Category Archives: i-trulli

I-Trulli — A Perfect Restaurant for Outdoor Dining

Michele and I have been staying home, with a few exceptions, every day since we returned from Italy on March 6. That is 114 days! So we were very happy to hear that New York City was permitting restaurants to reopen for outdoor dining. We decided to celebrate by dining at a favorite, I Trulli, where I used to be the wine director.  We always enjoy the food and wine there and the  restaurant  has  two  spacious  garden  rooms  where  we  could  have  our  meal. 

Nicola Marzovilla, the owner, greeted us warmly. He wore a mask, as did everyone else on the staff, and escorted us to a table. All of the tables had been carefully placed 6 feet apart and guests were asked to keep their masks on until they were seated.

 

Nicola had taken every precaution. The menus were printed on a single page and the staff had been kept to a minimum. Nicola took all of the orders.

To start, we had octopus salad with potatoes, beans and arugula. The octopus was tender and the salad was lightly dressed with good olive oil from the owner’s Tuscan farm, and fresh lemon juice.

We also ordered Fritto Misto, shrimp, calamari and artichoke hearts fried in a crisp batter. Michele said she had had a craving for it since leaving Italy.

Our pasta was Cavatelli with Broccoli Rabe and Almonds. The restaurant is famous for its fresh pasta dishes, all handmade by Nicola’s mom, Dora. It is a specialty of the Puglia region of Southern Italy where the family is from.

We drank the Montefili Bianco IGT Toscana 20019 made from 50% Chardonnay and 50 % Sauvigon Blanc from vines planted in 1985. The terrain is hilly at 500 meters. The soil is galestro and alberese, the training system is guyot.  Vinification in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. The wine is aged is steel tanks and then in bottle for 3 months. This is a crisp white wine with citrus fruit aromas and flavors, a hint of herbs a touch of white flowers and good acidity. Nicola is one of the owners of the winery.

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Finally, I had the restaurant’s version of Torta alla Nonna, lemon cream in a buttery tartlet shell topped with pine nuts.

It was an enjoyable evening from start to finish and we plan to go back again very soon. It lifted our spirits to be out and about and among people like back in the good old days – only 115 days ago!

I-Trulli  124 East 27th street NYC

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lunch with Dora

When Julia Griner asked if we knew of any traditional pasta makers in New York City that could be featured on the popular Pasta Grannies You Tube Channel, Michele had one thought, our friend Dora Marzovilla. Dora, who comes from the Puglia region of Italy,

Dora

makes several varieties of handmade pasta every day for her son’s restaurants, I Trulli and Ristoro del Cinghiale in New York City.

Julia, together with her husband Pino Ficara, own the Grano & Farina Cooking School in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome that we have written about before. Julia also began collaborating recently with Vicky Bennison, the owner and creator of Pasta Grannies.  Michele put Julia and Vicky in touch with Dora through her son Nicola Marzovilla, and they scheduled an appointment for Vicky to interview Dora in New York and make a video of her in action. Lucky for us, we were invited to join Vicky, Dora, and members of the Marzovilla family for dinner at Dora’s home afterward.

When we arrived, Dora was in the kitchen trimming baby artichokes and heads of broccoli. These she dipped in a light batter and fried in hot oil. They were hot and crisp and we ate them with our fingers as Dora sent out batch after batch from the kitchen

along with Dora’s freshly made tomato focaccia.

Next up was the pasta, handmade orecchiette, which Dora had made in advance. The little disks, made with semolina flour, were pleasantly chewy and the slightly cupped shape was ideal for holding Dora’s homemade ragu made with

meatballs

and beef braciole which we ate after the pasta.

For our main course, Dora had prepared braised rabbit with tomatoes and potatoes, a Pugliese specialty.

The rabbit pieces were tender and moist and both they and the potatoes had absorbed the delicious flavors of the herbs and tomatoes.

With the meal we had two wines from the Marzovilla family’s Tuscan winery, which went very well with the food.

Massoferrato 2015 IGT made from 100% Sangiovese vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.

Massoferrato 2014 IGT  made from 100% Sangiovese from a selection of the best grapes and aged in custom made 20hl Slavonian casks.

Dessert was an assortment of Italian pastries, and of course, strong cups of espresso.

Dinner with Dora was a classic Italian-style family meal with lots of good food, wine and lively conversation. We were delighted to have shared it.

The Pasta Grannies video with Dora is not yet available on line, but we will let you know when it appears. Meanwhile, go to their website and enjoy some of the other great grannies in action.

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