Never one to let grass grow under its feet, Le Virtu's management team is plotting new and improved ways to fill seats at Il Campo, the garden attached to the ever-popular East Passyunk Abruzzese restaurant. Are you ready for this?
Coming back this summer are weekly movie nights, where employees screen Italian or Italian-themed food movies, but this year, Chef Joe Cicala is adding some flair by serving a cocktail, wine or dish that somehow relates to the movie. Love Neapolitan fare? You may want to show up on for the first screening, on June 1, for Oro de Napoli, starring Sophia Loren. Missing your last trip to Rome? A month-long celebration of the city starts on July 6 with Mamma Roma by Pier Paolo Pasolini, starring Anna Magnani.
More into food than cinema? That's okay. On Saturdays from June to September, you can bring a group of six to 12 (with reservations) for a Chef's Table meal in the pergola. For $75-$100, Cicala will personally prepare five improvised off-menu courses that show off Abruzzese cuisine. For a little more, he'll pair wine with each course.
Event alert: And on June 15, Cicala and cookbook author and culinary tour guide Domenica Marchetti will prepare a five-course Tour of Abruzzo dinner that draws from their travels to showcase dishes and wine pairings from the region. Everyone who attends will receive a signed copy of Marchetti's latest book, Preserving Italy. Tickets are $100 per person, plus tax and tip.
Here's the menu:
- Aperitivi: passed stuzzichini paired with Cantina Frentana Cococciola Spumante
- Antipasti: artisanal, unpasteurized Abruzzese cheeses and ricottine with le zolle (pickled scapes in oil) and selected house-cured salumi, paired with Cantina Frentana Cerasuolo Rosé
- Assaggi dei Primi: ricotta gnocchi in tomato sauce and maccheroni alla chitarra with a classic meat sauce of bean, pork and sausage, paired with Rubesto Riserva Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
- Secondo: oven-roasted porchetta with porchetta salt and grilled summer vegetables in savory mint sauce, paired with Panarda Riserva Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
- Dolce: Almond gelato with almond croccante, paired with Le Virtù house-made digestive