Take Out at DiRoNA

In the bag.

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For over two decades, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) has recognized excellence in fine dining establishments throughout the continent, and a gala dinner to be held this evening will honour new B.C. restaurants to receive this distinction.

Gift bags at special events and gala dinners are one of the more interesting aspects of assembling said event in the first place. The contents of the bag should, ideally, represent a group of like-minded companies all participating in a celebration that brings forward the best of all constituents. DiRoNA Hall of Fame inductee and member of the Directors’ Board, chef Pino Posteraro, says, “The items in this gift bag represent a commitment to quality that DiRoNA itself embraces.”

So, what, exactly, is in the bag? A copy of the Autumn 2013 issue of MONTECRISTO, naturally. And:

Augusto Espresso Coffee from Bosa Foods

The Augusto line is Bosa’s top-tier of goods, and these beans, sourced from Guatemala for the dark roast and from Peru for the medium roast, provide a great espresso experience, whether you add milk or not.

Bittered Sling Suius Cherry Bitters

Chef Jonathan Chovancek and sommelier Lauren Mote have created small-batch bitters containing local, often foraged, ingredients that will delight the most discerning palate.

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cook Book

Chef Pino Posteraro’s cucina natural is celebrated on every page of this sumptuous book, which details some of the ways he uses simple preparations, light sauces, and the best ingredients to showcase the true flavours of each ingredient.

Domenica Fiore Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Domenica Fiore harvests veraison olives in their early stages of ripening. Blended from four traditional olive varietals, the oil is of medium intensity with herbaceous, earthy overtones, and a peppery finish. Umberto Menghi and chef Pino Posteraro approve.

Dominique and Cindy Duby’s Chocolate Bars

Their book Wild Sweets was a runaway success and a multiple award winner. This is true “bean-to-bar” chocolate, the definition of an artisanal approach to food.

Due Vittorie Balsamic Vinegar from Cioffi’s Meat Market and Deli

Brothers Rino and Sergio Cioffi of Cioffi’s Meat Market & Deli have been supplying some of Vancouver’s top restaurants for over two decades. The Due Vittorie Argento vinegar, slow-aged right in the heart of Emilia-Romagna, is dark brown, syrupy, with a fragrant bouquet, sweet and sour herbaceousness, and fine acidity.

Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps

Lesley Stowe created a sensation with her original Raincoast Crisps, which were immediately embraced by customers and used by the city’s best chefs. Containing all-natural ingredients, made in small batches with love and attention, they taste as good today as they did when the first batch came out.

Fine Wine from Mission Hill Family Estate Winery

The 2011 merlot, boasts intense black cherry colours, providing dark fruit and anise aromas, some ripe plum notes, and just a hint of wild sage. The 2012 sauvignon blanc is delightfully crisp, fresh, with hints of lemon, lime zest, plenty of balance, and an intriguing herbal note.

Pastificio dei Campi Gragnano Pasta from Lugano Fine Foods

Husband-and-wife team Stefano and Elena Lepori of Lugano Fine Foods source some of the best olive oils, pastas, sauces, and preserves—to name only a few—that Italy has to offer. For DiRoNA, they have gifted Gragnano pasta produced by Pastificio dei Campi. The packaging is adorned with photos of those involved in the process, and GPS coordinates allow you to trace the pasta’s path from the fields to your table.

Riedel XL Vinum Tasting Set

The legendary Austrian glass company offers here a set of glasses for pinot noir, Hermitage (Rhone-style), and cabernet sauvignon (though any Bordeaux variety is well served with this glass. Such luminaries as Robert Mondavi and Robert Parker have been enthusiasts. Wine simply tastes better in Riedel.

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September 18, 2013