All things Lombardi's...the Blog!
April 26, 2013
There is something about Italian food that brings people
together. Its appeal is about as universal as you can get and is recognizable
even if some of the dishes or flavor pairings are unfamiliar. Italian cuisine
focuses on the simple perfection of quality ingredients, an appealing factor
for all of us focused on sourcing the best products and showing them off.
Sure I know people who avoid pasta and pizza for the carbs
or gluten, but Italian is so much more. It can be as light as you want it to be
or hearty and filling. Perhaps you want to start with an overflowing platter of grilled vegetables as part of the antipasti – in my mind always the best way to start a meal. Next is a small
pasta dish – take a small portion of pasta and dress it with a light tomato sauce of fresh crushed tomatoes, a little garlic, olive oil and salt. Even lasagna can be light with the right
combination of a flavorful Bolognese and an excellent parmesan cheese layered
in. The portion doesn’t have to be overwhelming, just enough to satisfy your
desire for all these wonderful flavors. Think of the portion similar to the
starch selection in a typical American dinner.
For the main dish I prefer a perfectly seared piece of fresh
salmon or baked halibut, with a light sauce, highlighted with fennel or a pesto
made from a fresh garden herb. When I’m in the mood for meat, a nice piece of steak, grilled and finished with an olive oil from Tuscany makes the perfect Bistecca Florentine. When I am in the mood for poultry, the perfect roast chicken with a fresh salad dressed in a vinaigrette made with
extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon, and salt and pepper, hits the
spot. On almost every corner in Italy your will find a store-front offering the perfect “roast chicken” to take home with you.
Pizza is the “slice of life” and the new generation of pizza
makers is looking to both Naples, for the floppy-crust or Rome for the cracker-crisp perfect pie
crust. These pizzas are handcrafted and can be slightly different every day as
chefs experiment with baking times, oven temperatures and dough formulas. Besides the classics like Margherita, there are much lesser-known combinations that are excellent and satisfying like one
of my favorite pizza that is coated with a thin layer of crème fraiche or alfredo sauce and topped with sautéed corn and garlic, and topped with corn proscuitto, mozzarella and grated parmesan. After it comes out of the oven the pizza is anointed with garlic-infused olive oil and pepper.
Wrap things up with a sweet as decadent as Tiramisu or as light as panna cotta or a simple Biscotti dipped in chocolate. Of course a grappa is the perfect ending to every Italian meal. I'm
not sure a meal coul be any better. Why Italy – the better question is: Why not?
February 11, 2013
The next time that you raise your glass of wine to celebrate a
special occasion or simply to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, choose a
From Chardonnay to Merlot, there are many different varietals that thrive
in the conditions found in our state. However, Cabernet Sauvignon – by itself or in blends, has produced more
great bottles of wine than any other varietals. If you like your flavors up
front, wines that are easy to drink and are not overly tannic, then
One of the most noted traits of Cabernet Sauvignon is its affinity for oak, either during the fermentation process or in the barrel aging. In addition to having a softening effect on the grape’s naturally high tannins, the unique wood flavors of vanilla and spice complement the natural grape flavors of black current and tobacco.
Here are 5 basic steps to consider when tasting a wine for the first time:
The “nose” or smell – One of the most important parts of tasting is the smell. When you swirl the wine in the glass it releases the bouquet. Rather then describing the smell - ask yourself if you like the smell?
The color – everyone will describe color differently so just determine if you like the color?
The “swirl” – Swirling allows
oxygen to enter into the wine, releasing more of the bouquet and
Taste – To me this means taking a sip and moving the wine around in my mouth for 3 – 5 seconds. This is because our taste buds are located all around the mouth. There are hundreds of words to describe the taste of a wine. The most important thing is “do you like the flavors or taste?” I also like to “feel” the wine in my mouth – for the weight or creaminess of the wine.
So now that you have chosen your wine, a nice WA Cabernet Sauvignon, how do you pair the best food with this great wine? Most of the time when I think about drinking Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, I think about meat – beef or lamb; or roast duck or a hard flavorful cheese such as Pecorino Romano. Another of my favorites is roasted earthy vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, onions and hard squash. Oh, and don’t forget chocolate, a match made in heaven and best consumed daily!!
One last thought to ponder; if you are hesitating enjoying that glass of wine, remember that a glass of red wine a day is good for your health and even better if it's from Washington State. Cheers!!
