Laura and I fell in love with Francesca’s the first time we went there. Francesca and Alessio DiSabatini are charming and fun and their food is out of this world. They’re also passionate about wine, and there’s always a bottle on the table. Their wine list is excellent.
Each month, Alessio hosts a cooking class. We’ve only missed a few. Not only do you learn how to cook delicious Italian food, you get to eat it and the wine is always “on Alessio”. Last night we started with a Caesar Salad, followed by Cappelini with Meatballs for the entree and Cannoncini (canon balls) for dessert. He served Robert Renzoni’s 2006 Sangiovese made with Paso Robles grapes. The wine is simple and smooth, light in color with big strawberry notes and a clean finish.
Caesar Salad is not Italian. It originated in Tijuana, Mexico. Alessio told us you probably won’t find it in any restaurant in Italy. His dressing is quite different, made without eggs and with red wine, tabasco and caper juice. Topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, it was delicious.
Next up, he made the Cappelini with Meatballs and recruited Richie Wallstreet as his sous chef. His meatball recipe incorporates ground beef, garlic, Parmesan, eggs, basil and a few other goodies. His marinara sauce is exquisite. Look at the color.
On to dessert. The Cannoncini are quite similar to Cannoli, but they’re made with strips of puff pastry wrapped in a spiral around a tube. The shells are baked, then filled with Chantilly Cream. Served with sprinkled powdered sugar and sliced fresh strawberries, they were divine.
Alessio’s birthday is this Thursday, the 14th. I wish him a very happy one. We’ll be back next week for a special wine dinner featuring the wines of Tasca D’Almerita with special guest Lilly LoCascio from the winery. We’ll report back on that event. Ciao!
No promises, but I hope to add some video a bit later.