A recent food and wine pairing event at Vita Bella re-confirmed it as a truly favored spot. The menu proved exquisitely delectable- as pleasing to the eye as it was to the palate. The chef’s obvious love of food and innate understanding of taste combinations resulted in superb dishes, each presented without a hint of pretentiousness.
The 5 well executed courses ranged, from subtly delicate creations, to bold complexities of sweet and savory taste combinations that lingered on the tongue long after the last bite and included wine pairings from acclaimed world vintners such as, Hess, Leyda, and Marques de Caceres.
A few of the highlights were:
-Chef Leo’s pillow-y, cloudlike Gorgonzola Gnudi arrived floating atop a pale green circle of fresh basil puree, perfectly counterbalanced by the salty tang of the black olive tapenade, all making for an amazingly satisfying dish.
- His pan seared Ostrich with sun dried cherry Madeira demi-glaze was skillfully prepared and melt in your mouth tender. Rich sun dried cherry Madeira, a perfect marriage with the ostrich and well complimented by the beautifully roasted Yukon gold potato and stuffed zucchini round, brimming with tasty micro diced ingredients.
...An absolutely spectacular dish, period.
-Another outstanding dish was his grilled Venison with pomegranate cabernet reduction. The wonderfully succulent venison benefited the addition of the pomegranate juice which played up the medieval aspects of the dish, heightening the depth of flavors. The sweet and savoury notes really came through in the reduction, taming any gaminess one might otherwise have noticed. The Truffle mushroom polenta was a nice accompaniment, as it stood up well against the venison and reduction and the corn, tomato, pine nut Caponata brought a nice bright counterpoint to the weight of all the other ingredients- resulting in a superb, well balanced dish.
The evening concluded with a passion fruit tart with fresh fig, mascarpone and white chocolate huddled beneath a crown of pulled sugar.