President/CEO Lombardi’s Italian Restaurants
December 20, 2012
Mill Creek was recently visited by Everett Herald writer Jessi Loerch. Read her wonderful review here (Everett Herald)
September 11, 2012
The restaurant industy is much more than a collection of food service businesses. Restaurants are the cornerstone of their communities! America’s restaurants play an important role in people’s lives, whether as a place to celebrate a special occasion, a spot to grab an early morning cup of coffee, or a place to meet with colleagues over a business lunch or dinner.
Gallup has asked Americans each August since 2001 to indicate whether they have positive or negative views of a list of business and industry sectors. The 2012 update is from Gallup's Aug. 11-14 survey. The restaurant industy in number two, behind the Computer Industry.
May 29, 2012
Lombardi's Italian Restaurants is pleased to announce Chef Jeremy Taisey to our Everett waterfront restaurant.
Native to the
Upon completion of Culinary school, Chef Jeremy embarked on what can be described as a nomadic culinary journey. Beginning at the luxurious Woodmark Hotel in
In 2006, Jeremy decided to pack his belongings and venture to
In 2012, Chef Jeremy returned with his wife to his hometown, and now joins the Lombardi’s family, bringing with him a unique experience and skill set. His goals are to create seasonal menus featuring classic and modern Italian dishes with pacific-northwest influences, all the while utilizing his experience and knowledge in approachable yet elegant presentation. Jeremy will also focus on creating new dishes that feature more slow cooking, smoking, and curing. Welcome to Lombardi's
“Cooking and creating are two of my deepest passions, and yet I believe very strongly in simplicity; allowing quality ingredients to taste like themselves. I believe in using the finest local seasonal ingredients, and believe that my job as chef is to serve as a conduit between the growers and our guests.”
- Chef Jeremy Taisey
by Kerri Lonergan-Dreke | January 3, 2012
Happy New Year! How many times have you asked yourself "when will I finally take that long awaited dream trip to Italy?" Stop asking the question and take action toward your dream trip. Join Lombardi's proprietor, Kerri Lonergan-Dreke and husband Mark, on Lombardi's 2nd annual "Tuscany & Beyond Tour 2012." Departing Seattle on May 12th. Brought to you by "Italy4real," our Italy tour partner.
We will live, breathe, eat and drink our way through Tuscany and Bologna for 12 fabulous days. To learn more about this incredible journey, click here The tour is filling up fast so register now.
by Issaquah Staff | October 31, 2011
One of the most enjoyable parts of being the founder/owner of Lombardi’s is hosting our successful Dinner & Wine Pairing parties. The first one this fall will be on Wednesday, Oct 19th at the Issaquah location. (Nov 17th @ Lombardi’s at the Everett Marina)
After a very successful trip to Italy in May of this year, I was anxious to get back to hosting these wine parties and to featuring the great wines of Tuscany. I have had a long love of wines from Chianti. Just the simple act of taking in the aroma of these wines lifts me back to Tuscany – the rolling hills covered in vineyards and olive trees, the winding roads lined with Italian Cyprus trees, and the many small villages dotted with those unmistakable stone buildings. One of my favorite wineries in this area is Ruffino, located in the northern part of Tuscany, near Florence. The winery is over 130 years old! Ruffino’s underlying philosophy is “Handing down the values of a land and a people through culture. Because culture is also wine”. These wines have never disappointed me and in fact they have become my “house” wine at home.
It is so easy to find the right food to pair with Sangiovese and/or Chianti because these wines go with almost everything. It is the Pinot Noir of Italy – the perfect wine to have when there are several styles/types of food at your table. When the Executive Chef Matt and I are talking food and deciding on a new menu item, we always try the new item with Chianti or 100% Sangiovese. And creating the menu for this dinner event was no exception. Ruffino produces a wide range and style of Tuscan wines so we had many to choose from. Our biggest surprise came when tasting a red wine to pair with the Fall Roasted Vegetable Salad item. We like to offer the salad after the entrée – which is the Italian way – but sometimes finding that the right red wine after drinking big reds with the entrée is difficult. We were very surprised when the “biggest” of all the options, a Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, worked wonders – the ingredients in the salad actually enhanced this robust red wine. Chef Matt and I look forward to having you at our table to taste these amazing wines when paired with this special menu created from the flavors of Tuscany.
Diane Symms, Founder