Bartolo Pasta Dinner and Italian Wine Pairings
By Sue Geary, Vice Charge’ de Presse, FWS, IWS, SWS
On Saturday, March 20, 2021, we enjoyed a spectacular dinner from the newly-opened Bartolo Restaurant. Bartolo’s of Salt Lake, which borders the Sugarhouse and 9th and 9th Neighborhoods, is the second restaurant for owners Alex and Rhia Bartolo following their first opening in Park City. Each location was designed to be “an artisanal neighborhood spot with an Italian inspired kitchen specializing in pastas and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” The Salt Lake City restaurant includes a rooftop dining area with panoramic views of the city and surrounding Wasatch Mountains.
During the week before our scheduled dinner event, we were able to view a delightful and informative YouTube demonstration of Chef Alex making pasta by hand. Alex’s careful instruction could easily be followed by the cooks in our group who want to make authentic pasta at home. And for those of us who are not as ambitious, we learned that Bartolo’s sells its freshly-made pasta in addition to its menu items.
Alex Bartolo joined us for the four-course event to describe the three pasta choices, each from a different region of Italy. The wines were selected and presented by Charge’ de Presse Sue Geary, who is also an Italian wine instructor. In response to requests we had received from some of our members, Sue recommended wines at two price points for each of the entrée options.
Bailli Sheral Schowe welcomed our members and guests as we enjoyed the appetizer of house-made focaccia and ricotta cheese with red wine-poached pears, toasted pine nuts and rosemary. Our first wine-- Terredora Di Paolo Corte di Giso Irpinia Falanghina 2018 from the Campania Region--paired nicely both with the appetizer and with the beautiful and delicious Beet Tomato Burrata Salad.
Chef Alex chose Agnolotti alla Piemontese as representative of the Monferrat District of Piemonte. The delectable sauce of beef, brown butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano was paired with a choice of two Barbera wines from Asti appellations: Vietti Barbera D’Asti Tre Vigne 2018 and Michele Chiarlo La Court Nizza Riserva 2016.
The second of our pasta entrée options was Firenze’s signature dish, Pappardelle al Cinghialle. This delicious wild boar ragu with tomatoes and pecorino welcomed the Sangiovese wines selected: Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico 2016 and Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2015.
The vegetarian pasta presented was Macaroni alla Norma, which originated in Italy’s southern and more agricultural regions of Sicilia and Catania. Chef Alex prepared a most exquisite version of this dish of fried eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and ricotta salata. The wine offerings were Morgante Nero D’Avola Sicilia 2018 and Alta Mora Etna Rosso 2017.
The dinner’s grand finale was Chef Alex’s own approach to Tiramisu. His lighter use of lady fingers allows the Brandy mascarpone, coffee cream, and chocolate to blend most delicately. The meal could not have ended more perfectly. Our only challenge now will be in deciding which menu items to sample on our next visit to this welcoming neighborhood restaurant.