Special Event
Raffaele Solinas
Raffaele Solinas

Barilla Italian Luncheon

Raffaele Solinas
Osteria del Sole and Assenzio | NYC

Friday, March 25, 12:00 noon
Members $60, guests $70

Any restaurant whose menu can be described as having “an emphasis on suckling pig and wild boar” gets our attention. That’s how Eric Asimov of the New York Times described the bill of fare at Assenzio, the Sardinian- and Ligurian-inflected restaurant of Raffaele Solinas and his partner Lorenzo Socci, who also own Osteria del Sole. Asimov added that the restaurant “stands out” for its “calm and rustic” atmosphere, not to mention the “unusual winners” on the menu that “won me over immediately.”

Solinas is a native of Sardinia who graduated from hotel school on the island and worked at restaurants Corte Rosada and Baia di Conte. A gig with Princess Cruise Lines took him to Alaska, Australia, Europe, India, and the Caribbean. One day, as his ship approached New York harbor, Solinas knew he was destined to come to the Big Apple. He immigrated with a suitcase full of 45 knives and a desire to do whatever it would take to make it in Manhattan. A job at Giovanni 25 on the Upper East Side was followed by an executive chef position at Baraonda.

In March 2002, Solinas and his partner, Socci, opened Osteria del Sole in Greenwich Village, which Zagat Survey described as being “always crowded with neighbors.” Eight months later they opened Assenzio. “I had never tried fregola,” wrote Asimov about the small, toasted pasta beads typical of Sardinia that are available on the menus in both restaurants, “but they make an invigorating appetizer with gently steamed clams in a light spicy tomato broth.” That was only the beginning of Asimov’s adoration. “Even better is soft, cheesy polenta, with a superb corn flavor,” he continued. That got our mouths watering. As yours will be at this Barilla Italian Luncheon.

Antipasti misti all’Italiana
Mixed Italian-Style Antipasti

Canella Prosecco NV

Aragosta all’Algherese
Alghero-Style Lobster with Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Onion, Seaweed, and Wild Arugula

Cantina Santadi Vermentino Cala Silente 2003

Barilla Gnochetti Sardi con Tonno Fresco, Capperi e Olive
Barilla Sardinian Gnochetti with Fresh Tuna, Piquant Tomatoes, Capers, and Olives

Cantina Santadi Shardana 1999

Branzino con Cuori di Carciofi, Menta e Patate
Branzino Filet with Artichoke Hearts, Mint, and Potatoes

Cantina Santadi Rocca Rubia 2001

Seadas al Miele
Pecorino-Filled Fried Sardinian Pastry with Honey Sauce

Moscato Passito NV

Wines generously provided by Empson USA and Tricana.

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