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    Origins of Saint Nick

    Ho ho ho! What do we know about Santa Claus? He is said to live in a grotto bursting at the seams with gifts. He has a nifty way of getting from A to B thanks to a sled and a slew of reindeer. And let's not forget the jolly white beard which has graced many a Christmas card and roll of wrapping paper.

    It's said that a certain saint inspired the legend of Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas was a 4th century Christian saint and Greek bishop, who was known for his kind heart and generous spirit. It is said that he secretly donated gifts and tokens – for instance, if anyone left shoes out for Saint Nicholas to see, he would leave coins inside.

    Saint Nicholas' generous spirit is celebrated on 6th December in Italy. His final resting place was in Bari, Italy. One such tradition takes place on this day at the Basilica di San Nicola. The clergy of the basilica extract myrrh which is said to come from the relics in the tomb.

    Other celebrations take place to honour Saint Nicholas. On Murano Island, Venice, there is a week-long celebration of the Saint, which includes a memorable procession on the water on the day of the 6th. In Abruzzo, Saint Nicholas is honored with a procession and also traditional food such as bread, wine and special biscuits known as taralli.

    Excerps from from Italy Magazine

    Celebrate Washington White Wines

    The month of August brings another opportunity to enjoy the growing and acclaimed Washington wine industry. At Lombardi’s, we’re celebrating with a wine event focused on the amazing variety and quality of Washington white wines. Summer is the perfect time for this focus as dining is lighter and so goes our wine drinking palate.
     
    Sure there are lots of perfectly great Chardonnays, but this event is focused on “ABC”, everything but chardonnay; Riesling – the grape that put WA State wines on the world map; Viognier – a dynamic wine with food; Sauvignon Blanc – to pair with Northwest seafood; Madeleine Angevine and Yakima Valley Riesling, a perfect summer blend of two German style grapes, and a rose of Sangiovese – not exactly a white varietal, but certainly one of the best grapes for the quintessential summer sip wine.
     
    You’ve probably noticed that I left off some pretty important varietals in the list above. That’s not because they aren’t worthy of our time and taste buds, but rather because I wanted a more narrow focus to give our guests something different to consider. The whites I’ve included are designed with food pairing as the primary focus, and I chose these particular wines  from the hundreds of wineries around the state, not from any one viniculture area or winemaker. It was a difficult choice because Washington is blessed with a vast number of wineries and styles. Washington wineries produces more than 30 wine grape varieties – of which approximately 50 percent are white. Did you know that there are 18,850 vineyard acres of white wine grapes statewide? Get out the wine glass!
     
    What could be better then a Summer Alfresco dinner by Lombardi’s Executive Chef Matt Romeo, paired with amazing white and rose wines from Washington. Ciao Bella!!
     
    Diane Symms
    Wine Aficionado & President/CEO 

     

    Skyfall Vineyards Release Party

    Skyfall Vineyard - A New Washington Winery Release Party at Lombardi’s
     
    In the restaurant industry, it's not too often that we have the opportunity to be part of a great new winery’s entry into the marketplace. Lombardi’s is proud to announce our participation in the first release of wines from Skyfall Vineyard, located in Prosser, WA.

     Lombardi’s in Mill Creek is holding a release party on May 1st between 5:30pm and 7pm. 
    This is a casual event with the national and local sales team here to sip and share the wines with you. Chef Matt has created delectable appetizers to pair with each wine. The 007 James Bond theme of the party will make for even more fun! Your entry to the party includes a ticket to the door prize drawing held that evening. $20.00 at the door.
     
    Skyfall Vineyard history and Info
     
    Skyfall is located in sunny Prosser, WA, just south of Red Mountain. The family producing these wines is a 3rd generation wine grower making wines from their own estate vineyards, as well as some of the best vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The vineyard’s name, Skyfall, a daring name, surfaced while discussing the many hang gliders dropping off the cliffs above the vineyard, taking advantage of the soaring thermal winds.
     

    Washington Wine Month

    March is Washington Wine Month – A Celebration of World-Class Wines!

