Tag Archives: Italian

White Pinot Noir Could Be Your New Fave

Caleb Flint of Wine Merchants in WS offered me a bottle of Amity Vineyards White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 for an honest review. We are grateful for the opportunity (and the wine). All opinions are my own.

My favorite kind of wine is red wine. And of the reds, my favorite has been Pinot Noir. And no that has nothing to do with the film, Sideways. 😀 . Though a Malbec sometimes does sometimes hit the spot.  I also do try to support NC Wine as much as possible but I do like to change up.  So when Wine Merchants talked about a White Pinot Noir, I was intrigued. After grabbing a bottle,  I took a little time and meal planning for when to enjoy it. Mr. foodie and I like wine, but we have two kiddos at home and sometimes we can’t just open a bottle up and enjoy. And we rarely finish a bottle between the two of us in one night. Plus, I wanted to have a mushroom pasta dish. I am particular like that.

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Then the night came. Opened up a bottle of the White Pinot on a pasta night. I enjoyed a glass while cooking. What we found was a lightly fruity, very clean wine with body that drinks quite easily alone and is wonderful with pasta, cheese and poultry and particularly, mushrooms. Bonus points if you can manage that in one dish, which we did (a browned butter balsamic mushroom sauce over ravioli with grilled chicken). The photo of the dish didn’t come out well. But I’ll make it again and share the recipe.

The wine went perfectly. I have a feeling this is going to be in the regular rotation.

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White Pinot Noir is gaining in popularity but is still considered somewhat “rare” compared to other varietals.  it takes a special process because Pinot Noir grapes are obviously red. This is an excerpt from VinePair.

To make white wine from red grapes, winemakers take careful steps to ensure that there is minimum contact, or maceration, between the pre-fermented must and color-giving grape skins. To eliminate maceration for white Pinot, only a small amount of the grape’s juice can be fermented into white wine.
Free-run juice is released when grapes are piled, and their skins break under their own weight. In white winemaking, this produces the highest quality wines because there’s minimal contact with bitter skins and seeds. Free-run juice, and occasionally must from a very light pressing, are used to make Blanc de Noirs still wines.

White Pinot Noir also listed as Pinot Noir Blanc or Blanc de Noirs.  In Winston-Salem, you can find Amity Vineyards for about $25 at Wine Merchants & Vin 205 Wine Bar at 205 S. Stratford Rd. in Winston-Salem.  (336) 765-8175.

By the way, if you haven’t been to Wine Merchants or the bistro next door, get yourself over there. The restaurant is one of the most underrated spots in all of the Triad. Read about them here.  Site of 2 Chef’s Tables! That’s how good.

Cheers!

Just Announced! triadfoodies Chef’s Table with Mozzarella Fellas!

This time, we’re headed back to Winston-Salem for a delicious night of Italian cuisine.

Our Chef’s Table will feature the Mozzarella Fellas!

Wait until you meet these Fellas! The Mozzarella Fellas, Darrell Coltrane and Brian Ricciardi, are becoming Winston-Salem sensations with their freshly prepared and delicious Italian cuisine!

We’ve eaten there a number of times and have been so impressed by their food and service and you need to get to know them better and be delighted by a night of surprises.
The Fellas do almost all of it by hand. Mozzarella made fresh every day. The dough, also made fresh every day. And on and on. This isn’t just your average Italian eatery and it’s definitely not just a pizza joint.
It is so much more. We’ve been so impressed by the passion that Brian and Darrell have for bringing the freshest and best to you every day. Quality Italian that doesn’t break the bank. From appetizers and calzones to salads and pizza, entrees and now they serve brunch on Sunday. Maybe we’ll get some brunch tastes while we’re here. You never know, because at our Chef’s Table, we let the chefs surprise us! The Fellas have promised to really bring you a wonderful experience while showing their expertise. Brian tells us their creative juices are flowing! Brian learned everything he knows from his Italian grandmother. And Darrell learned his way through the kitchen since his childhood in Sicily. For more about them visitmozzarellafellas.com.


If you have a food sensitivity, they can make pizza happen for you! Gluten-free, vegetarian? These Fellas will rise to the challenge. And you’ll be so impressed with the Fellas’ care for bringing you excellent service. What a team!

We try to showcase a wide variety of our area’s talent and this is a great way to mix it up.


Here’s how it works. Reserve with a ticket here and you’ll join us at our table on Monday, June 26. The whole restaurant is ours for the night! Even so, seating is limited.
A reminder of our pricing:Your ticket price of $27 INCLUDES your multi-course meal including dessert as well as tax and gratuity associated with the meal. Beverage (and gratuity for the purchase of beverages including wine and beer) are not included in the ticket price. Please take care of your server on any beverage service. We’ll see you on June 26!

