The classic Italian New Year's Eve celebration is simple and mirrors how Italians celebrate everything: with great food. We ate well, very well, and sampled just about everything on the Cenone menu at Frantoio.
Cenone, from the word cena or dinner, simply means big dinner. It's a meal that can have as many as twelve courses although we stopped at eleven. We started off with grilled wild white shrimp with Castelfranco radicchio and a lemon vinaigrette and crispy prosciutto. Next we had an asparagus veloute' soup with Dungeness crab meat.
Soup was followed by an endive salad with pear, Toma Piemontese and roasted walnut vinaigrette.
Our first pasta dish was home made ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster and shrimp, and a lobster bisque sauce.
Our second pasta was strozzapreti with lamb ragu', artichoke and pecorino romano. We also sampled the risotto with butternut squash, fresh black truffle and Parmigiano.
We shared three main course dishes. First we had grilled American kobe beef flat-iron steak with brocolli rabe all'aglio e olio, truffle shoestring potatoes and beef jus.
My favorite dish was the roasted Petaluma duck breast with basmati rice, roasted baby beets and balsamic sauce.
Cotecchino and lenticchie are a must on New Year's eve so we also had the roasted organic pork loin with Italian cotecchino sausage, braised lentils with root vegetables and whole grain mustard sauce.
No Italian New Year's eve meal is complete without panettone so we had the panettone with warm marsala zabaglione. We also tried the home made vanilla bean gelato profiterole with banana and chocolate sauce.