Vini has been running their Tuesday night Regional Dinners for several years now but only recently had we had the pleasure of actually trying it.
The premise is simple enough – each Tuesday, the skilled hands at Vini craft a menu of dishes specific to a particular Italian region. Though the ingredients are mostly sourced locally, they attempt to recreate a set menu of 5-6 dishes given the available produce and history of the area of interest. This particular Tuesday, it was Lazio, the third most populated region of Italy and includes the province of Rome.
At $50 per person, it was a bargain. For an extra $35 each, we had matching (half glasses of) wine for each of the dishes.
Our first dish was Fave e Bechamela di Pecorino and Guanciale or Beans and Bechamela sauce thickened with Pecorino cheese topped with Guanciale bacon. It’s more of an amuse bouche given its size but its flavours are intense. The pecorino especially stands out, while the beans give it a little substance.
The second dish was Coda alla Vaccinara and Pane Genzano or Roman Oxtail Stew served with Genzano bread. The stew was a bit watery for my taste.
The third dish was Carciofi alla Romana or Stuffed Roman Artichokes. I love artichokes and this was no exception.
Next, we had the Timballo, a dish of layered pasta and meat topped with pie crust.
Our last savoury dish was Roast Pork Belly served with Roast Potatoes, which was rich sticky pork tenderness.
Green salad accompanied the pork. To top it all off, dessert was a scoop of gelato.
The word? Vini provides a comfortable venue for catching up with friends over great food and wine. The sampling of small dishes from the regional dinners give you an idea of what their kitchen is capable of. Note that this variety comes at the cost of size. Service-wise, we were well attended and at no point wanting. I’ll definitely be back to try the regular menu.