Impressions and photos from an enjoyable and relaxed cigar-dinner at Napul’e with Sancho Panza Omiros, Frescobaldi wines, Italicus Cup & Aberlour Casg Annamh malt whisky
On Monday 7 November we welcomed our guests with an Italicus Cup (the fine Italian Rosolio di Bergamotto with Three Cents Pink Grapefruit Soda) at the beautiful, rustic space of Napul`e, in Vari. The occasion was a relaxed and exuberant cigar dinner with emphasis on pizza and pasta accompanied by two of Frescobaldi’s favorite wines: the cool and fine Alie rosé and a Chianti Rufina Reserva, from the famous Castello di Nipozzano. The idea was to experience a relaxed evening before a series of more …glamorous events enjoying comfort food and the fine Sancho Panza Homer, the first regional edition for Greece after 13 years!
Magky Tampakaki and Francesco Granata had prepared an extensive menu for us that highlighted the Neapolitan cuisine. We started deceptively light with a green salad with lotus, full of freshness and fragrance, and excellent Tuscan pecorino and Culatello di Zibello. The Arancino with truffle that followed delighted and set the tone for the exuberance that would characterize the rest of our dinner.
Next tasting station -what else?- pizza! Two fantastic Napolitan pizzas landed in front of us and the debate began: was the classic bufalina or the more complex Pistacchiosa with mortadella bologna, pistachio pesto and stracciata di bufala better? A difficult answer and only one’s personal taste counted in the end…
Pasta to follow and the refreshing and lightly sparkling, gourmet Doubia water “worked overtime” to refresh our palates. First course was a classic Neapolitan cucina povera recipe: pasta mista (whatever pasta is “left over”) in a rich potato cream and smoked mozzarella di bufala, a relatively unusual dish for Greece and a “difficult” one. Then an exuberant, rustic dish: lasagna with Neapolitan ragù. Deep flavour and a delightful combination with Castello di Nipozzano.
As the cigars had already been shared and lit it was time for a small draw. A lovely champagne stopper stool and a set of electric corkscrew and air pump from Masterzen were raffled off to two lucky friends.
We closed with a traditional tiramisu and coffee Taf La Lia Micromill from Costa Rica, which we tasted in espresso and enjoyed its round body with delicate acidity and aromas of milk chocolate and citrus. At the same time, Aberlour Casg Annamh was released, which translates as “Rare Barrel” in Gaelic and is created from a limited number of carefully selected barrels. The casks that previously housed Oloroso Sherry have a significant impact on the final blend, perfectly complementing its flavour profile and making it an ideal companion for the exuberant “Omiros” wine.
*Photographs Panos Smirniotis