Category Archives: Gattopardo

Wine and Food at Gattopardo with Tony Di Dio


Recently I posted on Facebook pictures of wine and foods I had at Gattopardo with Tony Di Dio of Tony Di Dio Selections. The response to the posting was so positive that I decided to do a blog about that lunch.

Etna Bianco “Alta Mora” DOC 2016 Cusumano (Sicily) made from 100% Carricante from 6 hectares of vines at 600 meters, the training system is espalier. The average age of the vines is 15 years.Production area is: Milo, Praino contrada, side and Castiglione di Sicily in the Verzella contrada.

Light pneumatic pressing takes place followed by static decanting and racking. Fermentation temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 18/20 degrees C. Then the wine remains on the lees in stainless steel tanks for 4 months and successive fining in bottle. This wine has hints of citrus fruit, honey and a touch of almonds in the aftertaste.

Carricante is one of my favorite Sicilian white grapes.

Vermentino Di Maremma Toscana “Balbino” DOC 2016 Terenzi made from 100% Vermentino. The soil is rich in limestone, the training system is guyot and there are 5,000 plants per hectare. Their harvest is in the middle of September. There is a soft pressing of the grapes with a pneumatic press. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature without the skins for 12 days. Malolactic fermentation does not take place. The wine remains in stainless steel tanks until it is bottled.

The wine has hints of citrus fruit, floral notes and a touch of herbs.

With it, we enjoyed fried artichokes with prosciutto di Parma.

Chardonnay “Felesia” d’Amico (Umbria) made from 100% Chardonnay. The vineyards are at 450 meters. The wine is aged for 10 months in first, second and third passage French oak barrels and another 5 months in bottle before release. The wine has hints of almonds, honey, butter and vanilla.

We enjoyed mozzarella “in carrozza,” water buffalo milk mozzarella coated with crumbs and served with a light anchovy sauce.

Etna Rosso “Alta Mora” DOC 2015 Cusumano made from 100% Nerello Mascalese from Castiglione di Sicily, in the contradas of Verzella, Pietramarina, Feudo di Mezzo and Solicchiata. The vineyard is 12 hectares at 600/800 meters, the training system is free standing espalier and the average age of the vines is 20 years.

Manual harvest. There is a light pressing and destemming, maceration at 28 degrees C for 12 days. Malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and successive fining in 25 hl barrels. This is a fruity aromatic red wine with hints of red fruit, currants and raspberries. It is an easy drinking wine.

Grilled octopus with oven baked fingerling potatoes

Linguette with Manila Clams and Cherry Tomatoes was thin spaghetti with briny fresh clams and sweet tomatoes.

Sangiovese Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2014 DOCG Terenzi (Tuscany) made from 100% Sangiovese. The soil is deep with coarse sand and clay, stony and well drained. Training system is cordon spur and there are 5,000 vines per hectare. Harvest is at the end of September. There is destemming and partial rupture of the grapes and then a pneumatic press is used. Fermentation lasts for 15 days in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Maceration is on the skins during alcoholic fermentation. Malolactic fermentation occurs spontaneously in stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged for 12 months in tonneaux and large Slavonian oak casks and in bottle for 6 months before release. This is a full bodied, well balanced wine with hints of red berries, cloves, spice and black pepper.

Paccheri pasta with Genovese sauce. A classic Neapolitan dish, it consists of large pasta tubes in a long cooked onion sauce.


Filed under Cusumano winery, d'Amico, Gattopardo, Terenzi WInery

Neapolitan Lunch at IL Gattopardo NYC

For my next to last birthday celebration this year, Michele and I went to Il Gattopardo.

Gianfranco Sorrentino

A meal there is like eating in southern Italy with the emphasis on Campania and Naples. Gianfranco Sorrentino, the owner, is the perfect host.

Chef  Vito Gnazzo

Vito Gnazzo, the chef, always comes out to tell us the specials and give his recommendations.

It is also one of the most comfortable restaurants in the city and the service is always excellent.

We started with a bottle of Costa D’Amalfi DOC Tramonti Bianco 2015 from Giuseppe Apicella made from 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella. Exposure mainly southwest, and the pergola cultivation is at 300 to 500 meters. In the new vineyards there is guyot training and between 4,000 and 5,000 plants per hectare. Pergola there is 2,500 plants per hectare. Harvest takes place the second half of October and the grapes are hand picked. After a careful selection in the vineyard, the stalks are removed and the grapes macerate with the skins before they are pressed. The must is decanted by a static cold system and selected yeasts are injected into the must. It then ferments at a low temperature. Fermentation lasts for 20 to 30 days. The wine remains on the lees for 4 to 5 months. The wine was fruity and fresh with a good structure; it had hints of tropical fruit, honey and a touch of green apple, good acidity, a long finish and pleasing aftertaste.

The restaurant sent out rice balls and escarole pie

After speaking to Vito, we ordered Buffalo Mozzarella in Carrozza with a light anchovy sauce. This is one of Michele’s favorites and she always orders it when we are in Naples. It is the ultimate toasted cheese sandwich made with sweet creamy buffalo mozzarella. The anchovy sauce is the perfect sharp counterpoint to the crisp toast and sweet cheese.

With the next two dishes we had the Brunello di Montalcino 1970 from Silvio Nardi made from 100% Sangiovese. The wine was showing its age and after 3/4 of the bottle was gone and became undrinkable.

Next we went with one of the specials Pappardelle with Rabbit and Mushroom Ragu, which was delicious.

For the main course, I had a dish I have never seen on a menu in a restaurant in Naples but is often made in people’s homes. Traditional Neapolitan meatloaf, served with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. This is one of my favorites.

For desert we always order the same thing: La Pastiera, a traditional Neapolitian cheesecake. Vito’s version is light and delicate, and one of the best I have ever eaten.

Il Gattopardo 13-15 W. 54th St. NY, NY


Filed under Gattopardo, Gattoprdo