Went to Valanni's last night for their Mambo Italiano food and wine dinner, which offered five courses and seven wines. Looks like it was pretty much sold out for the 8 and 8:30 seatings.
We were greeted with a nice glass of prosecco upon our arrival. First course was a mushroom bruchetta with white truffle oil. Very earthy and flavorful, and paired well with the first wine. Secondi was a tomato-based soup with crab, mussel and clam. We enjoyed that too. Third was a caprese salad of buffalo mozarella and tomatoes. A large portion with a good balsamic vinaigrette and basil chiffonade; the cheese was wonderful and the tomato even had flavor. Main course was a choice of osso buco or St. Peters fish. I had the osso bucco on a bed of mashed root vegetables. It was excellent. The fish was tasty but a bit dry and overcooked. They served both a red (Sangiovese?) and white (chardonnay, non-oaked) to both of us during this course. Dessert was a choice of tira misu or a cheese plate. The tira misu was excellent, and the cheese plate, which consisted of three cheeses, a fanned pear and grapes, was OK. It was served with a quite decent dessert wine, made from muscat grapes, I believe.
The wine that accompanied each course did complement it, and the staff came over to introduce each one and explain a little about it. This was a nice touch. I don't remember all of the wines but overall they were of good quality and went quite nicely with the food they were paired with. Service was prompt and attentive for the most part. At $165 for two including tip, we both felt that we had gotten a very good value for both the quality and amount of food and wine served. We like Valannis, but this was our first time there for this kind of an event. While I think that the preparation of the food there is a little better on a regular day -- I presume a lot of this was made more in advance than is usual to accommodate the close seatings -- we agreed we'd do it again.