I realize some things are just not fair but I am going to tell you about them anyways. For instance, the Saturday I just spent eating my way through Los Angeles on an Italian Culinary Tour, hosted by Bertolli. It was a very, very good day. We started at Cafe Bella Roma with a warm latte and an italian morning treat known as a Cornetti, which is a croisant-style pastry filled with vanilla or chocolate creme, served warm with powdered sugar on top. I took a bite and knew that the day had only just begun!
Our next stop was a Mozzarella Bar. My first one, so this was new to me too! Obika, when I walked in and saw the wall of wine I knew this was my kind of place. We sat along the bar and Chef Mossimo served us 3 types of Mozzarella with a passion like I have never seen. Obika imports Mozzarella di Bufala from Italy three times a week, so people in southern california are eating Mozzarella that is just as fresh as the people in Rome or Milan!
The next stop (and if I had to choose, probably my favorite) was Primi al Mercato. This was where we got to meet the Italian Culinary legend, Piero Selvaggio and watch Chef Fernando make pasta right in front of us, another first for me! I have never seen pasta made from scratch, the eggs, butter and flour people, that’s it! I had no idea it was that easy;) They made 3 different varieties for us, aRicotta cheese filled Gnocchi Spinach Cavatelli, 4-cheese beef Totellini.
I would have ate that but we were then served:
• Gnocchi with lamb ragu
• Squid ink garganelli seafood and mint pesto
• Tuscan pici with fava, pancetta, peperoncino and pecorino cheese
With a glass of wine of course! Each pasta had it’s own unique texture and flavor but my favorite was the Garganelli & Seafood pasta – truly amazing!
We also visited the cheese bar Norcino Salumeria which is directly across from the Mercato, which offers a variety of italian cheeses and cured meats (Salumi) We enjoyed some prosciutto, speck, olives and more wine. I could have stayed there all day but there was fresh Gelato to enjoy down the street at Cafe Bellagio.
Gelato is made with milk instead of cream and is churred at a slower speed then ice cream, which makes it more dense and flavorful. The strawberry sorbet was made from fresh strawberries bought at the farmers’ market that morning. Honestly, the day could have ended right there, but wait there’s more… We drove across town to Mamma Osteria for the grand finale!
Osteria Mamma is a true family owned italian restaurant where yes Mamma is really in the kitchen. Step inside and it is cozy, simple and sweet while the food is traditional and delishous! I didn’t think I could eat anymore but it was soooo good I had to keep going, I am not a quitter. The cheese filled figs below were to die for.
Now I am NO Foodie, but I like to eat and I know what tastes good. If you are ever in Los Angeles I highly recommend you follow in my foot steps and take this little tour of Italy. It was one of the best days I have spent in this city. But of course the food is only as good as the company, right? I had the pleasure of going on this adventure with some very cool people.
Picture with “Mamma” of Osteria Mamma
Stacie Hunt who is a certified AIS sommelier and wine reporter/blogger.
Chrystal and Amir Baker of Duo Dishes Twitter: @theduodishes
Romy of Romy Raves Twitter: @romyraves
Sharon Garofalow of Cupcakes & Cutlery Twitter: @CupcakesCutlery
Melanie and Adam Waldman of Travels with Two Twitter: @TravelsWithTwo
Thanks to our our amazing hosts from Bertolli!
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