Gruppo Italiano is a wonderful organization that introduces foodies and “winies” to new products headed over to the US for consumption and guests always get to “meet the makers.” I recently attended one of their events at Il Gattopardo simply called “Taste Of Europe” and was excited to try all sorts of new wines but being a foodie, I was excited to have some of the best light and not-so-light bites that the legendary Il Gattopardo (13-15 West 54th Street) has to offer, including Prosciutto of Modena wrapped balls, their homemade Parmesan twists and classic risotto in a cream-based sauce. Prosciutto of Modena PDO offers a sweeter flavor than its more famous counterparts Prosciutto Di Parma and Prosciutto Di San Daniele and it is definitely worth trying (there is no use of additives or preservatives in this uniquely savory and sweet product).
Il Gattopardo is part of a trio of restaurants that includes The Leopard At Des Artistes and Mozzarella E Vino that feature some of the freshest pasta and cheeses in all of Manhattan. They have their own herd of milking cows in Tuscany and all the cheese used at the restaurants is made there and shipped over twice per week. Needless to say, the mozzarella is particularly “to die for”!
Brands on display at the Gruppo Italiano event included Sempli drinkware, the world-class balsamic vinegar known as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale Di Modea D.O.P., the legendary Lambrusco wine lines with their popular “frizzantes” being served (with a wild reception from Gruppo Italiano guests), Vini Di Romagna and more. Everyone drank up and my favorite was (drum roll, please) Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce PDO!
If you would like to join Gruppo Italiano (which has fostered appreciation of Italian wine and cuisine since 1979), it is well worth it as they have several events per month in Manhattan that are no charge to members. More information is available at www.gruppo-italiano.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.