
  • 200 g butter
  • 800 ml veal broth
  • 300 ml white wine
  • 120 g Prosciutto di Parma PDO (Parma ham) with fat, cut diced
  • 200 g tomato, peeled, chopped
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the Gremolata

  • 3 g lemon rinds, cut brunoise
  • 6 g sprigs parsley, Italian, chopped
  • 3 g cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and white pepper


  1. Place half of the oil and butter in a casserole and heat over medium flame, season the veal and place in the hot casserole, brown for 5 minutes per side till they are nicely seared and golden brown.
  2. Remove the veal and set aside.
  3. Pour off the excessive fat, add the rest of the butter and the olive oil in the same casserole and add the carrots, the Parma ham, the celery and the onion.
  4. Sauté at low heat until they are wilted.
  5. Turn up the heat.
  6. Add the wine and reduce till almost evaporated.
  7. Add the tomato and the veal broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Carefully arrange the veal in the casserole and spoon some of the vegetables and broth over it, the liquid should cover the surface of the veal, if not, add some more broth.
  9. The casserole should contain the veal just right, however make sure your casserole is not too big or you will end up with to much sauce in the casserole, cxl- the right size brings the liquid cxl with the veal to a boil.
  10. Cover the casserole with foil and place in a pre-heated oven at 180° Celsius, continue cooking for 2 hours.
  11. Remove the foil for the last 30 minute so the surface of the veal will caramelize nicely.
  12. In the meantime prepare the gremolata by mixing the lemon skin brunoise with the chopped parsley and garlic.
  13. At this point the veal will be tender enough that you can eat it with the fork, and the marrow, well-cooked, will develop its characteristic unctuous texture and incomparable flavor.
  14. To serve, remove the veal from the casserole and place it in a hot bowl.
  15. Remove the excessive oil from the sauce, add some veal broth if needed, bring to a boil, adjust the flavor and spoon it over the veal.
  16. Sprinkle the gremolata on top and serve immediately.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Filed under International Day of Italian Cuisine 2012, Italian Food and Wine, Italy Travel Guides

Ten Reasons to Visit Emilia-Romagna

The Sign at the border of Parma and Piacenza, ...
Image via Wikipedia


The prosperous area of Emilia-Romagna is located between the shores of the Adriatic Sea and Liguria. It stretches from the banks of the Po River to the hills of the Apennine Mountains that diverge toward the Adriatic Coast.  It is composed of nine provinces in two districts. The regional capital is Bologna.
Emilia is west of Bologna and has a cuisine based upon pork and animal fat with sweeping plains and orchards. Romagna is east of Bologna and extends along the Adriatic Coast. It celebrates a cuisine linked to sheep farming and olive oil.
There are many interesting attractions in this region:

1. The towns of Modena, Ferrara and Ravenna have inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

2. Romanesque Lombardian style cathedrals can be found in Modena and Piacenza. Baroque architectural jewels can be found Parma. Parma’s Baptistery is extraordinary.

3. The old salt fields of Cervia are inhabited by pink flamingos.

4. Bologna has the oldest university in Europe. Every January “Arte Fiera” the International Contemporary Art Fair is held at the Bologna Exhibition Center www.artefiera.bolognafiere.it.

5. Rimini has a Roman Amphitheater built during the reign of Hadrian and an Augustan Arch built in 23BC. Visit the Castello Sismondo before March 27th to see the art exhibition “The Marvelous Years of Impressionism” wth 100 works from international museums including Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne and Gauguin. You can also see Caravaggio’s first religious painting “The Ecstacy of St. Francis”

6. This region is the birthplace of Ferrari cars and Ducati motorcycles; both offer viable options for touring Italy.

7. Ravenna was the capital of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th and 6th century and was an ancient link between the Roman and Byzantine worlds.

8. The last weekend in May, attend the “Palio di Ferrara” www.paliodiferrara.it

9.  The agricultural landscape on the Po Plain is considered the “fruit bowl” of Italy. The area has legendary culinary expertise that incorporates chestnuts, truffles, cheese and  pork into mouth-watering regional cuisine.  Parma ham, prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese make this area a haven for foodies; a gourmet pilgrimage. Tortellini is the regional specialty. Ernest Hemmingway mentioned in “Across the River and into the Trees” that Bologna is the only city where you can eat wonderfully well.

10. There are 11 “Food and Wine Routes” throughout the region. The gentle slope of the mountains, create an ideal environment for Sangiovese and Lambusco wines. Try the local white wines: Albana di Romagna (DOCG) and Trebbiano di Romagna (DOC) pair nicely with fish dishes. Lambrusco di Sorbara (DOC) is a sparkling red or rose wine produced in sweet and dry versions. Sangiovese di Romagna (DOC) is a nice red wine. Castell’Arquato Nocino is an interesting walnut liqueur and Laurino is a liqueur made from bay leaves.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides to Italy and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.

Learn about Italy @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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