Wine and artichoke pairing

Wine and artichoke pairing

My mother and I have a longstanding tradition of going on Mommy & Me and Wine Makes Three dinners. To continue this tradition, last summer we chose to head to East Passyunk for a wine night at Paradiso. The menu consisted of wines from the Lazio and Umbria region of Italy as well as three small bites, paired by Chef Lynn Rinaldi.

I started looking at the menu before we sat down and the first thing that caught my eye was artichoke, which really scared me. For those of you unfamiliar with artichokes, they don’t particularly pair well with wine. So of course I thought, “Oh dear, did I pick the wrong night to come for wine night at Paradiso?”

Chef Jacquie and Chef Lynn Rinaldi

Chef Jacquie and Chef Lynn Rinaldi

Luckily, Chef Lynn quickly put my fears to rest. She called us back to the dining room, because she knows that I like to have more than three nibbles with my glass of wine. I did not realize that dinner with the wine pairing was an option, so she offered for us to sit down and have a larger meal. If you’re considering coming to wine night, know that you don’t just have to sit at the bar and eat small plates; you can order an actual dinner and make the nibbles be appetizers!

Though I had my initial hesitation about the artichokes, the pairing itself was fantastic! Lynn went above and beyond—I don’t know why I even questioned it. In fact, it was so great that my mother, who criticizes every Italian chef, actually said that it was so good that we’re going to take the aunts and the girl cousins there for dinner or lunch one day soon!

When you get a chance, check out Paradiso’s “Drinking Italy” Wine series scheduled for March 25th, and I highly recommend going. I’d also recommend putting in your reservation pretty early! When we got there, the entire first floor was completely full (and that was during the summertime when most people are down the shore!)

Stay tuned for more from Taste 4 Travel as we will be interviewing Chef Lynn from her roof deck garden and bees. Plus, don’t forget: If you’re interested in tasting food from both of Chef Lynn’s restaurants, Paradiso and Izumi, book your Tasting Tour of East Passyunk Avenue now!