Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bite of the Beast Dinner at Locanda del Lago (Santa Monica, CA)

by Bryan Tsunoda @discovering_LA

I watch for restaurant special events because it is an opportunity for a chef or an owner to execute a concept that makes them stand out above the others. My latest discovery was Locanda Del Lago’s Morso Della Bestia or “Bite of the Beast”. The last Thursday of every month, Locanda Del Lago hosts a communal meal, featuring animal roasts and traditional, rustic Italian dishes. The Morso Della Bestia includes a 4-course dinner featuring the choice animal, and an optional wine pairing.

For the May dinner, the “animal” was salmon. Locanda Del Lago created a four course meal to feature this popular fish. To make the event extra special, they partnered with the Italian winery, Fasoli Gino, to provide a unique food and wine pairing.

The first course was a Salmon Tartare.
It was surrounded by a delicious avocado puree, pine nuts, giardiniera and wild arugula. The salmon tartare was extremely fresh and creamy to the taste. It was paired with a clean tasting pinot grigio from Fasoli Gino.

Salmon that was cured with limoncello liqueur was combined with fresh herbs, chicory and asparagus.
This dish had a lot of bold flavors and I was surprised that chicory worked well with this dish. The Soave, a dry Italian white wine, was fruity with a nice amount of acidity to balance this dish.

Housemade Cavatelli Pasta was paired with cherry wood smoked salmon.
Instead of a traditional pasta sauce, they opted for a creamy mascarpone. This was paired with Creaman Brut Rose.

Our last course was a poached salmon with broccollini.
The salmon was simply prepared with olive oil and the broccollini was sauteed in spring garlic. The salmon was extremely tender and super moist. I intentionally took small bites of this salmon because the flavor was outstanding. The broccollini was tender and slightly sweet. They paired it with a well balanced 2014 Valpolicella blend that married well with the salmon.

What can you expect to see in the future? Wild Boar, Suckling Pig, Venison, Lamb, Halibut or Duck are some of the “beasts” that may be featured. Moso Della Bestia is a great way to experience Italian cuisine. Dishes are uniquely prepared and expertly paired with premium wines. Finally, Lago offers a terrific value with a four course meal at only $49 with optional wine pairings at $32.

Locanda Del Lago
231 Arizona Ave
Santa Monica, CA
Locanda Del Lago Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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