Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wine & Dine at Russo's

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This months Wine & Dine event was held at Russo's in Naples. This is the old Pasta al Dente, same owner new name. Why is not for me to know.

There was a very large group in attendance tonight so we were split into 2 tables and we all sat outside. The evening was perfect. I was anxious to see if the food was the same.

I had attended another event in the afternoon so between the two I was having to pace myself with food and wine.

We started off with Focaccia Bread with sun dried olive oil and parmesan cheese. Only 1 small piece for me tonight. I could make a meal of this bread with a hunk of cheese.

Next was "Russo's Delight" - rock shrimp, avocado and a creamy cilantro pesto sauce on a toasted garlic baguette. Different and very good. It was large enough that it was debatable to pick up or cut it and eat with a fork. The dainty lady that I am choose to pick the entire thing up and down it in 4 bites. My new motto. "Why dirty a fork unnecessarily"

Then the famous mushrooms came. This dish had not changed since last year. Baked stuffed mushrooms with pieces of chicken, green onion, cream cheese and herbs , finished with a Romano cheese bread crumb gratinat.

Then appeared a tray of crepes - Palermo Crepes to be exact. Filled with bay and jumbo shrimp, roma tomatoes, goat cheese, green onions and pepperoncini and topped with a creamy Bechamel sauce.

At this point I am over stuffed so I decided that when the entrees came I would put them on my plate and then ask for a take home container. Usually when I get this full I will pass on the additional food. But then I realized I was paying the same as everyone else and was short changing myself. So a new outlook for me.

The entree's were Italian Sauteed Vegetables along with:

Ravenna Drive Gnocchi - Basil cheese gnocchi with roasted bell peppers and asparagus in a creamy roasted red pepper sauce.

Salmon Palermo - grilled salmon with a cilantro pesto sauce topped with feta.

Lamb chops - chops served with apricot and gorgonzola cheese.

Dessert was scoops of 3 different sherbets. A light ending to a very, very heavy meal. If you noticed almost everything had some sort of creamy sauce. This was a dinner that lended itself to white and rosato wines. Maybe a light red at the end because of the lamb.

I could not believe all the heavy red wines on the table. The did not pair with the food. There was no marinara type dishes, no ossobucos, no beef. So why all the heavy reds. These people are supposed to be "wine savy".

I brought a 2008 Clos Pepe Pinot Rose and a 2006 Huber Pinot Noir. I drank the rose and some white wines exclusively through dinner and drank the Pinot at the end. I did taste several other reds that were brought but is was after all the creamy sauces. I mean I am a "RED" wine drinker and prefer reds but sometimes they just do not lend themselves to the food and then you have to decide if you want a good food and wine pairing or are you just going to drink.

Tonight it looked like a bunch of drinkers.