Bacchus bit Jonathan Mitchell, Locanda del Lago’s general manager and wine director, yesterday at Vino California’s grand tasting. He exclaimed, “I’ve always liked and appreciated Italian wines, but today I really GOT it–Italian wine epiphany day for JM!” It’s no wonder; there was an abbondanza of beautifully-crafted, pure expressions of regional terroir and indigenous grape varieties. Many of these gems of authenticity are not available in the US, making Vino California’s weeklong program a must for devotees of Italian wine.
Mitchell’s revelation is paying off for the rest of us with a spontaneous four-course pairing dinner tonight at Lago, featuring ten selections from legendary winemakers Marco Bonfante (Marco Bonfante Winery, Piedmont) and Luca Baccarelli (Cantina Roccafiore, Umbria). Lago’s executive chef, Gianfranco Muniz’ menu, shows his genius for traditional dishes with a modern edge.
7 p.m. at the bar featuring: Roccafiore “Bianco Fiordaliso”, 2011Blend of Grechetto di Todi and Trebbiano Spoletino
Crudo di Cocktail di Ippoglosso
Local Halibut Cocktail with JJ Lone Ranch Farm Avocado and Candied Citrus-Wine: Marco Bonfante Gavi di Gavi “I Ronchetti,” 2011 and Roero Arneis, 2011
Risotto con Piselli e Fave
Arborio Rice Simmered with Garden Peas and Fresh Fava Beans Mantecato-Wine: Marco Bonfante Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG “Stella Rossa,” 2008 and Roccafiore Rosso Melograno, 2010 Blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano
Merluzzo alla Livornese
Pan-Roasted Black Cod, Olive-Caper-Tomato Sauce, Sweet-n-Sour Cipolline Onions-Wine: Marco Bonfante Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG “Bricco Bonfante,” 2009 and Roccafiore Rosso Roccafiore, 2009 100% Sangiovese
Cervo al Balsamico
Butter-Cooked New Zealand Venison Loin, Cannelini Beans, Fresh Farmers Market Herbs, Roasted Polenta, Balsamic Reduction Sauce-Wine: Marco Bonfante Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC, 2009, Alba Rossa DOC “Albarone,” 2009 and Roccafiore “Prova d’autore”, 2009 Blend of Sagrantino, Montepulciano, and Sangiovese
Trio di Dolci: Panna Cotta/Strawberry Sauce, Cannoli/Candied Orange/Sweet Cream and “Vulcano” Molten Cake with Caramelized Bananas
Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m.
$60.00 per person
Locanda del Lago, 231 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 Call for reservations: (310) 451-3525