The spread was both generous and delicious. There was pecorino, Parmesan, blue cheese, prosciutto from two different regions, speck paired with figs and truffled honey, olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, breads and crackers. Seth, a North Lamar store wine expert, served various wines from Italy. We tried the Riondo Prosecco and Ormanni Chianti. Both were easy drinking and paired nicely with the food. Seth told us to be on the lookout for the arrival of the Bellenda Prosecco during the event.
There were a variety of prepared foods, some even being cooked on the spot. We enjoyed the Goat Cheese Tortellini with Beets, Greens and Caramelized Onions, as well as the sample of locally made Bola Pizza. The Swordfish with Walnut Pesto was another favorite. Dessert items included mini cannoli, profiteroles with gelato and baci de dama. So good! Before we departed, we had to try the Dogfish Head beer, My Antonia. Though it is technically made in America, the name gives it an Italian flair (with a nod to Willa Cather). It is a citrusy, sweet and refined lager that is said to pair well with lasagna.
We loved the grilled artichoke hearts from Castellino and the lemon pepper pasta we found in our goody bags. Both are on our shopping lists. At Passaporto Italia, there will be visiting chefs (Rolando Beramendi and Julian Barsotti at N. Lamar), winemakers (Luca Bosio at the N. Lamar location, Umberto Cosmo at the Westgate location and Fabrizio Fichera at both locations), events for the kids and cooking demos (check the store calendars for all the details). Be sure to visit the Westgate and North Lamar stores and enter a sweepstakes contest for a chance to win a 2014 Fiat 500 vehicle, a Vespa LX150, two round trip airline tickets to Italy or a handcrafted gift basket. Buon appetito! (Cathy)