USA On-line Festive Dinner
Bailliage of La Jolla
La Jolla (California), December 13, 2020
Virtually, an amazing Holiday Dinner!
" Each dinner was conveniently boxed and delivered to members' doors "

Sliding into 2021, with perhaps the final virtual dinner for the Bailliage before in-person events bring us all back to normal, members and guests enjoyed an Italian holiday feast via Zoom in their own homes on the evening of December 13th in the greater San Diego area.

The five-course festive dinner was created by Chef Filippo Piccini and owner Randy Smerik of Solare Ristorante at Liberty Station in San Diego.

Solare is a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand recipient (since 2019). It has been voted “Best Italian Restaurant”, “Best Service” and “Best Wine List” by San Diego Magazine. The international Gambero Rosso Wine, Travel and Food Magazine has awarded it “Due Forchetta”.

Each dinner was conveniently boxed and delivered to members' doors with detailed reheating instructions, wine and menu descriptions.

Bailli Marie Addario led a zesty conversation of members’ holiday memories. Maître Restaurateur Randy Smerik along with Maître Rôtisseur Filippo Piccini described each course and wine pairing.


Italian holiday surprise from Solare
Chef Filippo’s special holiday starter

Zuppetta d’Aragosta
Solare’s holiday lobster bisque
Maine lobster meat, chive-infused virgin olive oil

Lasagna della Vigilia
Feast of seven fishes lasagna
(including mussels, clams, shrimp,
sea bass, salmon, calamari)
béchamel, fresh pasta layers
Vernaccia di San Gimignano Montenidoli Fiore DOCG
 Tuscany's signature white grape making a nutty, full
and creamy white great for fish dishes]

Gambaletto e Polenta Funghi e Castagne
Christmas slow-roasted lamb shank
creamy polenta cornmeal, chestnut demi-glace
Barolo ‘Tortoniano’ DOCG - Michele Chiarlo, Piedmont
A traditional and complex style of Barolo.
Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes]

Panna Cotta delle Feste
Chef Filippo’s homemade cardamom-infused panna cotta
butternut squash, cinnamon purée
Moscadello di Montalcino ‘FloruS’ DOC Passito
Vendemmia Tardiva - Castello Banfi
Heavenly, rare late-harvested dessert wine
 from Tuscany’s Montalcino region

Following the tradition of Italian seasonal speciality dishes, Tuscany-born Chef Piccini created perfect fare. The chosen wines were not to be missed either. The Barolo wonderfully partnered the fragrant slow-roasted lamb shank.

During the dinner Randy Smerik shared videos of the winemakers from Italy. Known personally they have dined at Solare. Particularly inspirational is Elisabetta Fagiuoli, owner and winemaker of Montenidoli located near San Gimignano. Eighty-five years old, she started the winery in 1965 and has been running it ever since.  When not in the vineyard, she is typically on a non-stop worldwide travel schedule meeting with customers and distributors!

At dessert time, members and guests were asked to share a memory of their favourite holiday gift.

It was good to see friends around the table again and certainly necessary. As expected, revelry and camaraderie prevailed with the hope and promise of a happy New Year!

Marie Addario