Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich served Pope Francis his meals in NYC

Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich and I at Eataly

On Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Visit to the United States, his meals for the New York City leg of his journey were in the very capable hands of Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich and her team of top notch chefs.

Pope Francis

His Holiness Pope Francis in the Popemobile during the Papal Procession through Central Park

I have been a fan of Lidia for as long as she’s been on the television airwaves.  Her approach to Italian food is that of simplicity of techniques with superb ingredients.  That is surely a winning combination.

I have been fortunate to dine at a few of Lidia’s restaurants in NYC.  A most memorable dinner was at her flagship restaurant, Felidia.  The executive chef at Felidia is Fortunato Nicotra, a native Sicilian.  He executes Lidia’s dishes on an elevated level.  Chef Nicotra was one of the chefs helping to prepare the meals for the Pontiff.


Executive Chef Fortunato Nicotra & I at Felidia

Here are the dishes and wine pairings the Holy Father enjoyed while in NYC.

September 24th Dinner:
Caprese di Astice e Burrata (Heirloom tomato, house-made Burrata, steamed Maine lobster)
Vespa Bianco Bastianich 2013

Brodo di Cappone con Anolini (Capon soup with Grana Padano raviolini)

Medaglioni di Vitello alla Boscaiola (Veal medallions ‘Boscaiola’, porcini, corn, fresh tomato)
Vespa Rosso Bastianich 2010

Sorbetto di Uva Fragola con “Torta degli Angeli”(Concord grape sorbetto with angel food cake)
Prosecco Flor

September 25th Lunch:
Insalata Cotta e Cruda con la Nostra Ricotta(Cooked and raw vegetable salad with Felidia’s ricotta) 
Sauvignon Bastianich 2014

Risotto con Porcini e Tartufi (Risotto with porcini, summer truffles and Grana Padano Riserva)
Morellino La Mozza 2013

Pere ed uva al forno con Gelato alla Vaniglia (Roasted Pears and Grapes with Vanilla Gelato)

September 25th Dinner:
Tutto Tonno (Tuna: tartare, semi carpaccio preserve, Tonnato sauce)
Friulano Bastianich 2012

Cacio e Pere (Pear and pecorino filled ravioli, aged pecorino, crushed black pepper)
Vespa Bianco Bastianich 2013

Spigola Striata al forno con Olio d’oliva e Limone (Whole roasted striped bass, late summer vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, lemon)
Vespa Bianco Bastianich 2013

Crostata di Mele con Gelato al Miele (Apple crostata with local honey ice cream)
Prosecco Flor


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