A Chef’s Tour
At its core, Italian cooking springs not from fine restaurants or celebrated chefs. It begins back home inside Nonna’s kitchen. In a nod to his heritage, Pelican Hill® Chef Marco Criscuolo’s Weekday Wine Dinners lead Andrea guests on a gastronomic journey through Italy’s varied regions.
Growing up in southern Italy practically tied to the apron strings of his mother and grandmother, young Marco’s playthings were the abundant fresh ingredients in the kitchen. “There was no such thing as canned food or microwaves in Puglia,” he says. “Every item was made from scratch.” For Chef Marco, the seeds of culinary tradition were sown inside that kitchen.
This summer, Andrea’s culinary train pulls into a new station every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening—Sicily, Campania, Tuscany, Lombardy—plating up robust flavors for locals and guests alike.
“I try to bring to every dish the ingredients and processes we used back home,” he says. “I find recipes in old books or call cooks in Italy. Some of the menus I develop on my own because they are so much a part of my family.”
Each three-course menu draws on regional culinary tradition. “I always include a pasta typical of the place,” says Chef Marco. Preparing orecchiette, for example, an ear-shaped pasta that is the basis for Pugliese peasant dishes, comes naturally to him. “When the farmers didn’t have money to buy fresh ingredients,” he says, “they harvested grain left over from the burned crops at season’s end. It had a smoky, toasted flavor that was unmistakable. I love to incorporate that flavor in some of my dishes.”
Depending on geography, the kitchen will prepare main dishes featuring everything from coastal seafood to braised beef or grilled lamb. Antipasti and dessert courses bookend the entrées, and the chef enjoys recommending typical regional wines to pair with each. “I’m thrilled to be able to share my favorite foods from back home with our guests and neighbors here in Newport Coast.”
Chef Marco’s Weekday Wine Dinners are just one of several options at Andrea. An expanded menu that includes healthy chicken dishes, fresh fish and Pelican Hill’s fresh, house-made daily pastas is offered every day for dinner and Wednesday through Sunday for lunch.
Complimentary valet parking makes it easy to stop by during the week and enjoy the sunny, comfortable terrace and warm inside dining area, both ideal spots for a family dinner, a casual business meal or a last-minute lunch with a friend.
For reservations, please call 877.624.6035 | www.andreanb.com