We were extremely lucky to secure reservations for an exclusive visit by Dario Cecchini, the renowned butcher from Panzano in Chianti, hosted by Valentino. It was an extraordinary evening. Many of the cities finest food writers were there and I can only describe the evening as a tremendous party hosted by one of the great restauranteurs in the country, Piero Selvaggio.
The evening took me back to the late 80’s – the glory days of the Los Angeles Dining scene – Jean Bertranou and his chef Michel Blanchet of L’Ermitage, Paul Bruggemans and his chef Camille Bardot of Le St Germaine, Bernard Jacoupy of Bernard’s, Mauro Vincenti of Rex Il Ristorante, Michel Richard of Citrus, Susumu Fukui at La Petit Chaya, Patrick Healy of Colette, Elka Gilmore of Camelions, Roy Yamaguchi of 385 North, Ken Frank of La Toque, John Sedlar of St. Estephe and later Bikini, Michael McCarty with Ken Frank and then Jonathan Waxman, Joachim Splichal first at Max au Triangle and then Patina, Patrick Terrail and Wolfgang Puck at Spago, L’Orangerie and of course Valentino who will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.
It was definitely an evening to remember and will remain in my memory as one of the greatest hits of dining experiences.
Piero and Dario Cecchini
DINNER WITH DARIO CECCHINI
Non- Solociccia Menu
Roberto Cavalli Vodka with Rose Water
Pinzimonio di Verdure Croccanti e Olio Buono
Raw Garden Vegetables (purple, white, yellow carrots, celery, leeks, artichokes)
with the Best Olive Oil from Tuscany
Crostini di Natale – Holidays Meat Ragu Hot Crostini
The beef was actually beef cheeks mixed with pureed vegetables
Movia Wine from Valentino’s List
We had a choice between 2 dishes served as Antipasto, Primo and Secondo – John and I choose different dishes so we could taste everything!
“Sushi” del Chianti Battuta al Coltello – A Crudo of Chianina Beef Tenderloin Thin Sliced and Tenderized with a Knife
“Tonno” del Chianti Cotto nel Vino Bianco – A Salad of Pulled Mule Foot Pork Poached with White Wine, Arugula, Cherry Tomato, House-made Italian dressing
Red Wine from Valentino’s List
Pici al Sugo di Chinghiale – Hand Rolled Thick Spaghetti with Wild Boar Ragu
Tortelli alla Mugellana – Potatoes Stuffed Ravioloni with Pecorino, Butter and Thyme
Arista in Porchetta al Fiore di Finocchio con Mischianza di Fagioli e Ceci all’Olio – Roasted Mulefoot Pork Loin with Garlic, Herbs, Wild Fennel Pollen and Tuscan Beans Salad
Costata alla Fiorentina Cotta alla Brace come “Dio Comanda” e Cartoccio di Patate al Burro del Chianti – Chianina Beef Porterhouse Cooked on a Wood Burning Grill as “God’s Order” with Baked Potatoes with Lardo Spread
Schiacciatine, Biscotti e Vin Santo
Throughout the evening the ever ebullient Dario “worked” the room and literally blew his own horn! He deserved to do so!
What an evening!!!! Oh for the glory days of LA’s dining scene of the 80’s. Valentino continues to remind us that those days are not completely dead! Thank you Piero!