“Benvenuto!” What an Italian welcome the GreatNews.Life team received at Fiddlehead as they gathered to feast at the Italian Wine Dinner. Each month, the creative crew at Fiddlehead hosts an international dinner full of region-specific fare, paired with tasty drinks. Last month’s Polish Vodka Dinner was a smash, and tonight’s Italian Wine Dinner was yet another huge success. Next month: Irish food and whiskey!
“It’s not often that I get a wonderful meal with great customer service as well! Our servers were professional and friendly and I felt right at home. The food was also so amazing, I want to come to the next event, and the next one… ” said Naphtalia Ruth, Executive Assistant at GreatNews.Life.
The meal started with a delicious antipasto of goat cheese stuffed peppadew peppers, meat and cheese pairings, olives, and tomato bruschetta, all paired with a Pallvancini Frascati wine. It was a bang of a start.
“The antipasto course was fresh and helped introduce the quality of food that would be coming up later. The bruschetta, however, was my favorite. I love tomatoes and the fact that they were so fresh reminded me of summer! The wine paired perfectly with everything,” said Sarah DeMars, Graphic Designer at GreatNews.Life.
Next came the Insalata - a feast for the eyes and stomach with a tasty mixed-greens salad with Panzanella-heirloom tomatoes and cubed ciabatta croutons, tossed in extra virgin olive oil with shallots, garlic, fresh basil, and Italian vinaigrette. The course was expertly paired with Allegrini Valpolicella, a red wine that bursts with flavor.
“I loved the paring for the Insalata. The Valpolicella went well with the tang of the vinaigrette dressing. I am not usually a wine lover; however, I would definitely order this for a light dinner option. All the vegetables in the salad were crisp and refreshing with this pairing,” said Stephanie Swearington, Director of Operations & HR for GreatNews.Life
By the Primo course, the team was warmed up to tackle the pasta carbonara, an al-dente linguine in creamy egg sauce with crispy pancetta, fresh peas, fresh parmesan, and parsley - all perfectly paired with a Periopan Soave wine that enhanced the freshness of the pasta.
“The creamy egg sauce immediately made my taste buds go into a frenzy. The silky smooth sauce against the crispy pancetta filtered within was a genius combination, giving the dish the best of both worlds,” said Jula Demma, Contributing Editor. “The Peropen Soave cut right through the saltiness of the dish and cleaned my palate for another bite.”
Taking center stage was a delicious offering of Beef Braciole, a thinly pounded steak roulade covered in prosciutto, breadcrumbs, parmesan, pecorino, and romano cheese, fresh herbs and spices, all braised in a vegetable tomato sauce. With backup from the creamy polenta and roasted vegetable side dishes, the second course had us savoring new delights. The Caviola Barolo paired with the dishes
“This course was everything our facilitators promised it would be. It was decadent and rich—and the wine! Oh my. It was a little mean, which I liked,” said Kayla Belec, Contributing Editor. “The Barolo is not for the faint of heart! But I loved it, and it paired so well with the beef braciole.”
It was Belec’s first time trying polenta, and while the texture surprised her, she was impressed by how delicious it tasted with the meat and vegetables.
“Let it be known that I was also nearly comatose from fullness at this point, but still couldn’t get over those flavors,” she said.
The dolce (dessert) came as a heavenly poached pear tart with fresh figs and honey-mascarpone cream, sprinkled with toasted almonds. It was the perfect way to end the sumptuous meal. The refreshing Risata Moscato d’Asti capped the entire experience off perfectly.
“The pear and fig tart was the best dish all night. The pastry was light and fluffy and melted in your mouth and the mascarpone cream brought it to a new level,” said Kami Tupiak, Administrative Assistant. “The Krista Moscato d'Asti matched perfectly and brought the sweetness levels together and left me wanting more.”
Aaron O’Reilly and the chefs at Fiddlehead upped their game with the Italian international dinner. The atmosphere was cozy, making it easy to mingle over the flowing wine (provided by Johnson Brothers and Carroll Wine & Spirits) Magnifico!
“These monthly dinners are amazing! I am so excited to attend another and to see what ethnicity will be celebrated each month,” said Jenny Craig Brown, Executive Team Leader at GreatNews.Life. “The overall experience was incredible and the entire team had so much fun. We had a huge five-course meal that Chef and Proprietor Aaron introduced and then the wine that was paired perfectly for each course. I will be back and would suggest everyone else try one, too!”Fiddlehead will continue it’s decadent International meal series monthly and the public is welcome to attend. March’s event will be an Irish Whiskey Dinner on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). Follow Fiddlehead on Facebook for alerts and information on how to purchase a ticket.