I recently learned that Locanda Del Lago in Santa Monica features a monthly Morso Della Bestia or “Bite of the Beast”. I had to satisfy a compelling curiosity, Bite of the Beast, what is that all about?
The last Thursday of every month, Locanda Del Lago hosts a communal meal, featuring animal roasts and traditional, rustic Italian dishes. The Morso Della Bestia includes a 4-course dinner featuring the choice animal, and an optional wine pairing.
Locanda Del Lago featured salmon in their last event. They created a four course meal to highlight this popular specie. To make the event extra special, they partnered with the Italian winery, Fasoli Gino, to provide a unique food and wine pairing.
Fasoli Gino is an Italian family winery that originated in 1925 and started producing organic wines in 1984. In 2006, they began using biodynamic practices. In doing so they don’t have a need for artificial chemicals or pesticides. The soil becomes much more rich and as a result produces better fruit.
The first course was a Salmon Tartare and it was paired with La Corte del Pozzo Pinot Grigio from Fasoli Gino. The salmon tartare was topped with wild arugula and accompanied by a delicious avocado puree, pine nuts and giardiniera.The salmon tartare was velvety in texture and creamy tasting. The clean tasting pinot grigio paired nicely with this dish.
Salmon that was cured with limoncello liqueur was combined with fresh herbs, chicory, asparagus and served with ramp dressing. This dish had a lot of bold flavors and I was surprised that chicory worked well with this salmon. The Soave was fruity with a nice amount of acidity to balance out the flavors.
Locanda Del Lago makes their pasta in-house and the cavatelli pasta clearly demonstrated this. I learned that they smoke the salmon in-house over cherry wood. Instead of a traditional pasta sauce, they opted for a creamy mascarpone. This was paired with a Creaman Brut Rosé. Their rose was fruity and had a clean finish.
Our last course was a poached salmon with broccollini. The salmon was simply prepared with olive oil and the broccollini was sauteed in spring garlic. It was extremely tender and super moist. The salmon had all of the elements you would like in a seafood dish. The flavor was delicious and each bite was delightful. The broccollini was tender and slightly sweet. They paired the Valpo 2014, a well balanced Valpolicella blend that married well with the salmon.
On June 29, the featured “beast” is goose. Information may be found here.
Moso Della Bestia is a great way to experience Italian cuisine. Dishes are uniquely prepared and expertly paired with premium wines. At only $49 per person with optional wine pairings at $32, this is an incredible deal!
Locanda Del Lago, 231 Arizona Ave. Santa Monica, CA