Chris was clearly star struck. He is 1/2 Sicilian, and Lidia's dishes remind him of the way his grandmother cooked. I sat as close to her as I could, hoping that some of her fairy godmother cooking dust would rub off on me. I am English and Irish, so I need all of the help that I can get!
My favorite dish of the evening was Lamb with Olives from Le Marche, paired with a 2006 Australian Shiraz-Viognier by Domaine Terlato-Chapoutier. The Veal Scalloppine Bolognese from Emilia Romagna paired with Lidia's family wine, Bastianich Vespa Bianco, 2006 was also excellent.
One of the wonderful aspects of the evening was that WGBY asked a local cheese master from the Farmstead at Mine Brook to share some of his products. In a word? FANTASTIC. If you are local, you can find his cheeses at Table & Vine in West Springfield, along with many of the wines that were showcased at the dinner.
Lidia was a wonderful speaker, and I was glad that we could meet her and support WGBY at the same time. We also met a number of wonderful people from the area, including the WGBY Director of Planned Giving, whom we also found out lives right down the street from us! Looks like I will be doing some volunteer work for her in the future, which I am very happy about.
What a fun evening. Great food, great wine, great new friendships. "Tutti a Tavola a Mangiare!"