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Italian wine-pairing dinner at Incanto


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We're planning a special dinner for eGullet members and guests at Incanto in January. The dinner will feature a flight of Italian wines selected to match the four course meal.

Here's the relevant information:

Date: Monday, January 9, 2006

Time: 7:00 pm

Place: Incanto Restaurant

1550 Church St., San Francisco

[Public transportation: the J Church Muni streetcar stops about two blocks away]

This dinner will showcase the unique seasonal, Italian-influenced cuisine of Incanto, with Italian wines selected to accompany each course. The chef will talk about the courses and the wine director will discuss the wines selected. Exact menu will be set at a later date; it will be posted in this thread.

Incanto Restaurant has garnered much discussion both in the local SF press and on the eG California forum (click here and here for a couple of eGullet discussions of the restaruant). It's known for a reliance on local, seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on using the whole animal. The wine list is exclusively Italian, with wines selected to complement the dishes from the kitchen.

Cost: Fixed cost of $45 for four courses (plus tax and 20% gratuity). Optional paired wine tasting for $17-$20 (to be determined before the event). Total cost would be $57.75 without wine. With wine, the top price would be $83.50.

The dinner will take place in the private Dante Room, maximum occupancy 16.

Reservations can be made by posting in this thread (first come, first served). Because space is limited, reservations will be limited to one guest per member. We'll keep a waiting list, and if there is enough interest, we will try to plan future dinners (perhaps quarterly).

Payment to be made in advance (right before the dinner is fine) by cash or check. Any additional beverage or food ordered will be the responsibility of the person(s) ordering and can be paid directly to the restaurant at the conclusion of the dinner.

If you have any questions not answered here, please PM me and I'll try to answer them. Hope to see you at the dinner!

--------------

This event has been organized through the eG Forums by members but is not sponsored by the Society or its eG Forums. The event is open to all participating eGullet Society members, contributors and their guests. By participating in this event, you confirm your understanding and acceptance of the eGullet Events Policy (click here), to which all eGullet Society members have already agreed.

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count me in , my wife and I , preston and nichole dishman

cant wait to eat at incanto , and meet some of you all

We're planning a special dinner for eGullet members and guests at Incanto in January. The dinner will feature a flight of Italian wines selected to match the four course meal.

Here's the relevant information:

Date: Monday, January 9, 2006

Time: 7:00 pm

Place: Incanto Restaurant

1550 Church St., San Francisco

[Public transportation: the J Church Muni streetcar stops about two blocks away]

This dinner will showcase the unique seasonal, Italian-influenced cuisine of Incanto, with Italian wines selected to accompany each course. The chef will talk about the courses and the wine director will discuss the wines selected. Exact menu will be set at a later date; it will be posted in this thread.

Incanto Restaurant has garnered much discussion both in the local SF press and on the eG California forum (click here and here for a couple of eGullet discussions of the restaruant). It's known for a reliance on local, seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on using the whole animal. The wine list is exclusively Italian, with wines selected to complement the dishes from the kitchen.

Cost: Fixed cost of $45 for four courses (plus tax and 20% gratuity). Optional paired wine tasting for $17-$20 (to be determined before the event). Total cost would be $57.75 without wine. With wine, the top price would be $83.50.

The dinner will take place in the private Dante Room, maximum occupancy 16.

Reservations can be made by posting in this thread (first come, first served). Because space is limited, reservations will be limited to one guest per member. We'll keep a waiting list, and if there is enough interest, we will try to plan future dinners (perhaps quarterly).

Payment to be made in advance (right before the dinner is fine) by cash or check. Any additional beverage or food ordered will be the responsibility of the person(s) ordering and can be paid directly to the restaurant at the conclusion of the dinner.

If you have any questions not answered here, please PM me and I'll try to answer them. Hope to see you at the dinner!

--------------

This event has been organized through the eG Forums by members but is not sponsored by the Society or its eG Forums. The event is open to all participating eGullet Society members, contributors and their guests. By participating in this event, you confirm your understanding and acceptance of the eGullet Events Policy (click here), to which all eGullet Society members have already agreed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We still have four spaces available for this dinner. The chef is working on the menu for us; then the wine director will select the wines.

Post here if you're interested.

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Jaz,

Turns out my other friend is available that night and would love to come. This would put me at two guests if that's all right.

Can't wait to see the menu. Thanks and Happy New Year, y'all.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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I'm expecting to get some possible menus from the restaurant within the next couple of days.

