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Italian Wine Dinners Invade the Main Line This Spring

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As Main Liners prepare for the incoming warm weather, two local restaurants are thinking spring by inviting you to sip your way into the fresh season.

Both Azie on Main and Restaurant Alba are encouraging guests to join their teams as they pay homage to the flavors of Italy with their upcoming spring wine dinners. Full details below, including teases at their enticing menus.

On Mon., March 24, at 7 p.m., join Villanova’s chef Ricardo Franco of Azie on Main, as he expands the breadth of the restaurant’s Asian-focused, French- and Italian-influenced menu with a series of upcoming wine tastings.

His first, the Taste of Italy Wine Dinner, will spotlight five attractive courses, each paired with hand-selected varietals courtesy of the Wine Merchant’s acclaimed Hudson Austin. From the meal-starting saffron-accented seafood risotto with Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino 2012, to a second course of pulcinella salad with Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi 2011, and a mid-meal Sicilian rotini coupled with Purato Nero d’Avola 2012, plus more, you haven’t devoured a Monday night feast as attractive as this.

Azie on Main’s wine dinner costs $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations may be made by calling (610) 527–5700.

But, if you’re booked next Monday, consider Malvern’s chef Sean Weinberg of Restaurant Alba’s upcoming affair, an Italian six-course wine pairing unfolding Sun., April 13, at 6 p.m.. The feast, recreated from the chef’s prestigious James Beard House dinner, promises to send your taste buds off on a Italian holiday.

From the chef’s introductory course of assorted crostini with Piedmontese-style beef tartare and fava bean puree, as paired with LoDuca Lambrusco Reggiano, to Vitello Tonnato accented with pickled radish and married with pours of Castelvero Cortese Piemonte, your palate is in for an enlightening joyride.

Other dinner highlights include Pecorino sformato with Vernaccia di San Gimignano, fricassee of rabbit and potato gnocchi with Ormeasco di Pornassio, and wood-roasted local spring lamb with Anson Mills polenta and Nebbiolo d’Alba. Of course, the night’s sweet ending will allow you to go out on a high note, with hazelnut cake sinfully frosted with mascarpone cream and apricot jam sealing the deal on Weinberg’s meal.

Cost is $70 per person, with optional wine pairing available at $35 per person. For reservations, call (610) 644–4009.

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