A private tasting at Cotto Wine Bar
Cotto Wine Bar and Pizzeria hosted a private tasting recently to show Chef Greg Depelteau’s classic, yet contemporary approach to Italian food.
We started at the wine bar with a Nordic-Italian bruschetta of smoked salmon with mascarpone and fried capers. Eggplant caponata was served warm, a wonderful idea, with grilled flat bread. We sampled truffle arancini, cocktail-size cheesy rice balls. Fried calamari got a kick from smoked paprika aoli. And the array of excellent imported cured meats, including bresaola della Valtellini, air-dried cured beef from the Italian Alps, felt like pure heaven. The selection of cheeses included Chef Depelteau’s homemade mozzarella.
At the vast communal table we began the tasting menu with “lamb sliders”—a deconstructed open-faced “sandwich” of pulled lamb on a thin polenta cake. I absolutely loved the spaghetti alla carbonara. The al dente spaghetti was coated in the “bacon-and-eggs” sauce of pancetta, egg yolks, pecorino Romano and lots of black pepper. The peppery arugula salad with rich avocado, grape tomatoes, pine nuts and shaved parmigiano, lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon, was also a favorite. The final plate was a satisfying hanger steak with a red wine sauce, haricot vert and fingerling potatoes. The steak was rare the way I like it and the haricot vert were just cooked.
Cotto carries over 200 labels of wine. We started with a fruity Valdo prosecco from Veneto, Italy. The steak was accompanied by Gia Docetto Nebbiolo, a young red from that naturally takes just three months to make. This wine from the Langhe D.O.C. in the hilly Piedmont is a reflection of Cotto’s focus on “the most interesting” producers of Italian wines.
Cotto Wine Bar + Pizzeria
51 Bank Street