Archive for December, 2011


Villetta is a perfect spot for a quick or if you like a leisurely lunch.

Wine from their list

Aijia – our terrific server

Pizza- burrata, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, olives and basil pesto – the pizza is always spot on and a great way to start.

PLT Sandwich – pancetta, heirloom tomatoes and arugula with herbed mayonnaise and sweet potato chips – we split the sandwich and again this was a definite winner.

Mezze maniche with hot and sweet sausage, peas and cream. This just isn’t as good as when Pippa, the original chef was making this. There just wasn’t any richness or intensity to the sauce.

Pippa’s version which we loved. I think the difference is obvious from the photo.

Bottom line: Villetta is still a fun place to go.



Unfortunately I had to miss this meal. It was a special dinner at the Chef’s Table with a menu specially devised for the occasion by Chef Michael Cimarusti. As usual, Roving Reporter didn’t take notes so the photos will have to tell the story. All wines were BYO.


Nantucket Bay Scallops, Nasturtium, Yuzu – the scallops were wrapped in the nasturtium leaf

Kanpachi Belly Tartare, Wood Sorrel, Caviar

The Kanpachi up close


Sunchoke Soup/Gougere

Rillettes of Wild Atlantic Salmon Belly topped with salmon eggs served on its skin – the dish as presented

The Salmon Skin as presented

The salmon dish ready to eat


Serrano Ham/Uni toast

Grilled Wild Spanish Octopus, Bloomsdale Spinach, Artichoke, Tomato Confit, Basil

Cauliflower Risotto, Uni, Abalone

Maine Lobster basted in smoked butter


Cheeks of Wild Virginia Striped Bass, Black Knight Carrots, Nasturtium (no photo of the plated dish)

Wild Head Shot Carolina Black Grouper, Oven Roasted Tahitian Squash, Jurancon

Wild French Turbot, Grilled Lompoc Chanterelles, Black Truffle Butter

Madeira – yes 1875

Cheese Cart

Dessert #1

Dessert #2

Roving Reporter wrote a thank you note to Donato and RR wrote the following:

Wow!! Double Wow!!   Perfect…could not have been better.

We really love that Chef’s Table and then add to it the perfect service from Matthew and Drew and the fabulous menu!!!

We look forward to seeing you often in 2012.

I can’t wait to go back to Providence and I promise full descriptions next time!


Citronelle – Georgetown

The Roving Reporter was lucky to have the pleasure of dining at Michel Richard’s wonderful Citronelle. He had the Promenade Gourmande tasting menu with the wine pairings.

RR didn’t do any lengthy descriptions or to be more accurate no descriptions at all so the camera will have to tell the story.

Amuse Bouche

Champagne Eric Rodez, “Brut des Crayeres”, NV, France

Cauliflower Soup, peekytoe crab, roasted almond

Nantucket Bay Scallop, miso-green apple sauce

Chablis Premier Cru, “cote de Lechet”, Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard 2008

Sauteed Foie Gras on fresh Tagliatelle

Riesling, Domaine Zind Humbrecht, France, 2009

Silver Hake, ginger emulsion

Viognier, “St Fleur”, Domaine de Triennes, France 2009

Lobster Burger and Potato Chips

Puligny-Montrachet, Domaine Bzikot, France, 2008

Short Rib, prime, braised 60 h, raisin-peppercorn sauce

Saint-Emilion, Chateau Grand-Pontet, Grand Cru Classe, France 2004


Chateau Le Cedre, Cahors, France 2008

Eggs-ceptional Lemon Meringue


Beaumes de Venise, Domaine Durban, France 2007

Petits Fours

Roving Reporter said it was an exceptional meal.

Vin Bar

Vin Bar just gets better and better!!! Each and every dish was spectacular, superbly executed with top quality ingredients.

Schramsberg to start

Uni served on an orange salad, with pistachio, onion, arugala with orange sauce – the combination of citrus with the uni was a wonderful combination.

First Wine – “Falanghina is a historic grape from Campania, the region that includes Naples. Sannio is a hilly region of Campania, north of Naples, with a wine-growing history so ancient that it was favorably mentioned – as Samnium in Latin – in the works of Pliny, Cato and Horace.”

