The mid-week winter dining godsend that is Il Lido’s Dine The Regions – a 20-week journey through and celebration of regional Italian food and wine – returns for 2019.
Running till September, the program is about the flavours and specialties of each of the Italian regions, from the peasant cucina of the country’s north to the lighter, seafood-driven dishes of the south. These dishes will be presented as a tight four-course set menu offered between Tuesday and Thursday alongside the regular menu. As per previous years, each weekly menu can be enjoyed with an optional wine pairing (the cost of the pairing ranges from $50 to $70, depending on the wines poured) but Il Lido sommelier James Tuxworth wants to step up the wine side of things this year.
“I’ve made sure that there’s some serious, classic wines available that speak to each region’s specialty,” says Tuxworth. “This is the real beauty of Dine The Regions. There are wines pouring by the glass alongside these dinners that you won’t see people cracking anywhere else.”
Despite this focus on the classics, Tuxworth and co aren’t about to turn their backs on the new-wave and natural. Impromptu (read: impulse) purchasing might get you, for example, Radikon all ‘round during the Friuli week (May 21 to 23); a choice of Barolo during Piedmont (June 18 to 20); or a tutored guide through the Frank Cornelissen portfolio during Sicily (September 17 to 19). If you can dream it – and pay for it – you can drink it.
These hosted dinners are the same price as each week’s menu, but places will be limited. For some of the weeks, Tuxworth will only host one long-table dinner on the Tuesday night.
Dine The Regions starts May 14 and is available Tuesday to Thursday at Il Lido.