If you hadn’t felt or believed it before, the arrival of winter storm Jonas (and his dark slush-pits) has confirmed for us that it is indeed winter. And because one of the best cold weather activities is eating—preferably meals that are based in carbohydrates, and ideally homemade and delicious—I was actually giddy when I learned that the in-house Italian cuisine and pasta whizzes at Le Fanfare are gifting us with a month-long Wednesday dinner series of four- and five-course tasting menus, each inspired by a different region in Italy.
Tonight’s five-course offering comes from Veneto, in the northeast, near Slovenia and Austria. The meal starts off light but savory with Baccala Mantecato (a salt cod spread), moves onto squash risotto with black walnuts, gets serious with Fegato alla venetian (liver and onions) over polenta—makes absolutely sure your bellies are satisfied with beet ravioli, smoked ricotta and poppy seeds—and finishes sweet, with little raisin and pine nut fritole with honey.
The following three weeks will provide culinary tours of the Friuli/Venezia Giulia region (also in the northeast), Trentino-Alto Adige (in the north), and Emilia-Romagna (whose capital is Bologna).
Just think, you may be stuck in New York, chilled and slush-hopping, but for the next month you can take a gourmand’s journey across Italy, no plane ticket necessary. Just grab a friend and hop the G train instead.
Check Le Fanfare’s calendar for more details, and email to make a reservation. Regional prix fixe tasting menus, $50, regional wine pairings, $20; Wednesdays until February 17, starting tonight. 1103 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint.