For a Monday night, last night was way too much fun! We laughed, we cheered, we sang, we sipped some amazing Italian wines, and most importantly, we ate some delicious food!
I attended a 6-course Italian wine paired dinner at Rizzutos in Stamford! It was a brought to us by the innovative folks at CTbites. Of all the CTbites events I have been to, this was by far the most fun. The credit goes to CTbites, the wonderful team behind Rizzutos and specifically Bill Rizzuto and his enthusiastic generosity.
This thoughtfully planned evening took us on culinary journey through Italy. We sampled wines from different regions and got to try some very innovative dishes paired and prepared by executive chef Tony Camilleri. For a wonderful, playful twist to the evening, diners were asked wine trivia and the winners got really special bottles of wine to take home as their prizes. The atmosphere was so charged with excitement that at one point Volare was started up on Karaoke machine and people started singing along! It was truly like a dinner and a show.
Rizzutos is known for its authentic Italian fare with a twist of contemporary. I walked in there, expecting pizza and pastas. But last night’s dinner took me by a complete surprise. It was a wonderful and well orchestrated contemporary showcase of the chef Camilleri’s craft.
As we walked in we were greeted with glass of wine and Rizzuto’s signature antipasti reception. BTW this is not even counted as one of the 6 courses!
Our first plated course was Yellow Fin Tuna Crudo with Fennel Pollen, Red Shallot Agrodolce, Micro Basil and EVOO Meyer Lemon Citronette. It was paired with Saladini Pilastri Pecorini wine from the Marche region. I loved what the sweetness of shallots paired with the tang of the Lemon Citronette did to complement the Tuna.
Second course was my absolute favorite. It was pure finesse on a plate. An Asparagus Panna Cotta with Crispy Langostino, Black Truffle Vinaigrette, and Picked Honey Mushrooms. Mmm…. The Panna Cotta was ever so delicate in texture and lightly sweet in flavor. It was really smooth on the palate, and the crsipy langostino (meat of squat lobster) added the perfect crunch and salty flavor to it. This dish was paired with Donnachiara Fiano di Avellino wine from Campania region.
The third course was Artichoke Confit Ravioli with 24-hour Braised Lamb, Mint, English Peas and Oven Roasted Tomatoes. The Lamb was amazing! It was deeply flavorful and I could not get enough of it. It was paired with Vasari “Old Vine” Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo wine.from the Abruzzi region of Italy.
For our fourth course, we had Grilled Veal Sirloin with Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Roman Gnocchi Braised Cavro Nero And Rosemary Fig Jus. It was paired with Tenuta Renieri Chainti Classico wine from Florence region.
Another of my favorite things about last evening was that we had 2 dessert courses. YESSSS!!!!
First we had this delicate, Campari and Blood Orange Sorbet with Burnt Orange Biscotti, Raspberry Confit and Pop Rocks. Paired with Franco Amoroso Moscato d’ Asti wine from Piemonte region, this pair was the perfect palate cleanser. It got us prepared for the last course, a Chocolate Goat Cheese Cake with Pistachio Brittle and Cocoa Granite. Paired with Donnachiara Sparkling Falanghina Brut from Campania, this was an excellent finish to the meal. I love how the goat cheese added a subtle tartness to this gently sweetened dessert. It was a very creative and unique finish to a wonderful evening.
The one question on every diner’s lips was, can we order these dishes from Rizzutos menu. Bill Rizzuto told us that these dishes are not on the menu. So those of you who missed last night’s dinner – all I can say is – too bad for you.
Rizzutos is conveniently located in Stamford, Westport, Bethel and West Hartford.
Visit http://www.rizzutos.com/stamford/ for further information and addresses.