Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"Authentic Italian Food" Restaurant Promotion

Authentic Italian Food Restaurant Promotion

Last week, I was invited by Monique Ianos from Bread and Butter PR to attend a luncheon that was going to feature dishes that were going to be part of special pre fixe menus from six of LA's top Italian restaurants. The restaurants were hand picked by The Italian Trade Commission and Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West based on a series of parameters including quality and authenticity of Italian products used in the kitchen, the presence of Italian chefs and sommeliers, and the presentation of an Italian-centric wine list. It's their way of teaching Angelenos to "Learn to Speak Italian, One Bite a Time."

Our luncheon started with an introduction by the Italy-American Chamber of Commerce West Executive Director, Letizia Miccoli and than a welcome from the Consul General of Italy, Nicola Fagnello. Following soon after, Chef/Owner of Il Grano, Sal Marino presented our first course, which was a refreshingly light Fava Panacotta with Dungeness crab, English peas and Sacramento Delta asparagus. This is my first time having a savory pana cotta and I hope it's not my last.

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Authentic Italian Food Restaurant Promotion

Our second course was presented by Caffe Roma Manager Emilio Marchione and it was Grilled Octopus with Fingerling Potatoes, which was presented beautifully in a radicchio leaf and the tentacle curling down towards the plate added even more of a wow factor.

Authentic Italian Food Restaurant Promotion

Chef/Owner of Drago, Celestino Drago, came out to talk about this Homemade Pasta, made just the night before, with Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant and Pecorino cheese. The whole dish was absolutely delicious, but the one thing that surprised me was the fried eggplant skins that topped the pasta. Both light and crispy, I definitely would like to see (and eat) more of that in the near future.

Authentic Italian Food Restaurant Promotion

Our fourth course and my favorite of the entire lunch was presented by Locanda del Lago Owner, West Hooker and it was their Gorgonzola “Dolce Latte” Risotto with Market Red and Gold Beets. For those of you know me personally, you know that I love beets, but of course, it also has to be prepared well. This beet risotto totally blew me away. I could have easily eaten two bowls of it.

Authentic Italian Food Restaurant Promotion

Next up was Il Moro Chef Gianfranco Minuz who came out to talk about his Filet of Lamb Rolled with Spinach, Baked Tomatoes and Olives, Pan Roasted and Served with a Potato Cake and Rapini. Is it strange to say that I found the potato cake addicting? The surface had a light crispness to it, while the potato itself was fluffy. It's interesting what we focus on when it comes to our food sometimes.

Authentic Italian Food Restaurant Promotion

The ending of our meal came from Valentino Owner Piero Selvaggio and it was dessert, a Sicilian Ricotta Cassata with Prickly Pear Sorbet. What a lovely way to end the meal. The cassata was light and moist and the sorbet had a lovely refreshing tang to it.

Authentic Italian Food Restaurant Promotion

This particular promotion is running from June 5 to June 20 and will include lunch and/or dinner menus. The lunch menus range from $25 to $28 and dinners from $38 to $49, not including tax and gratuity. Some of the restaurants are also offering optional wine pairings. Look below for the participating restaurants and links to their menus.

A big thanks to Food GPS for uploading the PDFs of all the menus.

Caffe Roma
350 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4700
(310) 274-7834
Caffe Roma's Menu

Drago Centro
2628 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403-4623
(310) 828-1585
Drago Centro's Menu

Il Grano
11363 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 477-7886
Il Grano's Menu

Il Moro
11400 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 575-3530
Il Moro's Menu

Locando del Lago
231 Arizona Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-3525
Locando del Lago's Menu

3115 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405-2005
(310) 829-4313
Valentino's Menu


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