If anyone attending the dinner has any allergies or major food dislikes, please PM me in the next day or so -- I'll try to take anything like that into account when choosing the menu.

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We have a menu.

We'll start with mixed antipasto platters, shared family style (there will be two varieties of platters: one featuring Incanto's house-cured meats, and one without)

__________________________

First course: Octopus crudo with marjoram and smoked sea salt

__________________________

Second course: Chicken liver ravioli in balsamic brown butter

__________________________

Main course: Rabbit braised in white wine with garlic & rosemary

They'll choose our dessert the day of the dinner. I'll post the wine pairing as soon as it's final.

We do have one last space available, if anyone else is interested.

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I am REALLY looking forward to the ravioli.

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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Thanks to everyone who attended. I got caught up with work stuff, so I haven't had time to download the photos and compose a post about the details of the dinner. I'll do it in the next day or so, I promise.

To start out, though, I'll say that for me, the ravioli dish was the biggest surprise: I'm not a huge fan of chicken liver, so I was a little apprehensive. But the dish was great, and the wine pairing was perfect -- a semi-sweet dessert wine.

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Thanks to everyone who attended. I got caught up with work stuff, so I haven't had time to download the photos and compose a post about the details of the dinner. I'll do it in the next day or so, I promise.

To start out, though, I'll say that for me, the ravioli dish was the biggest surprise: I'm not a huge fan of chicken liver, so I was a little apprehensive. But the dish was great, and the wine pairing was perfect -- a semi-sweet dessert wine.

Janet,

Thanks so much for organizing this.

I had a very nice time. It was great to put some names and/or screen names with faces. I only wish I'd had a chance to chat with more people.

I too enjoyed the ravioli quite a lot. It was such a nice pairing with the Passito di Pantelleria. I think my other favorite was the sardine.

Hopefully, we can do it again some time in the not too distant future.

Maybe even somewhere with cocktails!

:wink:

-Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Hi everyone,

It was a lovely dinner and it was so nice to finally meet some of the people from this board. The conversation was lively and I look forward more opportunities to get together.

Janet did a wonderful job of organizing and hosting this event, many thanks.

I have finally had a chance to get organized and download my pictures from the dinner. Janet also took pictures and I will look forward to seeing hers.

Just to recap, here is the menu we enjoyed:

Incanto mixed antipasto platter

house cured salumi, lardo, pate and pork rillette, assorted roasted and pickled vegetables

Wine pairing: Serra Lori Rosato 2003, Argiolas

Marinated Sardine Filet over greens and radishes

Octopus Crudo with Smoked Salt & Marjoram

Mediterranean octopus, quick blanched, chilled, then packed into a plastic casing and frozen. Sliced paper thin and dressed with Bearss lime, smoked salt and marjoram from Incanto's rooftop herb garden.

Wine pairing: Soave Classico 2003, Inama

gallery_14452_2390_37959.jpg

Chicken Liver Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter

The ravioli are stuffed with chicken liver that has been sauteed with shallots & thyme, deglazed with sherry vinegar, then blended with butter. The sauce is brown butter and balsamic, finished with an 18-year balsamic.

Wine pairing: Passito di Pantelleria 2001, Ferrandes, a Zibibbo-based dessert wine

gallery_14452_2390_249352.jpg

This may have been everyone's favorite dish of the evening! The portion size was actually four ravioli, but the photography took second place to actually sampling the dish. All remaing bread on the table was also gone after this course, being used to finish the delicious sauce.

Rabbit Braised in White Wine with Garlic & Rosemary

Braised in a mixture of white wine, rosemary, garlic cloves, and rabbit stock. Served on grilled bread with a rosemary skewer of rabbit offal wrapped in house-cured guanciale.

Wine pairing: Pinot Nero Riserva Sandlahner 2001, San Maddalena

gallery_14452_2390_215131.jpg

Preserved Dapple Dandy Pluot with Vanilla-Citron Zabaglione

Wine pairing: Brachetto Bitbet 2004, Ca Rossa

gallery_14452_2390_10357.jpg

What a great evening, I hope there will be more events like this planned soon.

Pamela Fanstill aka "PamelaF"
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First, I apologize for taking so long to post this. Thanks to Pam for taking photos and getting them posted before we all forgot what we ate.

Second, I'd like to thank everyone who attended for making the dinner a success.

Now, on to the dinner:

At each place setting was a detailed description of the menu items, plus the wines we drank with them. It was great to have the information about the food and wine without having to take notes.

