Two outstanding chefs, Domenico Cornacchia of Assaggi Osteria (right) and Driss Zahidi of Evo Bistro (left) joined forces last evening preparing a magnificent holiday dinner for their customers. The dinner was held at Assaggi Osteria in McLean, VA.
The collaboration of these two chefs grows out of their desire to offer a unique dining experience combining their culinary skills. Domenico is a master of Italian cuisine who specializes in pasta and fish. Driss is a Moroccan chef who is a master of Mediterranean cuisine and exotic dishes of his home country.
The dinner offered to 25 lucky customers consisted of a five- course meal with wine. It began with a delicate and sexy Sea Urchin Velouté with Black Berries, Caviar and Micro Arugula paired with a fruity and crisp 2015 Prosecco Bianca Vigna, Veneto.
The next dish was an elaborate pasta dish of Conchiglioni, Yellow tail, Tomato, Winter Squash crema, Rice and Squid Ink Crisps with a Frascati Classico. The pasta and yellow tail were light, delicate and heavenly.
For our third course, Chef Driss prepared a Quail Tagine with Pumpkin Pureé, Wilted Kale, Turnips, Chestnuts and Saffron sauce. It was a beautifully executed dish, rich in exotic flavors and paired with a 2014 rustic Ould Thaleb Bordeaux Blend from Morocco. The quail was perfectly cooked and flavorful.
The fourth dish was Zeppola of Virginia Veal Tenderloin, Honey Rosemary, Peruvian Potatoes, Carrots prepared by Chef Domenico and paired with a beautiful 2012 Portuguese Qunita de La Rosa from the Douro. The veal was perfumed and delicate with hints of clove and other spices. This was a superb dish delicately seasoned and savory.
A Black Mission Fig Tart, Gelato and Caramelized Black Mission Figs prepared by both chefs was our final dish and it was enchanting. The black mission tart and figs were rich and intensely flavored and highlighted by the Gelato and a 2011 Quinta de La Rosa LBV.
This was one of the finest dinners offered by these two chefs that I can remember. It was elegant and refined and above all, memorable. I couldn’t help but think there was true synergy in the way the two worked together in the kitchen and the dishes they executed.
Assaggi Osteria is located at 6641 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA 22101 Phone: 703- 918-008