    The next time you raise your glass of wine to celebrate a special occasion or simply to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, choose a Washington State wine, known for excellent quality and outstanding value. Washington State is not only famous worldwide for its apples, cherries, airplanes and software, but now for its world-class wines! The quality and availability of these wines has risen so fast, that they now rival wines from Italy, France, and closer to home, Napa Valley. You will be amazed at the number of Washington wines that you can find in the Top 100 lists of popular publications and wine reviews.  

    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 Washington State is your place and Cabernet Sauvignon is your wine.  The heady, fruity character of this complex grape develops slowly. It is generally grown in the warmer areas of the Columbia Valley. The vines are choice plantings for growers because of their hardy vine stalks and resistance to the cold winter frost that are commonplace in Eastern Washington. Another advantage Washington State has over its grape growing cousins is the number of days of sunshine – over 300 in Eastern WA, and the angle of the sun, which improves the grapes ripening opportunities.

    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.

    March may be the offical "Washington Wine Month," but here at Lombardi's, we celebrate the bounty of Washington wines year round!

    Wine Tasting Tips

    Five basic steps when tasting wine:
    Sharing wine at the table with family and friends is such an integral part of the dining experience in the Italian culture. Here are five steps to becoming more familiar and comfortable with wine.

    The “nose” or smell – One of the most important parts of tasting wine 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 aromas.   

    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 throughout 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?”

    Feel - I also like to “feel” the wine in my mouth – for the weight or creaminess of the wine. 

    Cheers!!  

    Diane Symms
    “Wine Lover”
    President/CEO Lombardi’s Italian Restaurants

     

    Dear Friends,

    It’s with heavy hearts that we announce the closure of the Lombardi’s-Issaquah location July 28th. Due to the teardown and redevelopment of our building, we will
    lose our lease. We researched many possible locations for a new restaurant on
    the eastside, but never found a great fit.

    After 22 great years, we are sad to leave this
    wonderful community, but we hope you’ll join us for one last summer of al
    fresco dining on our garden patio for graduation celebrations, Father’s Day
    dinners and other special celebrations. Come in and
    have one of your favorites like Tortellini Gorgonzola, Saltimboca and
    Chicken Marsala, peruse our huge wine list, or join us for our daily happy hour
    (3pm-close!). We’re excited to see all of you this summer and share fond
    memories.

    Best Wishes,

    Diane Symms and the Lombardi’s-Issaquah Team

    P.S. Don’t forget to visit us in Everett and
    Mill Creek whenever you’re in the neighborhood!











    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?

    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 Washington State wine, known for  excellent quality and outstanding value. Washington State is not only famous worldwide for its apples, cherries, airplanes and software, but now for its world-class wines! The quality and availability of these wines has risen so fast, that they now rival wines from Italy, France, and closer to home, Napa Valley. You will be amazed at the number of Washington wines that you can find in the Top 100 lists of popular publications and wine reviews.  

    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 Washington State is your place and Cabernet Sauvignon is your wine.  The heady, fruity character of this complex grape develops slowly. It is generally grown in the warmer areas of the Columbia Valley. The vines are choice plantings for growers because of their hardy vine stalks and resistance to the cold winter frost that are commonplace in Eastern Washington. Another advantage Washington State has over its grape growing cousins is the number of days of sunshine – over 300 in Eastern WA, and the angle of the sun, which improves the grapes ripening opportunities.

    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
     aromas.   

     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!!  

    Diane Symms
    "Wine Lover"

    President/CEO Lombardi’s Italian Restaurants

     

     

    Mill Creek was recently visited by Everett Herald writer Jessi Loerch.  Read her wonderful review here (Everett Herald)

    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.

    Read the entire article 

    << Previous 1 - 2

    Origins of Saint Nick

    By: Kerri Lonergan

    Ho ho ho! What do we know about Santa Claus? He is said to live in a grotto …Read More

    Celebrate Washington White Wines

    By: Diane Symms

    The month of August brings another opportunity to enjoy the growing and …Read More

    Skyfall Vineyards Release Party

    By: Diane Symms

    Skyfall Vineyard - A New Washington Winery Release Party at …Read More