USA Dinner
Bailliage of Greater Miami
Miami, October 16, 2016
Ciao Italy Amical ... Benvenuto Spasso!

We paid homage to Italy with a “Ciao Italy Amical” event at Spasso Italian Restaurant Bar & Terrace. Everyone was excited to celebrate the opening of Miami’s newest venue also to welcome one of our confrères to Miami.

Vice-Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire Gaetano Ascione calls himself a citizen of the world. A native of Naples, fluent in five languages, worked around the globe, prepared dinners for former USA Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, Ascione moved to Miami from Chicago where he was chef/owner of the acclaimed Gioco Restaurant. Lucky for us that he now calls Miami his home!

Due to inclement weather the reception was in the private bar. Tables were adorned with red and yellow roses, custom menus, and Chaîne flags. The stellar cuisine stole the show thanks to Chef Ascione exceeding our expectations.

We began with a gorgeous, vertically-layered bruschetta of smoked swordfish and Ahi tuna, topped with a seared foie gras accompanied by a seaweed salad, fig jam, and a swirl of aged balsamic.

Next, homemade tortelloni stuffed with squab and winter vegetables in a demi-glace of butter, sage, and aged Parmigiana. The tortelloni’s perfume was as heavenly as its taste.

A rack of lamb followed with fresh mint, fava and slivered Pecorino Romano. Dessert was a red wine poached pear surrounded by pillows of melt-in-your-mouth English custard.

As a complement to the fine Italian wines chosen to accompany the stellar cuisine, Gaetano had orchestrated a surprise, namely Carolina Cossu of Grappa Amerone who educated us on grappa. She hosted a special tasting of Gra'it Vera Grappa Italiana and gourmet chocolates.

Bailli Nancy Radlauer recognised both chef and staff for the dazzling cuisine and attentive service.  It is evident that Gaetano Ascione evokes an amazing passion for life, Spasso, and the Bailliage of Greater Miami. Benvenuto Gaetano and Spasso!

Nancy Radlauer
Bailli