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Italian dinner, and wine & cheese tasting notes - Trattoria Roma

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Italian dinner, and wine & cheese tasting notes - Trattoria Roma

Chicago Mike | Feb 11, 2004 07:58 PM

A couple nites ago we enjoyed a nice dinner at Trattoria Roma on Wells.

We brought 3 bottles BYOB: a 1978 Giacaso Barbaresco and two chardonnays: 2002 Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet, and a 2000 DeLoach OFS.

The Trattoria is very accomodating with wine drinkers, we even brought our own cheese: slabs of ParmReggiano, Pecorino Romano, and Brie to go with the wine. Tasting notes follow:

To match the chardonnays we chose the Clams Vongole: spaghetti with olive oil, plenty of garlic and a generous portion of clams. For the Barbaresco, Osso Bucco.

While waiting on the entrees we tasted the wine & cheese and took some wine notes. The 2000 California chardonnay vintage, while quite acceptable, is not the monumental year it's touted to be, IMHO. The DeLoach was among the better 2000's I've tasted, very dark and rich, as evident alongside the much flintier Montrachet. The California chardonnay matched the Brie perfectly... rich luscious oily fruit alongside equally luscious cheese. Walnuts added to the impression. Brie and cali chardonnay is one of the worlds great food/wine combos. The more austere white Burgundy was not nearly as interesting with the Brie.

The Barbaresco matched near-perfectly with the Parmesan, another of the world's great food/wine matches. The Barbaresco / Romano was a far less interesting combination. Should mention that the wine was in fine shape for 25 years in the bottle, with great dark ruby color and no signs of fruit death whatsoever.

The Clams Vongole was just delicious. We ordered with extra garlic in order to even better match the chardonnays and it did not disappoint. The Montrachet was just perfect with this dish, out-matching even the fine Californian. Shellfish & garlic is magic with white Burgundy. The dish was very well prepared, a steaming pot of clams and pasta enough for 3 at least.

I'm reserving judgement on the 2002 Burgundies until a bit more tasting. While this was a nice bottle, and very food-friendly, I'm not at this point putting it on a par with the '95's and 96's which were fantastic throughout the region and to which the '02s are being compared.

The Osso Bucco was well-prepared and presented, not greasy in the least. A thick sauce with fresh mixed veggies accompanied it. This was not the dish to perfectly match the Barbaresco, very unfortunately... I would have opted for a simple charred steak or a well-prepared veal parmigiana had either been on the menu.

Dessert was a well-made tiramisu.

I've always enjoyed Trattoria Roma as a great place for wine drinking and conversation. Casual, well-lit, high ceilings. They cheerfully bring out 3-4-5 glasses per person, don't mind a bit of revelry. Not super-gourmet but very serviceable. The hand-written menu changes to match whatever fresh ingredients are on hand.

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