The Hungry Women had the great pleasure of dining at Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman’s restaurant, Cinghiale, in Baltimore this week. (The name means “wild boar” in Italian, in case you were wondering.) My friends, Aida and Jessica and myself started off with bellinis al fresco. It was a nice evening so we sat outside and pretended we were in Rome at some very swank eatery.
We decided to go inside for dinner because the decor and opulence are just too hard to resist. This restaurant is simply gorgeous!
Side note: Take a look at the hallway that leads to the bathrooms, then inside the bathrooms:
Having been fortunate enough to visit Italy twice in my life, I have to say that Cinghiale really feels like a fine hotel/restaurant in Rome. Let’s talk about food, shall we? Since all of the Hungry Women love cheese and wine, we decided to go with a selection of 3 cheeses. First, the la tur, a tangy blend of sheep, cow and goat’s milk…excellent! Second, we chose the canestrato from Campania…a firm sheep’s mild cheese with hints of hay and hazelnuts. Jessica paired that with some fresh peaches…loved that! The third cheese was a creamy Gorgonzola gran riserva…. My oh my! We chose a Rosso di Montalcino, Il Poggione to accompany the cheese course and also the Chef’s selection of assorted cured meats.
By now, we were moving into the part of the meal where the oohing and aahing are in full swing. We have been waiting with bated breath for several months to order the grilled foie gras. I cannot express how much in love I am with this! Aida ordered the pan seared foie gras “saltimbocca” with crispy parmigiano. I have to say that hers was even better than mine. Jessica had the big eye tuna with razor clams and sea urchin….fabulous!
On to the primi course. I chose the risotto with chanterelles and parmigiano. I am pretty sure I saw God! (He looks a lot like Chef Marucci). We all agreed that this was a triumph! Jessica had the Yukon potato gnocchi with roasted tomatoes, peppers, arugula, zucchini and smoked ricotta…lovely. Aida ordered grilled duck with huckleberries, crispy polenta and chanterelles, That little corn cake really went nicely with the dish…delicious!
The second bottle of wine was a 2000 Fontodi “case via” Syrah. Not to sound pretentious, but this lush, velvety, chewy wine was served with too much of a chill. We all agreed to decant it and let it open up and come to a warmer temp. We asked the wine steward why it was being served so cold and he explained that the cellar is kept at 50-55 degrees. The Rosso di Montalcino was fine at the cooler temp but this Syrah definitely tasted better once we decanted and waited. We loved the bouquet….smoky, leathery, deep. On another note, their wine list is probably one of the most extensive list I have ever seen!
We were satiated but we HAD to try 2 desserts. We chose Gianduja Torta with hazelnuts, chocolate and salted caramel gelato. WE ADORE SALT AND CARAMEL!!! I have to tell you that the vanilla panna cotta with thyme roasted peaches and blueberry sorbetto was so light and creamy, I believe we heard angels singing. I was transported to the Sistine Chapel. This is food nirvana. Espressos followed……
We had taken a trip to Italy with no jet lag, food coma notwithstanding. We can’t wait to return. Until then, we urge you to indulge in the sensuous dining experience that is Cinghiale. Buonasera.
As always, stay hungry!
Sherry, Aida and Jessica