Saturday, April 29, 2017

Italian Village Chicago Wine Dinner

Italian Village Chicago Wine Dinner

For our team bootcamp gathering in Chicago, I arranged a wine dinner at legendary Italian Village nearby in the center of Chicago's Loop. Wine Director Jared Gelband, and Liz Ramirez, Event Director, arranged for a price fixe dinner with a selection of five wines, two reds and two whites plus a dessert wine, matched accordingly to entree choices and the courses.

Third generation Gina Capitanini
and Jared Gelband Wine Director
As I've written in these pages, Italian Village is Chicago's classic oldest Italian Restaurant, continuously operated by the Capitanini family since 1927, now in its 90th year, with the largest wine cellar in the Midwest that holds over 45,000 bottles.

There are actually three restaurants on premise, each with their own kitchen, chef and waitstaff, all served by the Wine Spectator Best of Award Wine Cellar/Wine List with over 1200 selections. The vast collection, mostly Italian, also features French, American and other regions, with many vintage releases, still at vintage prices for some extraordinary values.

On the day of our dinner, The Wall Street Journal featured Italian Village in their "7 Insider Wine Bars That Sommeliers Belly Up To". 'Lettie Teague asked seven sommeliers in seven cities where they like to drink on their days off. Follow their lead to the best under-the-radar wine bars, deepest cellars, most daring lists and savviest crowds to drink with across the country."

 We dined in the lower level, La Cantina Enoteca, in one of the numerous private dining rooms in the three restaurants on the property, one perfectly suited for our group of twenty.

After soup/salad course, the dinner entree choices were:
Chicken Piccata
Sauteed chicken breast with lemon capers in white wine butter sauce. 
Veal Marsala
Veal medallions sauteed in Marsala wine with fresh mushrooms. 
Three Cheese Tortelli
Pillow shaped pasta filled with Mascarpone, Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses in a cherry tomato-garlic-basil broth. 
Salmon Puttanesca
Broiled Atlantic salmon topped with olives, capers, tomato, garlic, basil and white wine.

The accompanying wine selections were:

Castella di Farnetella, Chianti Colli Senesi, DOCG 2014
Paitin di Pasquero-Elia, "Elisa" Rosero Arnies, DOC 2015
Maculan, "Brentino," IGT (Cabernet/Merlot) 2014
Piazzo, Chardonnay, DOC 2015

And with the dessert course, Jared served
Maculan, "Dindarello," Moscato IGT, Veneto

Throughout the evening, small groups were taken on tours of the extraordinary wine cellar featuring over ten thousand bottles on the premises from 1200 different labels.

Maitre-d Hans presided and Mark served our group with superior service in an extraordinary setting for an ideal evening of wine, food, team building collaboration and commraderie.