Slow Food Columbus Blog

Living the slow life… one day at a time

Off the Menu: The Tastes of Italy

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I WAS AT KNEAD, talking with Chef Rick Lopez about a trip I’d taken to Italy, and getting nostalgic about a dish I’d had there— a raviolo named after the chef’s mentor, Nino Bergese.  It had been covered in white truffle shavings (this was Alba during truffle season)… but the most riveting, and surprising, part of it had been the liquid egg yolk that oozed out of the raviolo when I cut into it with my fork.

Rick smiled and said,  “Oh yeah, like the one we’re having at our wine dinner.”

Raviolo alla Nino Bergese

Understand that I’ve never had this dish outside of Italy—hadn’t even heard of it until I went there—and was so impressed by its savory, rich goodness that I’d literally felt a tear running down my cheek after the first bite.  So Rick’s casual statement immediately riveted my attention.

“The what?” I said.

A few minutes later I’d gotten more details.  Biodynamic Italian wines paired with authentic Italian dishes, centered around a zampone, the stuffed pig’s foot delicacy that is traditionally served with lentils around the time of the New Year.

“Have I told you about our Off the Menu series?” I asked.  Rick shook his head.  I smiled… and launched into a discussion of how we’re trying to put consumers together with chefs who want to take the kid gloves off for a night and get creative.  (Details here.)

By the time I was done he was nodding, and we realized that his dinner and our series were made for each other.  So we’re happy to announce the second dinner in our Off the Menu series:  The Flavors of Italy at Knead Urban Diner, January 29 at 7 p.m.  Tickets are now available here (and physical tickets make wonderful holiday presents).


Fritto Misto … a seasonal mix of root vegetables in a light tempura batter served with garlic aioli

Salsiccia di Anatra e Fegato Grasso … house-made duck and foie gras sausage with kumquat marmalata, roasted wild mushrooms, and sage served over buckwheat polenta with taleggio cheese

Egg Yolk Raviolo … homemade pasta stuffed with liquid farm fresh local egg yolk served over braised lacinato kale topped with crisp house-cured guanciale and sunchokes with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese

Pomegranate Ginger Granita

Zampone with Lentils and Braised Fennel … local Berkshire trotter (foot) boned and stuffed with house made sausage and sweetbreads boiled and served over a bed of lentils and braised fennel

Goat’s Milk Pannacotta with figs and almonds drizzled with Cafe Brioso coffee-infused honey from Mockingbird Meadows


Written by Bear

December 13, 2010 at 7:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Bear,

    Krista said that this dinner was on Jan 22nd. Has it changed again? Please confirm.

    Also, are we suppose to buy tickets from Slow Food or make reservations with Knead?



    December 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    • Hi Angela. Yes, we (that is, I) briefly rescheduled it on top of an OEFFA fundraiser that will be attracting some of the same people. It seemed wiser to have it on the 29th. Tickets are available via the Slow Food site. Sorry for the confusion!


      December 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

  2. […] A couple of weeks later we launched our first Off the Menu event at Nida’s Thai on High, titled Flavors of Thailand.  The event, and the series, were prompted by the fact that Nida and her chef (who are Thai) often eat a very different style of Thai food than do their customers, and, not to put too fine a point on it, we wanted to try what they eat!  Once we started talking to them about it, we realized that customers more generally bear a big responsibility for what ends up on the plate—and we started getting more and more curious about what other chefs would do if we told them to “take the kid gloves off” and do what they wanted.  So Off the Menu was born (next stop Knead, for Flavors of Italy). […]

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