** Follow us on Facebook for the latest details and get in on the chatter by tagging @MozzarellaFellas and #triadfoodiesChefsTable on Facebook and Instagram.
Please notify me at Kristi@triadfoodies.com if you have any food sensitivity or need the chefs to be aware of any concerns.

foodie b’eat: Quanto Basta and Raffaldini Vineyards and Pizzette is sexy!

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Last week, as part of the Salute! NC Wine Celebration festivities, mr. foodie and I were busy representing Food and Wine University.  In case you didn’t know, we manage the food/chef events for the festival including helping pair up the wine dinners and tastings throughout the week. A fun, challenging and rewarding task, to be sure. We had the privilege of joining Chef Tim Grandinetti at his new restaurant, Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery & Wine Bar for an “Italian Gathering” which celebrated his new collaboration with Raffaldini Vineyards, the NC Wine Region’s only true Italian vineyard.

This “gathering” wasn’t like your typical wine dinner. There were tasting stations throughout the loggia with some meat, cheese, olives, veggies, pasta, breadsticks at will. For more info on what was served, keep reading :D.

As you can tell, Chef Tim loves to have fun and loves to entertain a crowd.

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mr. foodie, Chef Tim and blogger/caterer Heidi Billotto of Heidi Cooks

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We paused our noshing to join chef in the kitchen as one of his sous chefs for a pizza demonstration. Here we learned how in Italy, pizza—or pizzette at QB, is considered street food and that no two are alike, which Chef Tim says makes it a very sexy snack, to enjoy with your hands and with wine and with friends. He made a couple for us…the seafood pizzette is amazing. All the pizzettes are amazing.

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The event celebrated the heritage of two Italian Americans who are so extremely proud of their heritage and who’ve made their mark here locally to celebrate it and bring it to us for enjoyment.

So what does this announcement mean to you, foodies? Raffaldini has been chosen to make QB’s house wines!

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Photo: Courtesy QB

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Here’s the official QB statement….

Raffaldini Vineyards is located in both the Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Owner Jay Raffaldini comes from an Italian family, and the winery specializes in national award-winning Italian varietals. Raffaldini has been a frequent guest and supporter of Spring House Kitchen, Restaurant & Bar, the first Winston-Salem partnership between Grandinetti and Lynette Matthews-Murphy. When Raffaldini and Grandinetti met about three years ago, they instantly bonded over their Italian family heritage.

“When we told Jay we were going to do an Italian restaurant, he was immediately supportive,” Grandinetti says. “With the quality of his wines, it was a natural fit for him to make our house wines.”

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Winemaker Jay Raffaldini and Chef Tim Grandinetti

Grandinetti worked with Raffaldini to select two wines, a white and a red, for Quanto Basta’s house labels. The white is a Vermentino Riserva, and the red is a Sangiovese Riserva. The white sells for $35 a bottle and $7 a glass, and the red for $45 a bottle and $9 a glass.

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Raffaldini Vineyards is the only Italian vineyard in North Carolina. The area’s soil and climate remind Jay Raffaldini of Italy, where his family started making wine in 1348. Once Raffaldini and his staff harvest the grapes, they dry a portion of them to concentrate the flavors before pressing and blending. This process is known as appassimento in Italian.

“We’re intensifying all of the wonderful bits,” Raffaldini says. The Raffaldini wines are ideal for food pairings because they complement the food instead of overpowering it.

About 60 guests joined Grandinetti, Matthews-Murphy and Raffaldini during a wine dinner leading up to Saturday’s Salute! NC Wine Celebration in downtown Winston-Salem. The Italian gathering included a chef’s culinary demonstration of barbera-infused handcrafted pasta. Tasting stations reflected the restaurant’s rustic Italian menu with such offerings as salumi and cheese, pizzette, shrimp arrabiata (one of the restaurant’s most-popular dishes) and eggplant Parmesan. Dessert included tiramisu and butterscotch budino paired with Le Dolce Vita, a Moscato d’Asti-style wine from Raffaldini Vineyards.

Quanto Basta means “as much as you like; as much as you need” in Italian. Since opening in March, the eatery has experienced an overwhelming response with a consistently full dining room and growing reputation for authentic Italian food in a casual setting. The Raffaldini house wine collaboration furthers Quanto Basta’s mission of celebrating the art of food and the joyful voice of the Italian culture.

