February 23, 2014

I've been to Dante several times now, tried take-out (not recommended if you live East of 60th street) and experienced the majesty and envy that comes with booking their mobile pizza oven.

Dante is cool too. They'e into bocce ball, laser etched peroni glasses, giving kids dough to play with and the slow food movement.
peroni etched
While many restaurants probably work with local food providers, Dante highlights it on their menu and website. Some of the familiar names include:
And if they're paying that close of attention to their ingredients, you know the techniques in which the food is prepared are getting the same amount of rigorous attention to detail.

Speaking of which... Neapolitan pizza. What a treat.   

Would it surprise you to know that there is an organization (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana - Vera for short), headquartered in Naples, which certifies that pizzerias all over the world uphold the traditions of Neapolitan pizza making?

Three guesses which Omaha restaurant is the only one in the city, nay, state to be a member of Vera.

There are rules about the composition of the Ingredients (dough must be made with type 00 flour, the sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, and the cheese must be fresh buffalo- or cow-milk mozzarella), Oven (wood-burning at 800 degrees F) and Technique (dough kneaded by a low-speed mixer, crust stretched by hand, and pizzas are cooked in 90 seconds).
So given all that excitement about the pizza, I'm hard pressed to ever order anything else. 

Which is why last night's dinner was extra fun because it included one of my favorite food-pastimes... sharing!

This way the strategy is (supposedly) to experience a wide variety of foods without getting overly stuffed or over-ordering. And while it's a good plan in theory, I will say we were nearing the tipping point on both of those counts. In the best possible way, mind you.
Our Antipasti consisted of Greens and Mussels. (I feel like Dante used to do bread service, but maybe that went by the wayside, FYI.)

Greens were lemon & thyme, crisp prosciutto, pinenuts & grana padano. Basically each bite was permeated with meat, cheese and lemon flavor.

Mussels came with house pancetta, chili, white wine, tomato, garlic and some gloriously crusty bread (make a note to ask for more! Also, no joke, a spoon). I think it'd be totally acceptable to make a meal out of that dish alone if you were inclined. And the bread... can I just take a moment to remember that... oh yeah.
brussels sprouts
Primi included the Funghi pizza (roasted mushroom, garlic, rosemary, oregano, house ricotta &
mozzarella plus papa sausage added) with the Papardelle Bolognese (pork, beef, winter herbs, red wine & grana padano). This was a great option because I always must have pizza here, but their pastas are so darn good too. Wide noodles, hearty yet somehow light sauce full of meat, and plenty of herbs. These are earthy, comforting dishes.

Wrap up with a Contorni of burrsls sprouts with more pancetta and lemon - that was the theme of the evening - then it was on to Dessert!
funghi pizza with papa sausage
paparadelle bolognese
Luckily we shared dessert, a Butterscotch pudding with salted caramel and whip. A sweet finish to a nearly perfect meal. But oh, what's this? One of the best espresso's I've ever had also? Yes.

There were so many high notes in this meal, I hope I remembered to hit them all in this review.

It almost seems like every time I come back, I'm more and more pleased... If only you were closer I'd be unable to avoid the gravitational pull of fantastic, enticing, innovative, exciting food.
butterscotch pudding
hit the espresso!

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