The most interesting fact about the island of Sardinia is that it boasts the largest number of centenarians per capita than any other place on Earth. Their consumption of clean, simple “peasant food,” together with red wine rich in antioxidants and polyphenols just may be the reason for their longevity. Our Sardinian menu highlights the mainstays of their Mediterranean diet – legumes, vegetables, olive oil, pasta, cheese and seafood. Those together with, Cannonau, a red wine made from grapes indigenous to the island could be the key to living a long and healthy life.
Pala i Fiori Cannonau 2018, Sardinia. Cannonau has been growing in Sardinia since the Neolithic period and is one of the most widely planted varietals on the island. Recent studies indicate that Cannonau, a varietal rich in phenols, is the wine to drink for longevity. This is supported by the fact that Sardinia has one of the world's largest populations of centenarians. Originally called Triente, Pala's Cannonau has been renamed i Fiori (the flowers) in honor of Sardinia's biodiversity. The flower on the label is an endemic plant of the island. After temperature-controlled fermentation, the wine spends 8 months in stainless steel and concrete tanks and then rests for 2-3 months in bottle before release. It is classified as an...
Emilia-Romagna: Heartland of Ingredients. Think of your favorite Italian ingredients…pasta, olive oil, parmesan, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, and cured meats. These are the cornerstones of Italian cuisine and they are what make Emilia-Romagna one of the most important gastronomic regions of Italy. Italians have an innate sense of place. Land is of upmost importance as the source of ingredients for their century’s old recipes. It is the root of their heritage and their cuisine – an expression of local values. This week’s menu showcases these mainstays and more of Italian regional cooking and brings me back to some fun memories as a young American roughing it in the Italian Apennines.
Albana di Romagna "Neblina" Bianco Giovanna Madonia, 2018. The wine is medium bodied, fresh and lively. Flavors of stone fruits and melon mix with white flowers. This is a textbook example of Albana, if you have never had one you may have a new favorite summer go-to.
Just like in the film "Big Night," the Ricchi's had the opportunity to serve a dinner that would forever change the trajectory of their lives. Only after a month of opening their Tuscan restaurant, newly inaugurated President George Herbert Walker Bush came to dinner, creating a media buzz that would firmly establish them as Washington's newest authentic Italian restaurant. This week's menu highlights i Ricchi dishes that were relatively unknown when they opened in 1989 but which have become customer favorites.