Everyone knows that grandmamas kick major ass, what with all the hard candies, hugs, shiny nickles, and old world curses they dole out. On January 12th, two grandmothers with ties to local Italian restaurants will claw it out at Marino Ristorante, hoping to settle the ages-old Venice versus Naples rivalry through the vendetta-mending powers of a six-course dinner.
Representing Naples with scary, vicious aggression will be "Mamma" Maria Marino, mother to Marino chef and Il Grano owner Sal Marino. Holding down Venice with a bloodthirsty pride bordering on psychosis, "Mamma" Luciana Ongaro, mother of former All'Angelo chef-owner Stefano Ongaro, will be cooking using similar ingredients for dishes crafted in her own regional style. Both will vie for supremacy for their respective hometowns, but what tools will they employ to dispatch their most hated foes?
The days of stick-fighting on tiny Italian footbridges are alas, long gone. For the dinner, both of these brave nonnas will battle with ingredients. Course two will find both battling over the use of rice, course five will pit pasta creations against one another, while the final course will be fought over meat servings and epic, crashing crescendos.
No word on whether the guests will actually have to break-a the poor mamas' hearts by declaring a winner, but a $65 reservation will get them a ringside seat with servings of each course. See the full menu below and make reservations at 323-466-8812. May the best grandma win!
$65 per person (includes a glass of Prosecco upon arrival)
$35 optional wine pairing
Mozzarelline in Carrozza, Polpettine di Vitello alla Ricotta e Radicchio
Mini Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches, Veal and Ricotta Meatballs with Radicchio
Naples: Vongole Arreganate
Manila Clams Gratin with garlic aioli
Venice: Crostino di Baccala Mantecato
Toasted Bread with Salted Cod
Naples: Sartu di Riso
Arborio Rice Timbale, English Peas, Pancetta, Eggs and Artichokes
Venice: Risi e Bisi
Rice and English Peas
Naples: Stoccafisso con Patate
Fish Stock, Yellow Yukon Potatoes, Onions and Tomato
Venice: Dentice saporito
Red Snapper, Black Olives, Capers, Anchovies and Tomato
Naples: Paccheri di Gragnano al Ragu Imperiale
Double wide Rigatoni stuffed with Veal, beef and Pork ground meat
Venice: Bigoli all Anatra
Thick Venetian spaghetti with Pulled Duck
Rolled Sirloin Steak stuffed with Raisins, Eggs and Pine Nuts in tomato sauce
Venice: Maiale al Latte
Milk Braised Niman Ranch Pork
Naples: Torta alla Ricotta
Venice: Torta di Pane
Venetian Bread Pudding