When Spiaggia opened 29 years ago, it was noted for many things about the way it raised the bar for Italian food in a red sauce town, but perhaps the most notable of all was its pasta made with a delicacy and regional authenticity that instantly set it above nearly every other Italian restaurant in town. Three decades and dozens of restaurants aiming for Italian authenticity later, we would say Spiaggia has rivals, but no superiors, in that regard and that ongoing legacy of excellence is what a new degustation menu at Spiaggia celebrates. Or, rather, a series of menus, which will change with the seasons to highlight a different side of Spiaggia's skill with flour and egg. The first one up is devoted to filled pastas six courses showing how pasta serves as a container for all the flavors of Italy. Beginning in April they'll look at Italian-American classics ("reinvented Spiaggia style"); July kicks off a celebration of Italian coastal pastas, focusing on seafood; and October launches "Edible Earth," an exploration of grains and other earthy flavors (including the Mieli Thun honey that's a favorite of chef Sarah Grueneberg). The dinners are $95, with wine pairings for $55. Our man Huge Galdones was invited to document this first menu devoted to filled pastas; see his slides below.
Trio di Tagliolini con Cavale
Buckwheat pasta with Black River Osetra caviar, crème fraiche and chive; Squid ink pasta with wild Steelhead trout roe, Pugliese tomato and turnip; Spinach pasta with smoked Arctic char roe, Pugliese Burrata and herbs. Pairing: M.V. Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru, Brut; Pierre Gimonnet, Côtes des Blancs, Champagne.
Composizione di Gamberi e Cappesante
Cooked and raw Spanish red prawns and Nantucket Bay scallops, smoked Spanish paprika, fennel emulsion and herb filled pasta sheets. Pairing: 2010 Petite Arvine, Elio Ottin, Valle d’Aosta.
Agnolotti di Ricotta di Bufala e Pecorino Toscano
Calabro ricotta and Tuscan pecorino filled pasta with fresh Perigord black truffle pate. Pairing: 2007 Pinot Noir ‘Campo alle More,’ Gini, Veneto.
Tortelloni in Brodo "Dal Pescatore"
Braised Becker Lane pork skin filled pasta with brodo, Jidori chicken roulade, chicken crackling and Acetaia San Giacomo 25 year aged balsamico. Pairing: 2005 Montevertine di Montevertine, Radda, Toscana.
Paccheri al Forno, Ripieni con Salsiccia
Wood roasted paccheri pasta filled water buffalo milk ricotta, Sardinian lamb sausage, saffron, sesame seeds and Guinco Sardinian pecorino. Pairing: 2008 Barolo, Marengo, La Morra, Piemonte.
Tomino da Padella in Crosta di Pasta
Cocoa corzetti pasta fritter filled with Padella tomino, cinnamon,dark chocolate and sour cherry sorbetto. Pairing: 2011 ‘Bigaro,’ Elio Perrone, Asti, Piemonte.
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