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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cantinetta Luca's Third Annual Heirloom Tomato Dinner

As the heirloom has become an institution, Swank Farms and its third generation growers have become a favorite source for local chefs.

When it comes to great restaurants in Carmel, Cantinetta Luca and sister establishment Aubergine have become reader favorites (and for very good reason).

And as anyone who has ventured into a wine dinner with Thomas Perez knows, he is a perennial favorite for best wine director-by-the-sea.

So when they all get together, and throw in some of the best chefs from David and Kathleen Fink's Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group—namely Jason Balestrieri (Cantinetta Luca), Ron Mendoza (Mirabel), Craig DiFonzo (Cantinetta Piero) and Randall Hane (Aubergine)—you're looking at one of the favorite nights to be alive.

The $95 all-inclusive action starts with a tomato reception at 6:30pm. I could go on, but a peek at the menu makes more sense. (Call 626-7880 lickety split like.)

Welcome Hors d’oeuvres
paired with 2005 L’Hereu de raventós I Blanc - Cava - Sant sadurni D’Anoia - Penedés - España

First Course
Tomato Gelée Cuttlefish Ceviche, Fennel, Yuzu Zest
by Randall Hane, Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel
paired with 2007 Schlosskellerei Von Schubert - Maximin Grünhäuser - Riesling-Kabinett - Herrenberg - Ruwer -Germania

Second Course
Pasta e Pomodoro
Spaghetti, Tomato Crudo, Garlic, Mozzarella Cheese, Basil
by Craig DiFonzo, Cantinetta Piero, Yountville
paired with 2008 Torre Rosazza - Friulano - Colli Orientali del Friuli - Italia

Main Course
Guanciale di Maiale alla Milanese
Crispy Pork Cheeks, Heirloom Tomatoes, Rucola, Summer Truffle
by Jason Balestrieri, Cantinetta Luca, Carmel
paired with 2008 Kellerei Terlano - Lagrein Rosé - Alto-Adige - Italia

Green Tomato Ice Cream
Tomato Conserve, White Chocolate, Herb Salad
by Ron Mendoza, Mirabel Restaurant Group, Carmel
paired with 2009 La Spinetta - Moscato D’Asti - Bricco Quaglia - Piemonte - Italia