Quanto Basta features Italian favorites and fresh pastas topped with rustic sauces; pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven imported from Italy. The current wine list includes 60 labels and will eventually grow to include more than 200. The restaurant is located at 680 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem, NC; (336) 893-6144. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight, and Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-late night. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations. www.facebook.com/quantobastaNC

Raffaldini Vineyards was named one of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” the vineyard produces Central and Southern Italian varietals, such as vermentino, pinot grigio, sangiovese and montepulciano. The winery tasting room is open daily (except for Tuesdays) at 450 Groce Road, Ronda, NC; (336) 835-9463; www.raffaldini.com.

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Eat local, foodies!

triadfoodies “Hit List”–a good one!

I’ve been kind of getting a stockpile of places that I’ve tried and loved and been kind of busy to post them all individually so I’m going to take some time here to share some great places that you must try. A few new ones, some old faves that I’ve not mentioned on this here blog and pics and accolades to go along with them. Links and addresses are included.

Outwest Steakhouse, 1185 Highway 66, Kernersville

I must start with a restaurant in the town in which I live. A place that it’s been so long  that I had eaten there that I didn’t even want to go. It’s kind of packed on Saturday and my parents, sister…all of us and our kids got together for birthdays. I must admit, I wasn’t keen on visiting Outwest. But I was pleasantly surprised by great steaks, hot food, and all that you’d expect from a steakhouse. Believe it or not, I decided to NOT order steak because I’d heard the Tuna was delicious and I’ll have to agree. So, if you need an “in-between” the cities meeting spot that’s casual and you get there early enough, you won’t be waiting in all the revelry that seems to arrive around 7:30. It does get busy Outwest.

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98 Asian Bistro, 1800 North Main St., High Point

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This place is gorgeous. So dimly lit to completely prepare you for your Asian fare. The food is really great too. Our table had fresh Spring Rolls, Fried Spring Rolls, Pad Thai, Chicken Stir Fry, Black  Pepper Beef…and you know Mr. foodie got Curry. Each and every dish was fresh and tasty. It’s located in a little center that used to be a car dealership. Check them out when you’ve got a craving for Thai cuisine. You won’t be disappointed.

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Sushi Republic, 329 Tate Street, Greensboro

Arguably THE BEST sushi in Greensboro. There’s no other place that offers such interesting and innovative sushi with its fusion inspired rolls. And whatever you do, you MUST get the Garlic Edamame. It is incredible. The Vegetable Tempura is also very pleasing but what I do miss at Sushi Republic is the slight sweetness that typically comes with the dipping sauce that goes with tempura. It’s still really good and the sushi…I’ve never been disappointed. My favorite is still the Black Tiger Roll.

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Hops Burger Bar, 2419 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro

It’s been a long time coming…eating here. Every time I’ve tried there’s been a line out the door. So we arrived on Sunday at 4:30 because the other place we wanted to try had a line out the door. And we didn’t feel like waiting (which is weird because it was only 4:30) so we told ourselves, “Hops might not have a wait!” But they did. It wasn’t out the door…we were 2nd in line but we did have to wait. So that tells you they might be worth it. So after about 20 minutes or so we were seated. I don’t have many pics here but we all got burgers (except the kidlets, who shared chicken fingers). Mr. foodie ordered a burger with Chevre and Pepper Jelly…YUM! I ordered the French Onion with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, garlic and thyme aioli. It came with its own jus/gravy…I didn’t think it needed it and only dipped a couple of times. I highly recommend the Garlic Rosemary Fries. Presentation is awesome and service is great. Burgers best served with any of a plethora of NC Craft Beers.

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Kabobs on Fourth, 214 West 4th Street, Winston-Salem

You get your naan to ORDER. I mean, I could stop right there! But the soups are delicious, the meats are perfectly cooked. There are a few folks who say it’s pricy for kabobs but the quality of the beef and lamb are the reason you’ll pay a tiny bit more. And I promise, you won’t leave hungry. We don’t all need enormous plates of food. Fresh and healthy and made to order naan are where it’s at here.
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West End Cafe, 926 West 4th Street, Winston-Salem

I really don’t even have to put them in here. The loyal customers that flock here on a daily basis know that one of the best places in WS to get a great value for lunch is at West End Cafe. It’s been years since we visited so on a dreary afternoon we headed there for lunch. By far, my favorite item at WEC is the Potato Pancakes. They’re served with sour cream and applesauce and they are just total yummiliciousness. I could just eat them only. But you must try the Reuben if you are there and any number of special soups for the day. Sandwiches are great and salads are hearty. There’s a reason why they always have good crowds.

