A few weeks ago Jacki and I attended one of the ‘Bread, Salt, Wine’ events at 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar in Salem, MA. ‘Bread, Salt, Wine’ is a series of events where different wine companies offer wine flights and chef Antonio Bettencourt offers complimentary sputini with the purchase of a glass of wine.
The night we went, Adoma imports was pouring organic wines from small Northern Italian vineyards that paired with the sputini. Our favorite wines from the flight were the Petit Rouge from the Valle d’Aosta region and 2009 Dolcetto from the Piedmont region.
At this point you’re probably wondering what sputini is (unless I’m the last one on earth to discover this marvel, which unfortunately is entirely possible). Sputini means “snacks” in Italian, small one or two bite plates that are meant to be shared over a glass of wine. We started with the Arancini (Arborio rice fritters with mozzarella over tomato and basil confit) because we saw another table order it and it looked like crispy cheesey perfection.
Crispy cheesey perfection it was, these were the best Arancini that we have ever had! Final answer. And tomato basil confit is like, my new religion.
Then we tried the marinated mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. Put anything in vinegar and I automatically love it, but these were way better than the average pickled mushroom. The taste was light and just a little sweet and the texture was firm. Win.
Last was the Vitello Tonnato – slow roasted veal, pickled shallots, lemon caper aioli. This was a standout. The veal was unexpectedly cold, but it worked. The meat was tender and the sauce was light and tangy. I want to say this was my favorite, but that would be doing the other two a disservice. All three were spectacular. They were all so simple and light, the perfect snack to go with a glass of wine.
Other spuntini offerings include deep fried cauliflower, chickpea fritters with date compote, shrimp with wine wine, mortadella with parmesan, pork belly and more. Does anyone know any restaurants in Boston that offer sputini? I would LOVE to know.
There is one more ‘Bread, Salt, Wine’ event tomorrow night, November 17th, being hosted by LocalWineEvents.com. I know it’s late notice, but I really recommended checking it out. It’s a great concept and I’m glad I got the chance to partake. If you don’t make it to the event, then get to Salem and try some sputini ASAP, it’s worth the trip.