Bella North Italia

Last night I dreamt I was on a tour of Italy…..

No wait, that was the night before and the tour really took place at North Italia, the Fox Restaurant Concept that celebrates the food, wine and passion of Italy.

I was with fellow food writers and good foodie friends. Karyn Zoldan (of Circle of Food blog from where these photos are liberally borrowed) and Edie Jarolim, food maven from Tucson Guide. My pics got lost so I also snagged a couple from Yelp!

Our tour guide was VitoPaolo Prencipe, the Assistant GM at the North in La Encantada.

We were guided through the courses with explanations as to the differences in the different regions of Italy. From a groaning chef’s board to a lovely branzino to delish bombolini this hosted diner was fit for royalty. Potent potables were served with each course.

 

We began with the chef’s board and an insalata that was a combination of caprese and panzanella with burrata, basil, cucumber, red onion, herb croutons and a sherry vinaigrette.IMG_1315

 

The board had prosciutto di parma, , roasted pepper, house made mostarda, provolone piccante, a creamy crescenza cheese from Lomabardy, castelvetrano olives from Sicily, marcona almonds and chunks of that great bread North makes. The wine was a crisp, white Orvieti.

 

Three main courses were from mare é terra.

The grilled branzino, which Vito explained was an Italian sea bass, was buttery and tender with lemony touches, a bit of farro, cipollini onions, broccolini and fennel. This I would order again.

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From the land came a fork tender short rib served atop the creamiest polenta imaginable.

And of course, there was pasta: big, fat tortalloni filled with burrata and served in a mild tomato sauce.

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The wine was a deep red chianti classico.

Three desserts were served with amaro, one of my favorite after dinner drinks.

The hazelnut torta was divine as was the tiramisu but my fave was the bombolini. Lightly fried balls of sweet dough with a lemony crema.

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North is admittedly one of my favorite restaurants in Tucson and these new additions only reinforce how much I love dining there.