Edward: Recently we had the pleasure of attending a special wine tasting dinner at Torinos, hosted by Nicola Biscardo, a wine seller, educator and sommelier, and featuring four courses paired with wines selected by Biscardo. It was…PRETTY NICE.
First course: Croquettes of bacalao with tapenade crostini. I hadn’t eaten bacalao before so I was looking forward to this. Delicious! Salty and a little crispy. Another new thing to me was the garnish of crispy olives — delicious! Have I said “delicious!” enough times already? No! Delicious!
This was paired with a Pinot Grigio from Principe dei Conti — I’m not a wine guy (though I do like my wine) so I’m not even going to attempt any tasting notes on these — that was surprisingly dry compared to other Pinot Grigios I’ve had. Nice!
Second course: Halibut cheeks with a mushroom and guanciale fricasee. This was an evening of new flavors for me. In this case, halibut cheeks, which had a firm consistency almost like scallops. H and I decided that from now on we will only eat the cheeks of fish. Paired with this course was a very soft, smooth Vescovado Chianti.
Third course: Lamb and Perugina sausage spiedini (skewer) with rosemary, roasted garlic and polenta, paired with the Tenuta Curezza Prine Rosso, a very full, intense red. Our lamb and sausage, unfortunately, were a trifle underdone, but still tasted terrific. The polenta was terrific, but for me the hidden star of the dish was a parsnip puree that had incredible depth of flavor. Whatever Chef Maxime did to this, it was pretty amazing. I have no idea how a parsnip puree should end up being my favorite thing of the night, but I was very happy.
I could have happily gone on to do another four courses, but all good things must come to an end. We finished off with a delicious pistachio square with a little Crème Anglaise on the side, paired with a refreshing Carra Pulcinella Prosecco — the perfect finish to a great evening.
This is the first special dinner Torinos has put on, and despite a couple of minor bumps, from where we sat it looked like it went really well. Once the wine started flowing, everyone seemed to have a great time. Nicola was an engaging, funny and articulate speaker, and H and I enjoyed his banter. Daniela promises more events like this in the future — we can’t wait!