Last Thursday I attended the Moveable Feast, the opening event in Preston Streets La Vendemmia celebration. The 15 year old event has participants moving from restaurant to restaurant sampling signature dishes and wine paired by the sommeliers of Savvy Company. This event is similar to Dish Crawl but the wine is included in the $99 ticket.
We started our evening at Sala San Marco with a tasty glass of bubbly and a selection of different hors d’oeurves. I know, it’s a rookie mistake to fill up on appetizers but I really enjoyed the smoked salmon toasts. I probably wouldn’t have eaten so many if I wasn’t egged on by fellow blogger Hilary Duff; between the two of us those salmon toasts didn’t last long.
From Sala San Marco we were split into different groups lead by sommeliers, actors or historians. Each group would visit 3 or 4 out of the participating 10 restaurants. My group, lead by local actress, writer and occasional weather specialist Terri Loretto, walked to Le Kim Chi for our first course. There we enjoyed a glass of 2009 Cabernet Merlot from Vineland Estates Winery with our tender BBQ short ribs served over glass noodles.
From Le Kim Chi we walked to Il Primo where crusty Italian bread waited and our glasses were filled with a 2007 Masi Serego Alighieri Poderi Del Bello Ovile. After a brief introduction to Il Primo and its sister restaurant Il Piccolino we were treated to an off menu item – oven roasted roma tomatoes, filled with garlic-y snails and parmesan.
Our last stop would be at Divino Wine Studio. There we would take over the Chef's table and enjoy a glass of Murelle Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. We were served what I think is the best gnocchi in Ottawa although several of my dinner companions told me it was second to their grandmothers.
For dessert we were treated to an assortment of cakes from Simply Biscotti and Reggina Pastry. They were so tasty that my dinner companions actually admitted that it reminded them of desserts that their grandmothers made.
I left Divino Wine Studio very full and happy. I'll have to admit, Preston Street is one of my favourite streets in Ottawa and the Moveable Feast just rekindled my love. Where else can you have a pint at an Italian pub, grab some great Korean food, then get the best gnocchi in Ottawa and have an Italian man yell at you when you walk back to your car?