Was invited to meet Alessandro and Riccardo Pasqua of the eponymous estate near Verona, Italy for dinner at Rue 57 with a few other journalists to sample and learn about their wines. The publicist mentioned that Pasqua ranks among Italy’s top 20 family-owned wineries in terms of value.
After experiencing their wines, I concur. Each wine we sampled worked well with food, from the $16-bottle of Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017 to the $100 Mai Dire Mai Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2011. The wine sampled included:
- Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Bianco Veneto IGT 2017 ($16)
- Romeo & Juliet Passione Sentimento Rosso Veneto IGT 2016/ ($16)
- Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2013 ($46)
- Mai Dire Mai Valpolicella DOC 2013 ($46)
- Mai Dire Mai Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2011 ($100)
I’d serve the Romeo & Juliet wines for casual drinking or with cheese. The others with food. That’s what we did at Rue 57. For apps family style, we had the crispy artichokes with Remoulade sauce ($12.50), pan-seared dumplings ($13.25), tempura-battered popcorn shrimp ($15) and both yellowfin tuna ($17) and steak tartare ($17.25).
My classically prepared, steak au poivre was divine, cooked to perfection pink on the inside as I had asked, crusted with crushed peppercorns ($44). It was heaven with the 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella. As you may know, Amarone is not always sweet wine. The winemaking involves appassimento, the drying of grapes to concentrate flavors. After four months, the yield is around 40% of the original, hence the higher price – but worth it.
Save room for the satisfying desserts: classic crème brûlée ($11), profiteroles filled with vanilla gelato and coated with chocolate sauce ($12), Oreo beignets and chocolate heaven (Valrhona cake, gelato, tuiles and pot de crème.
When you go to Rue57, request a table in the quieter downstairs where you can actually hear what others are saying as insiders do at Bond45.