When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie, that's Yelp's Big Bite: Italian!
In September, everyone was family! Yelpers joined in for a little of this, a little of that at some magnifico special events hosted by these fantastico local businesses. Mangia!
We began at E 48th Street Market, Dunwoody, to learn Segreti di Famiglia [family secrets] and the simplicity of cooking Italian food. Adam B’s eyes were opened, “E 48th Street Market has practically been in my backyard for the last 27 years. And what a discovery… If you are an ex-pat from the Northeast, then you know that you have been missing Italian delis ever since you moved here. Charlie's market is that and so much more.” We watched owner Charlie Augello demonstrate how they make their fresh Mozzarella, learned about the homemade sauces like Marinara, Bolognese and Sausage Ragu, and we heard about and saw a few Traditional Italian Salumi: Prosciutto di Palma, Speck, Mortadella. We sampled everything, including their pizza!
Next up for Yelp’s Big Bite, Crema Café, Dunwoody, welcomed Yelpers with a gourmet Italian espresso demonstration and tasting as well as an up close demo of espresso foaming and techniques. Chef Yossi taught us about the three M's of espresso Miscela, Macchina, e Mano meaning the blend, the machine and the hand behind the cup, and served us complimentary mini Italian sandwiches, salads and lasagna in this large and inviting cafe! “I had a tiramisu (the perfect bite served with the perfect tiny spoon) and a dark chocolate-orange truffle.” Lindy F admits, “If the server had come back, I would have mugged her for her truffle tray – no joke.”
Then we experienced the sweet and the savory, with Dolce e Salato at Alpine Bakery and Trattoria, Alpharetta. Along with complimentary beer, discounted cocktails from Vixen Vodka and entertainment by Amy Baldwin, we sampled Italian snacks and goodies – Dolce, or sweet, included mini cannoli, cookies, key lime bites, mini fresh fruit tarts and truffles. The Salato, Savory, Yelpers were served mini meatballs, calamari, mini risotto cakes, mini crab cakes, Italian rice balls and antipasto. Naima W rated it, “Definitely one of my favorite Yelp events I ever attended! This event was very laid back and fun to be a part of. We had a private area on the patio and it was such a beautiful night to be out there. We even had a vocalist with an incredible voice singing amazing songs.”
Next up: Dominic's at Clay Oven, Marietta, Yelpers – elite and non-elite – all sat together like a traditional Italian family at the big table, or Grande Tavolo, and enjoyed garlic knots, salad, antipasto, classic pizza, pasta, garlic breads, and rainbow cookies! Daniel B noted, “This is what Yelp is about – introducing us to local businesses we otherwise wouldn't know about. A big thank you to owner Dominic, his wife Lindsey, artist Kristopher Meadows, and the rest of Dominic's staff for graciously inviting us into their restaurant and showing us a good time.” They sipped complimentary beer and special wine, heard about the art classes held there taught by Kris, and Dominic demonstrated the magical making of garlic knots, which quickly disappeared.
At Campania Pizzeria Napoletana, in Alpharetta, Yelpers learned about Il Forno e La Farina, the oven and the flour, and tasted complimentary Neapolitan Pizza made by a true Neapolitan! Chef Stefano talked about what makes this type of pie different from others! The excitement continued with discounts on Peroni and Limoncello shots, as well as a special Check-In deal for a complimentary mysterious gift card worth $5, $10 or $20! Emily H commented, “I see now why this series is called "Yelp's Big Bite." I don't remember enjoying this much food at a Yelp event before. It. Was. Awesome.”
Yelpers gathered at The Wine Cellars in Smyrna for Vino e Formaggio. They tasted and learn about six different wines and 8+ cheeses. Yelpers answered wine trivia and fact questions from their tasting notes, and won prizes! Annie C wraps up our conclusion, “The amazing array of Italian centric events fantastically put together by Heidi. This event was no different than its' predecessors: a super fun and knowledgeable evening with gourmet apps – and this time dranks!”
Thanks to Joy, Kassie and Mark from LeahAndMark.com and Heather N. Croas for various photography!