Greetings from Carrboro,
Charlotte only had one Italian restaurant. OK, there was a pizza place on South Boulevard but that was primarily for kid birthdays and end-of-season sports parties. But the Italian restaurant was fancy. It was next to Ovens Auditorium and all the waiters wore red vests and black bow ties. And whatever you ordered came on spaghetti. This, especially, was thrilling. And there was a vast salad bar that always provided me the opportunity to procure an epic salad consisting primarily of bacon bits and sliced olives covered in thousand island.
I’m sure that my parents had, first, vodka martinis – on the rocks, with a twist – and then a bottle of wine. God forbid what the wine actually was. Mateus was a favorite. But my father probably ordered some Chianti keeping in mind the prevailing theme of the dinner. I stuck to my standard seven Cokes and the all-important tiramisu to round out the meal. Dessert was essentially how my parents bribed me into sitting still throughout dinner. The balding maître d’ always bowed as we left with the requisite “arrivederci.” Like clockwork, my parents in unison, would return the farewell. Can you say cosmopolitan?
So, maybe that’s where it started. Who knows? I still love the buzz of restaurants and the luxurious flavors of Italy. But I’ve replaced the Cokes with a deep adoration for Italian wines. Especially the wines of the Piemonte. And that is why I’m so thrilled to have Chiara Abbona join us at Acme for dinner on Monday, February 27th. Sometimes I wonder how we get so lucky. Her family’s winery in the town of Dogliani create unique wines that are a marvel of craft and tradition. They are pure and direct and profound.
The five-course dinner will get started at 6:30 in the evening. Seating is quite limited with reservations taken only by phone (919 929 2263) on a first come, first served basis. Price for the dinner is $75 per person. Menu is below. (There’s a bit of a Mardi Gras theme as Mardi Gras is the next day. FYI) It will truly be a great night made that much better with Chiara as our guide. But don’t get your hopes up. No salad bar. Sorry.
Acme Wine Dinner
with Chiara Abbona
Monday, February 27th
6:30 in the evening
2015 Abbona Favorita
tarragon creamed leeks, lobster & crawfish cream
2014 Abbona “Cinerino”
White Sweet Potato Culurgiones
black truffle, sage, brown butter
2014 Abbona Barbera “Rinaldi”
Pan-seared Duck Breast
Brussels sprouts, rhubarb & quince conserve
2015 Abbona Dolcetto Dogliani “Papá Celso”
cauliflower boudin, wild mushroom ragu
2011 Abbona Langhe Rosso “I Due Ricu”
strawberry, whipped ricotta
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme