Dr. Joel M. Fisher Ph.D is a renowned wine enthusiast, educator and columnist. He also leads Los Angeles’ biggest and most prestigious wine, brew and spirits festival LA WineFest. This week Dr. Fisher tells us about the Italian wines he enjoyed during his recent visit to Da’ Pasquale Trattoria.
Last week while Dr. Fisher reviewed the Italian red wines of Viva Vino LA, he was invited to a dinner at Beverly Hills’ Da Pasquale. This week catches us up to his journey of that day:
After the the Wines of Veneto panel during Viva Vino LA, I moved through the hall, tasting various wines. I met one Italian vintner, the producer of interesting wines from far south of the region of the morning’s panel. His wines were good, and I regretted having to leave for a meeting. He and his American relative invited me to a dinner they were doing later in the week. But I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it, considering I had a tasting that day beginning at noon.
Several days later, the day-of, was my triple tasting and the Italian dinner invitation. I was very curious to say the least and certainly wanted to make every effort to attend both. After my triple tasting, I went home, drank lots of water, and returned to Beverly Hills for this dinner.
The restaurant was Da Pasquale, a local favorite for 24 years. The interior was welcoming, warm, and what seemed like a family or neighborhood place was filled with young and old, with and without children. Amidst the bustling we waited for our group to fill in around a large table.
Dinner began later than expected, with a mixed grilled seafood, and then mussels in wine broth. We tasted the Tenuta Cavalier Pepe Greco di Tufo DOCG 2009 (retail, $21-23) which went well.
The Primo course was black squid tagliolini with shrimps, and then Orecchiette pasta with sausage, cherry tomatoes, arugala and parmigiano. I would return to Da Pasquale for this dish alone.We enjoyed a Castello Ducale Pallagrello del Ventaglio IGT Terre Del Volturno with these selections and I knew why I liked the wine two days earlier. With food it was brilliant ($20 retail).
Dinner moved on to a mixed grilled meat offering, with rapini, accompanied by a 2006 Tenuta Cavalier Pepe Taurasi DOCG ($50) and a Castello Ducale IGT Pallagrello Moro 2007($24). All was excellent, but those colleagues near me were faltering in their dining, as was I. Next came a Mixed cheese plate, where I rallied to taste this outstanding selection of cheeses.
The entire feast concluded with the Antonio Pupillo Colacium 2009, an outstanding Limoncello
Da’ Pasquale Trattoria is indeed a family business — father in front, mother the chef, sons, brother, nephews, in front or serving. I would take my 3 plus year old grandson to this (for me) great find.