Getting Spoiled By Dante Pizzeria

Last Saturday, Crème de la Crème was invited to participate in Dante Pizzeria's Summer Menu Tasting Event!  It was a chance for Omaha bloggers to sample Dante's seasonal offerings before the main public.  We. Had. A. Blast!  Monica and I sampled five wines, a salad, chilled soup, fresh pasta, and two fish entrees.  We were truly spoiled.

Dante Pizzeria is famous for their Napoli-style pizza.  But, what many don't realize is their wide, fabulous selection of seasonal offerings.  Every ingredient has a story.  Even their flour is selected with the greatest precision.  While the flour comes from Wyoming, it is shipped to California and milled before arriving at the restaurant.

Dante Pizzeria’s Summer Menu focuses on Southern Italy’s love for fish.  Chef Strawhecker dispelled the widely held belief that it is impossible to get fresh fish in Nebraska.  The skate and mackerel were harvested on Friday, immediately Fed-Exed to Dante, and enjoyed the following day on Saturday.  

One thing that resonated with me was when Chef/Owner Strawhecker explained that while food is very important, sometimes service is more important than food.  The presentation and service at Dante’s sets the bar for fresh, locally sourced dining. 

Sommelier Adam Weber gave us a fabulous presentation on the storied history of the featured wines.  Each course was paired with his curated wine selection.  Dante Pizzeria boasts 182 Italian wines.  It goes without saying...the wine was paired to perfection.  I don't know what was more fun: tasting the food or sipping the wine.  My favorite was the Glera sparkling wine and Monica's was the "blu di burson".

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Chef/Owner Nick Strawhecker prepped each dish with fascinating stories of where he sources each ingredient to give Omaha an authentic taste of Italian dining.  

Oh my gosh.  I could not stop eating this salad.  I was the last one to have my plate taken — I wanted to lick it clean.  The chives were amazing and the toasted bread crumbs on top had an addictive crunch.  

The Chilled Asparagus Soup with fresh tomato gave it a sweet kick.  Presentation? Amazing. Almost too pretty to eat! And the radish the freshest I've had...such a nice crunch and texture. Loved the olive oil drizzle.

I'm a fan of freshly made pasta -- and Chef Strawhecker's Wild Boar Ravioli was outstanding! Can you believe a customer of his shot this?  500 pounds of wild boar meat.  The homemade pasta was the perfect al dente.  The meat stock with the bones stewed for 7 hours with mirepoix and LOTS of wine for an amazing sugo.  

Chef Strawhecker called this first entree "the sexiest fried chicken".  Cape Cod Skate with sun-chokes, carrots, hazelnut, and brown butter. Skate had a crispy outside, with a buttery, flaky inside texture.  The sun-choke puree was smooth and buttery, and the baby carrots were so sweet and tender.   

The next entree had a Mediterranean influence!  Wood-roasted Cape Cod Mackerel with cece bean, blistered tomatoes, and arugula.  The mackerel was so tender.  Spring mix on top gave a perfect balance and fragrance to the flavorful mackerel.

Dante has an authentic Bolognese gelato maker.  The last course featured a Raspberry Gelato with lavender syrup and crushed biscotti.  It was heavenly!  Nothing else like it around here.

Thank you Dante for such a nice afternoon!  We will be seeing you again soon.  Cheers! XOXO Paula