Another successful restaurant in Omaha just celebrated its one year anniversary. Chef Nick Strawhecker prepared a 4-course meal including Tuna Crudo, flash-seared tuna dusted with fennel pollen, white anchovy and olive. The tangy, minerally flavors of dish paired well with Santa Giustina’s 2007 Ortrugo from Emilia-Romagna.
The delectable braised rabbit with pancetta, sage and white polenta married well with Terra di Briganti’s 2007 Aglianico from Campania. Wild meat is a great match with a red wine as the tannins in the wine complement the protein in the meat.
Finally, I was delighted to pair the little known Pecorino, a white wine from the region of Abruzzo, to the potato gnocchi and lobster course with squash, cauliflower and ricotta salada. The lovely floral aromas and acidity made somewhat of a refreshing contrast to the richness of the potato and lobster.
One of the most gratifying moments of the evening was to realize that unpronouncable, relatively unknown and indigenous Italian varietals were so well received and appreciated in this part of the world.
Hats off to the ingenuity of small business owners like Nick and his family for having the courage to create a wine list entirely composed of Italian wines, most of which were unknown in this market!