Dinner In Italy With Michael Voltaggio and S.Pellegrino


Last week I spent a night in Italy surrounded by fresh flowers, produce stands with the most juicy fruits,  plates full of delicious food for dinner and a jazz band playing softly in the background.     I got to Italy by taking the L train a few stops.   

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Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the real Italy (one day!) but this was such a beautiful event that really made you feel like you were really there!

S. Pellegrino hosted a  dinner that was curated and prepared by Chef Michael Voltaggio.  Both floors and terrace of the space were transformed into a romantic getaway.   The sets were beautiful and done with such detail that I found myself rooting around in the fruits, flowers and tables almost as if I was traveling and discovering a new place.

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Alongside a parked Vespa, street lights and park benches people were able to sit down as if they were on the street.  There was even a man there dressed the part as a artist.  He asked to draw my portrait and I happily agreed.

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There was a full market full of fruits, breads and flowers.  They encouraged you to shop (for free!) so yes I did happen to leave that night with a baguette, cloves of onions and a few plums in my bag.  

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Hors D’oeuvres included:
Crispy Octopus, Chilled Sheets of Kelp Pasta, Fennel Salad, Aioli.
Dehydrated Carrots wrapped in Corned Beef Tongue,  topped with Frozen Horseradish Cream Cheese Frosting and Olive Crumbs.
Petite Scampi Tail Skewered on a Cinnamon Stick, Tempura Fried, Topped With a Lemon Pudding.
Cold Custard of White Bean Smothered With Smoked Trout Roe and Pickled Red Pear Onions.

There was a few others, including a delicious mini pizza which was my favorite.  My other favorite was the dehydrated carrots which I must learn to make because they were amazing!   To be fair I didn’t know there was going to be a full dinner a few minutes later or I wouldn’t have ate all these because it was quite a lot of testing… but I had to try them all… for you guys! 

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We then moved upstairs where there was a full size kitchen that the Chef was busily working in and a beautiful terrace that had lovely floral decorated tables.
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Dinner Menu:
First Course: Burrata, Transmontanus Caviar, Zucchini, Rapid Aged Balsamic, Puffed Anchovy.
Second Course: Branzino, Cauliflower Caponata, Agretti.
Third Course: Mushroom-Espressed Rubbed Shortrib, Banana Polenta, Porcini Mushrooms.
Fourth Course: Gianduja Ganache, Rosemary-Ash Pizelle, Caramelized White Chocolate, Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Then it was time for dinner and goodness it was filling! I have no idea how I made it home without stopping to take a nap on the subway!
My highlights were the Cauliflower Caponata (amazing), the Rubbed Shortrib, the Porcini Mushrooms and the entire dessert.

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Yes, dessert was definitely a highlight!
The chef literally made the Strawberry Frozen Yogurt right there in front of us.   He was like a magician… making magical tastes!  I totally cleaned my plate for dessert.  Yummy yum yum.
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“Off the Menu” was such a delicious dinner and is a example of S.Pellegrino’s support of experiential culinary events, enabling chefs and communities of food lovers to connect in unique and unexpected ways over a shared love of food.  The dinner itself was contemporary and for food lovers who wanted to try something new and inspiring on their plates.  ‘To Live in Italian’ is S.Pellegrino’s mission to transform any meal, at any time, into a delicious celebration of fine food. It is a recipe for appreciating the best of life, with six key ingredients—beauty, passion, togetherness, craftsmanship, authenticity and natural style. Off the Menu is an opportunity to bring this mission to life.

S. Pellegrinno is running a  Pinterest Sweepstakes called the S. Pellegrino Off the Menu Sweepstakes.  You can enter here: http://clvr.li/spellegrinosweeps.  A winner will receive a year’s supply of S. Pellegrino Sparkling Water and a dinner at oen of your favorite chef’s restuarants!  S.Pellegrino is a premium sparkling natural mineral water that flows naturally from a thermal spring in Val Brembana, in the foothills of the Italian Alps, in the territory of San Pellegrino Terme, near Bergamo (Lombard).  Each bottle is naturally filtered for 30 years by the Italian Alps.

Chef Voltaggio has a signature restaurant called ink. in Los Angeles.    He describes the food at ink. as “modern Los Angeles cuisine” and aspires to create an experience that will repurpose the term “fine dining” for Angelenos.   He also opened ink.sack, a sandwich shop a few doors down from ink. the concept is driven by classic flavor profiles that are elevated by premium ingredients and refined techniques.

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 Hope you enjoyed this magical and delicious trip to Italy with me!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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