Mario Batali appeared at Lidias Pittsburgh today, and he did a demonstration of the luncheon dishes that were served. There were two seating for lunch, and I believe two for dinner this evening.
Cheese Bread from Genoa
Ricotta Gnocchi with Sausage and Fennel
Spaghetti with Garlic, Onion, and Pancetta
Pansotti with Walnut Sauce
Of course his appearance was to sell his new book Molto Italiano which he described as 327 recipes stolen from Grandmas all over Italy. For $60.00 you got the autographed book, lunch and soft drinks. Wine was an extra charge.
One of the options daily at Lidias Pittsburgh is a pasta trio which they serve out of the pan while strolling through the dining room. This lunch was served the same way.
The bread was excellent as were the marinated vegetables; eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, green and black olives, and buffalo mozzarella.
Of the pasta dishes the Ricotta Gnocchi was outstanding. Spaghetti with garlic, onion and pancetta was second best, and the pansotti, a ravioli with walnut sauce, well, it was very bland, and my least favorite.
The dessert was Sanguinaccio, which is chocolate pudding with cinnamon and pine nuts, and it too was very good, bittersweet.
They had Mario up on a platform above the room, and cameras televised the demonstration on a large screen so that everyone could see the details. And he took questions form the audience.
After the demonstration, Mario went outside to personalize each book and took photos with every person who wanted one.