Now through October 14, Il Fornaio explores the Tuscan region of Italy with a flavorful Festa Regionale menu featuring the dishes of this most famous region recognized for its wine as well as its cuisine. Chef-Partner Vicente Mendoza, who pursues his passion for authentic Italian cooking at Il Forniao's Manhattan Beach restaurant, created this special menu based on his tour of Toscana with Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon.
“I truly enjoyed working closely with Maurizio on this menu – particularly the seafood and pasta dishes which were inspired by meals we enjoyed while traveling together across Toscana. The Insalata di Farro e Fave is a tribute to his favorite place in Toscana, the city of Florence...the salad has a little of everything in it and represents what cuisine in Firenze is all about.”
I always look forward to the beginning of each month, when the new Festa Regionale menu is unveiled. This week, we dined on the patio during sunset and enjoyed a leisurely wine pairing dinner prepared by Chef Giorgio and his culinary team.
Our first course, a rustic Italian bread and tomato salad called Panzanella, showcases the last hurrah of the season's heirloom tomatoes, with cubes of bread, cucumber, red onion, celery and fresh basil, tossed with red wine vinegar and Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil. The Panzanella was paired with Vermentino, Poggio al Tesoro Solosole 2011, a vibrant, medium-bodied dry white with zesty acidity and enticing aromas and flavors of peach, apricot and ripe melon.
Two additional first course options are Pancotto alla Contadina, Tuscan kale soup with cannellini beans and toasted ciabatta bread, or Insalata di Farro e Fave, a fava bean and farro salad with asparagus, baby arugula, Belgian endive, yellow pear tomatoes and lemon-olive oil vinaigrette, topped with boschetto tartufato cheese.
|Mezzelune Cacio e Pere|
|Pollo al Mattone alla Diavola|
|Meringata alla Fiorentina|
|The view from Il Fornaio, Coronado|
Fine Cooking's recipe for Tuscan Grilled Chicken under a Brick
Los Angeles Times recipe for Meringata alla Fiorentina
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