Heads Up, Catholic Clergy: Illuminati To Le Virtu

O draconian devil! O lame saint! On Monday, September 28, Passyunk ristorante Le Virtu will host Azienda Agricola Dino Illuminati, a cutting-edge vintner in Teramo’s burgeoning Controguerra wine country. Chef Luciana Spurio—who served us a simple but mesmerizing tagliolini with lemon and prosciutto the other night—is doing five courses for $75 per person (see menu below), including wine pairings by Anna Illuminati, who’ll be on hand to discuss the family juice. Peep the menu below, but on the drinking front expect Costalupo Controguerra DOC, a regional Trebbiano blend; Campirosa Cerasuolo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC, a signature rosé; Riparosso Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC, Illuminati’s take on Montepulciano, the wine rated by Wine Spectator as one of the "top 25 best-value red wines in the world"; and Zanna Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC, the award-winning Montepulciano powerhouse chosen for the recent G8 summit in L’Acquila. Call for reservations.

Olive all'ascolana, pizza fritta, bruschette miste, formaggi artigianali di Anversa degli Abruzzi con carpaccio di pere, miele abruzzese, marmellate di radicchio (breaded fried olives stuffed with braised beef, pork and chicken from Ascoli Piceno, fried dough stuffed with mozzarella and sage, mixed bruschetta, Marcelli family artisanal cheeses and honeys - also served at the G8 summit - from Anversa degli Abruzzi served with our own radicchio marmalade)

Zuppa di lenticchie di Santo Stefano di Sessanio (a traditional soup made with the prized lentils of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo's L'Aquila Province)

Chitarra alla frentana al ragù del macellaio ("guitar" cut pasta - Abruzzo's signature style - in a "butcher's" ragù of pork, chicken and lamb with meatballs of pork, beef, chicken and lamb)

Porchetta e Pollo alla Franceschiello (roast pork seasoned with garlic and hot pepper and chicken sauteed in garlic, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper and served with olives and pickled vegetables, a specialty of Civitella del Tronto in Teramo and named in honor of Francesco II, last ruler of the "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies")

Pizza dolce e tozzetti al limone e mandorle (a traditional Abruzzese sponge and chocolate cream cake made with the liqueur Alchermes -made from a blend of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, coriander, cloves and jasmine and traditional cookies flavored with lemon and almonds)
Photo: LeVirtu

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