Weekend Pick: 'Almost Midnight Madness' Wine Dinner at Il Pittore

Chef Chris Painter at Il Pittore
Chef Chris Painter at Il Pittore

On Saturday, May 9, famed restaurateur Stephen Starr and co-owner/Chef Chris Painter will stay up late when they hold an Almost Midnight Madness dinner at their Il Pittore in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse area (2025 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103). The four-course dinner will begin at 11 PM, and will feature wine pairings by Roberto Damonte, the owner and winemaker of Piemonte’s Roero Vineyards.

Painter is a magician when it comes to rustic yet sophisticated Italian fare. His pasta is thicker, denser and fuller than the more delicate fare many chefs offer, and his polenta is a thing of beauty. That's only part of the reason we're looking forward to the "Almost Midnight Madness" dinner, as Painter has both beef ravioli and polenta on the menu. The true treat of the evening is the Painter's sense of collaboration with winemaker Damonte, and how the food and wine pairings play off each other.

The menu from the "Almost Midnight Madness" dinner includes Sea Bream Crudo with hazelnut, orange and fennel pollen salt paired with Damonte's Roero Arneis Trinita 2009; Beef Ravioli with rosemary and talleggio paired with Barbera San Michele 2008; Braised Veal Cheeks with spring vegetables, polenta and horseradish leaf gremolata paired with Roero Nebbiolo Superiore, 2010; Chocolate Pot de  Crème with almond crumble and salted cocoa crisps paired with Birbet Brachetto. There is a rumor that Painter will add summer truffles to the mix.

Damonte will be on hand to meet guests and answer their questions on wine throughout the evening. The cost of the dinner is $110 per person (does not include tax/gratuity). Space is limited; guests should call 215.391.4900 to reserve their seats.

Photo ©Reese Amorosi 2011

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2015