Metro Weekly

Savor: Modena’s Regional Italian Tasting Menus

Chic restaurant serves up special four-course meals focusing on different regions of Italy

modena, italian, food
Modena: Bisteca ala Fiorentina for Two by — Photo: Joy Asico/Asico Photo

If you’re suffering a serious case of wanderlust right about now, Modena is currently offering culinary flights to Italy that come with none of the stress, hassles, and jet lag associated with a real Italian getaway.

Every week in March, the chic Italian restaurant, part of Ashok Bajaj’s top-notch Knightsbridge Restaurant empire, serves up special four-course meals focused on a different region of Italy, priced at $70 per person or $100 with wine pairings, excluding tax and tip. The prix fixe packages can be altered to suit vegetarians and can be enjoyed either on location at a socially distanced table in the recently renovated space, on the enclosed outdoor patio, or as takeout. Delivery is also available through Caviar, DoorDash, or UberEats.

Having kicked things off with Tuscany, Executive Chef John Melfi will be serving up treasures of Piedmont at dinner hours through this Sunday, March 21. The four-course menu starts with the regional fondue-like specialty of Bagna Càuda served with artichokes for dipping, followed by Cauliflower Agnolotti in a tarragon-brown butter sauce with truffles and toasted pine nuts, then Braised Veal Tonnato with veal short rib, whipped potatoes, charred cipollini onions, and crispy capers, and ending with Gianduiotto chocolate topped with charred meringue and toasted hazelnut brittle.

Modena: Tiramisu — Photo: Joy Asico/Asico Photo

Starting Monday, March 22, the restaurant takes a trip to the southernmost part of the country with a starter of Eggplant Parmesan featuring Japanese eggplant in Sugo Finto, or a rich meatless sauce and served with crispy capers and whipped sheep’s milk ricotta. The Sicily adventure continues with Spaghetti alla Siracusana, a dish featuring roasted Vesuvio tomato, anchovies, capers, preserved lemon, and served with Panne Fritto, or fried bread, followed by Wood-Fired Grilled Branzino served with orange, shaved fennel, picked herbs, Taggiasca olives, Espelette pepper, and salsa verde, and concluding with the honey-rich frozen treat of Almond Granita and a sweetened Sicilian Brioche.

The excursion, served the last week in March through Sunday, April 4, wraps with a trip to Emilia-Romagna, with Chef Merti offering Shaved Culatello ham and a Grilled Piadina flatbread, followed by “Barber II” House-Milled Whole Wheat Tagliatelle served with a beef, pork, and veal Bolognese and Vacche Rosse parmesan. The main course is Amish Chicken Saltimbocca with lemon-caper butter served with Yukon gold potatoes and 24-month prosciutto, and dessert is Torta Tenerina, a “tender” and moist low-rise, almost-flourless chocolate cake topped with a scoop of honey-chamomile gelato.

Modena is at 1100 New York Avenue (entrance on 12th and H). Call 202-216-9550 or visit www.modenadc.com.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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