Chicken Foie Gras served simply with olive oil topped with raspberries –  a luxurious rendition of chicken liver that was rich with a smooth velvety texture

Monkfish tail, celery, capers, microgreens, pepper, olive oil mixed with the “fish jus” – Chef Nico handles fish perfectly

2nd Wine – Domodimonti winery is “located only two-and-a-half hours east of Rome, in the Le Marche region between Umbria and Tuscany. The winery has a spectacular landscape of narrow coastal plains that rise sharply into the peaks of the Sibillini Mountains, with a view of Ancona and the Adriatic Sea seen in the distance on a clear day.” The wine is “a mineral-laced and golden honey-colored white wine called LiCoste, with a grape varietal only found in Italy called Pecorino.”

Sweetbreads sauteed with porcini mushrooms, baked ricotta cheese on top, sweetbread reduced sauce – another winner!!!!

Pumpkin pappardelle, braised pigeon ragu, parmesan sprinkled on top – again Chef Nico’s flavor combinations are innovative and “spot on.”

Third Wine –  “Lamùri, or “love” in Sicilian dialect, is Tasca d’Almerita’s most luscious, fruit-forward, and youthful Nero d’Avola. Made from 100% Nero d’Avola from 10-15 year old vines grown in sandy soils. The unique micro-climate provides Lamùri its pleasant freshness and elegance. Intense ruby-red in color, Lamùri offers lush aromas of blackberry, mulberry and cherry. On the palate, this wine is incredibly rich, with velvety tannins and a refreshing acidity.”

Pici pasta (a thick, hand rolled pasta, like a fat spaghetti, originating in the province of Siena in Tuscany), rabbit, porcini mushrooms, pecorino, pomodoro puree

Turbot on a risotto with swiss chard and crabmeat, saffron oil – turbot is one of my most favorite fish dishes – this was just exquisite.

“Mario Soldati’s short but meaningful comment really does sum up what many connoisseurs think about that “pearl” of the world’s oenological landscape, the Gattinara DOCG appellation. The Travaglini Gattinara offers a number of incomparable sensory characteristics which help to make this great wine unique: an intense dark red colour along with rose and violet bouquets, plus a few hints of anis, vanilla, spices and undergrowth. This is a wine to satisfy even the most sophisticated of palates, and its smoothness and roundness will endear it to those in search of elegant, intense sensations.” “Gattinara is a red wine produced in the northwestern Piedmont region of Italy. It is based on the Nebbiolo grape.”

On the left veal tripe with fresh tomato and pecorino and on the right dry-brined pork rib first steamed with vegetables then roasted with honey and onions, sweet and sour sauce – I want this recipe for the pork rib!!!

On the left pork sausage with cherry tomatoes, sweet onions, herbs, light tomato sauce, roasted potatoes in the middle and on the right Colorado lamb chop, red wine sauce – I am running out of adjectives. You just don’t get better cuisine than what is being produced at Vin Bar/Valentino. I again urge everyone to just go.

Cheese plate —  pecorino, blue buffalo, aged ricotta, fig salami with walnuts, blueberries, raspberries, candied pecans and syrup from heirloom tomatoes and strawberries

The incredible chef Nico

The best restauranteur in Los Angeles – Piero

Petros – Manhattan Beach

A Roving Reporter Report

Visiting good friends in Manhattan Beach is a particular treat because my friend Ted has great taste and dines out very frequently. Last night with his son, Teddy, we went to Petros, a  local Greek restaurant that is especially pleasant and high quality. Text is a bit “thin” as the roving reporter was into the wines and the “scene”…it is a “foreign country” after all, Manhattan Beach…the food was quite good, service excellent and the atmosphere was fun, lively and interesting.  Petros is well worth visiting if you are in the area.

Bean Soup–excellent, lively, hearty, great cold weather soup. I loved it.

Braised Calamari–I just had a bite, very nice, solid flavor.

Feta Salad–looked nice and my friend enjoyed it.

A+ White–great, full bodied, deep clean finish.

B level wine–this one really did not measure up.  My friend and I buy from the same merchants…this was a test bottle…disappointing… thin,weak finish.

A Wine–classic Bordeaux from a chateau we know and love.  My first bottle of Grand Puy-Lacoste was 1966 tasted in 1971.

Pork Chop–my friend loved it…

Lamb Pizza–friend’s son loved it.  He has it all the time.  He did not offer a taste. I would have enjoyed tasting it, next time I’ll order.

Skewers of Lamb–my dish, excellent, all of the rice and yogurt sauce was terrific.

Roving Reporter’s birthday cake

Greek Doughnuts