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DiLisio’s, 301 Brookstown Avenue, Winston-Salem
Ahh…DiLisio’s. Awesome Italian, great prices, comfortable atmosphere…and Tony and Maria. You kind of get it all here. Check them out often
because they have specials that change nightly. They have traditional entrees like Chicken Parm and Veal Marsala…kind of famous for their Lasagna. The Shrimp Fra Diavlo will make your eyes water and your tongue tingle…but just enough to make you appreciate it’s devilish heat. Also, you must check them out when they have monthly Sunday Wine Dinners. I hear folks who’ve attended rave about them. And Mary Haglund of Mary’s Gourmet Diner said his clam soup almost made her cry. Which tells me I definitely need to try it. And so do you!  Also, please enjoy some Fried Ravioli. Yes….

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Irie Rhythms, 3252 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem
Well, well….if you need a little kick in your lunch or dinner, look no further. I am a FAN. One of WSNC’s newest additions and it’s Jamaican fare has been well received. The Jerk Chicken is SPICY…so delicious and tender that the meat falls right off the bone. I highly recommend the rice and peas and make sure you get the cooked cabbage as a side—it is crazy good. The collards are delicious too. And the fried plantains. I need to go back. I’m getting a craving already. A little bird told me to get the Mango Cheesecake (after I’d already left—not like I had room to eat dessert though). Check them out. They are great for lunch because they have specials, which include a drink. There might be a bit of a wait…it seems longer than it actually is because it smells so good in there. But it’s so worth it.

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So that’s a good size list for now. Now, foodies…you’ve got some eatin’ to do! Let me know what you think. And as always, if you know of a place that we must check out, don’t hesitate to tell us.

Until next time, skip the lines at the chains and eat local!

foodie b’eat–Sneak Peek! Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery and Wine Bar

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After months of waiting and anticipation, downtown Winston-Salem’s newest restaurant was unveiled last night in a private event and even 8 inches of snow (give or take a few) couldn’t keep the foodies away. Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery & Wine Bar (corner of 4th and Spring Street) is a new restaurant by the partners of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, one of #WSNC’s most acclaimed establishments. Chef Tim Grandinetti and business partners, Lynn and Lynnette Matthews-Murphy have worked tirelessly turning Lynn’s old office building into a gorgeous and inviting restaurant with a center bar and open kitchen with a wood-burning oven.We were informed that the preliminary tasting for press, family and friends would take place snow or shine. It was a great crowd.

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mr. foodie, Mark Maier and Tim Beeman, from Tart and Tangy Triad and The Less Desirables Podcast

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Owner/Chef Tim Grandinetti and local writer, Carroll Leggett

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Chef Jeff Bacon (Triad Community Kitchen), Grandinetti and Yelp Triad Manager Holly Bertoncini

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TTT Podcast hosts Stephanie Beeman, Tim Beeman & Chef and Niksnacks blogger, Nikki Miller-Ka

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WS Journal’s Justin Gomez and Radio Personality Bob Campbell

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In the middle is local WS Journal Food Editor, Michael Hastings

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In addition to seating of all sizes, a couple of community tables and even some high seating are scattered throughout as well as a small separate seating area that I’m sure can be used by private groups. If there’s one thing the Matthews’ and Grandinetti can do, it’s make a very cozy environment in which to dine. There are great little touches that make it comfortable and fun, from the casual seating, rustic bar to the half-century old sign that once adorned Grandinetti’s grandparents’ pizza restaurant in Hudson, New York. He says he’s been holding onto it for years, waiting to find its perfect home. And it’s found itself right near a beautiful pizza oven, where Chef Christopher Fulk (formerly of Christopher’s Global Cuisine and Pintxo’s Pour House) leads the kitchen and last night, was tossing flat bread dough…

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Chef Christopher Fulk

So in just one week, you’ll get to see it all for yourself and taste what we got to taste last night!  Pizza, antipasti, salad, sliders, sandwiches and traditional Italian specialties that remind Grandinetti of his childhood. Below is just a sampling of the tastes we got to try last night…each delicious and fresh…the anitpasti…oh my!  And for the first time in his life, mr. foodie loved and I mean LOVED Eggplant Parmesan. We were served family and buffet style for this tasting. The menu has appetizers, pizza, antipasti, pasta and specialities all at a terrific price point and nothing over $17, something Grandinetti says is much needed in Winston-Salem. Quanto Basta means “as much as you need” in Italian. Sounds like an Italian Grandma, doesn’t it? We think you’ll get your fill more than once here. 🙂

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Chef Tim and Heidi Grandinetti

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The menu…can you read it?

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Coffee and wine bar

Opening day is Thursday, March 5. Quanto Basta will be open Monday through Saturday 3pm-until late. Beginning in summer, you can enjoy Supper at ‘Nonna’s. Family-style Italian goodness.

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To stay on top of QB happenings, follow them on Facebook.

So!  More choices downtown, foodies. When you get a chance to check them out, let us know what you think. Until then, eat local!