We started with vegetable and salumi antipasto platters. Incanto makes its own salumi, and the quality is excellent. Although I've been to the restaurant often, I'd never tried it, simply because I've never gone with a large enough group to do justice to the platter.

gallery_7258_2197_10221.jpg

Antipasto platter of salumi misti

From the top left, we had mortadella, coppa di testa (head cheese), capocollo (pork shoulder in a spicy dry rub, traditionally cured in a bladder), pork rillete, lardo, and pate di campagna. (In case you're wondering, the platters were full when they were brought to the table. I just forgot to take photos until after they had been ravaged.)

It was a treat to be able to try lardo and the coppa di testa, and it was a revelation to try authentic mortadella, but my favorites on the platter were the rillette and the capocollo.

gallery_7258_2197_48044.jpg

Antipasto vegetable platter

The vegetable platter was very good too. Once again, I didn't get the photo until after we'd eaten quite a bit. You can see the braised cippoline onions at the base of the platter, and some of the other offerings were roasted garlic, grilled scallions (right above the roasted garlic) and marinated carrots. Much as I liked the both the onions and the scallions, the carrots were my favorite from this platter. The olives were also really good, but here's the thing with Incanto: With every meal, they start you out with their own breadsticks and foccacia, served with a tapenade so good that it spoils you for any other olives. (At least that's my opinion. I love that stuff.)

The platters were accompanied by a rose: Serra Lori Rosato 2003, Argiolas. The notes described it as "simple, lively and fresh" and that's apt. It went well with both the pork and the vegetables -- it was acidic enough to balance the fat in the salumi, but not so much that it did battle with the marinated vegetables.

After the antipasto, we got an unexpected appetizer of a sardine filet over shaved radishes and some kind of green that I failed to write down. (Anyone remember what the greens were?)

gallery_7258_2197_17753.jpg

Sardine over shaved radish and greens

Then we had the octopus. My photo didn't turn out, but fortunately Pam's did. It was a nice dish -- very pretty. I expected something entirely different -- this octopus was "quick blanched, chilled, then packed into a casing and frozen." The paper thin slices were dressed with lime, smoked salt and fresh marjoram. The texture of the dish was really great and the flavors worked well together. My (minor) complaint would be that the octopus was sort of lost among the stronger flavors of the salt and herbs.

We drank Soave Classico 2003, Inama, with these two courses.

Next was the chicken liver ravioli, which as Pam, Erik and I mentioned, was one of the standouts of the dinner. (Pam's photo once again is much better than mine.) The wine pairing, Passito di Pantelleria 2001, Ferrandes, was a spectacular match. I never would have thought to pair a sweet wine with this course; it was a very pleasant surprise.

The main course was rabbit braised in white wine with garlic and rosemary, served on a slice of grilled bread (nice addition -- it soaked up the sauce). It was served with a Pinot Noir -- Pinot Nero Riserva Sandlahner 2001, Santa Maddalena. Ingrid and I wondered about pairing a white-wine braised dish with a red, but I thought it worked very well.

gallery_7258_2197_32679.jpg

Braised rabbit

You can see the crouton on which the rabbit sits, plus the huge cloves of garlic that were braised along with the meat.

The dessert was pluots from Hamada Farms, which the restaurant preserves. They were served with a zabaglione flavored with the wine we drank with the dessert -- Brachetto Birbet 2004, Ca Rossa.

gallery_7258_2197_32469.jpg

Preserved pluot with vanilla-citron zabaglione

Italian wines, for me, are something of a mystery. What I liked about this dinner (and dinner at Incanto in general) is the care with which the wines were chosen to complement the food. Incanto is one of the few restaurants I go where I completely trust the staff to pick a wine for any course I order.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the room where we ate, but I did remember to get a shot of what you see when you enter the restaurant:

gallery_7258_2197_33966.jpg

A close-up of the meats curing:

gallery_7258_2197_15992.jpg

I think that's a good image to finish with.

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Uh huh. Interesting how the first plates are half or two-thirds eaten before the photographs, and then finally the dessert survives the first onslaught of paparazzi flash. That's a good sign! :wink:

Does Incanto also do a braised or sauced version of octopus as well? Did the notes explain why each wine was chosen for each course? And where is Mr. Melkor, our wine expert?

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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Does Incanto also do a braised or sauced version of octopus as well?  Did the notes explain why each wine was chosen for each course?  And where is Mr. Melkor, our wine expert?

They Change their menu very frequently. I can say I had a fantastic bigoli with red wine braised calamari sauce there last march.

Edited by Nathan P. (log)
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