Our dear friends invited us to DINO's GROTTO in Shaw Saturday night and boy what a treat it was for the dozen or so of us all.
Tavernello Prosecco was poured on arrival and we settled in to a variety of starters that everyone gobbled up:
Vadouvin Deviled Eggs which I have written about so many times and are indeed the best around.
Frito Misto di Mare of rock shrimp, bay scallops, calamari and hake
Sweet Potato Croquettes were a special made with pear, ginger, parmigiano, chive, panko and egg and served with a drizzle of Tuscan sweet and sour sauce--we couldn't help feel this was an homage to the Lunar New Year.
Of course Sam had his Meatballs of Veal/Pork/Ricotta/Panko/Egg in a spicy tomato sauce.
Our first wine was a superb Etna Bianca DOC by Vulka 2015 which was followed by an amazing second wine from Sicily: Calabretta "Vigne Vecchie" 2006 from Nerello Mascalese.
Pasta is a requirement and we all adored the Canneloni di Vittelone or rich cannelloni stuffed with Randall Lineback Veal, Leeks, Shallots, Onion, Chive & white wine in a Fonduta with 24 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano.
The Duck Bolognese Lasagne was also masterful with its amazing Silk Road Spices also lending another Asian flair.
Sam decided more pasta was needed and his main course of Pappardelle with Wild Boar was gone fast while many of us decided to share or keep ight with sides:
Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onion, Walnuts & Aged Balsamico are a winner for us anytime, but raves were going on for the Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana.
Wild Boar Chops were superb which were grilled and served with a Tuscan Mole(red wine/much garlic/dried fruit) and some more of those Sweet Potato Croquettes.
At this point our host opened up a couple of bottles of Jefferson 1998 Meritage which we had purchased on a trip almost 15 years ago together to wine country in Charlottesville! It was smooth, silky and delicious and most importantly
brought back wonderful memories.
It was a crazy and fun night full of good food and friends and Andrew, the uber mixologist/bartender even showed up much later with "Pussy Power"s for us all which it needs to be explained is a blackberry, lime and gin drink that goes down like lemonade...oh well, really limeade. YUMMY and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Happy Lunar New Year too!