A Fond Reflection by Sean, F. Oliver’s Ithaca Store Manager:

A few days ago, we shared a wonderful evening with Taverna Banfi and Damiani Wine Cellars for our first-ever tasting dinner in Ithaca. The restaurant, Taverna Banfi, is part of Cornell University’s prestigious Statler Hotel and specializes in Tuscan cooking. It was a splendid affair with first-rate cuisine and lovely wines to match. Showcasing our oils and vinegars with the help of Taverna Banfi’s hardworking, creative, and deeply talented team of professionals and students was such a pleasure.

The Evening

The tasting event began with an introduction from Greg Mezey, Director of Food and Beverage for the Statler Hotel. He recognized our collaborative dinner as the kickoff for a series of educational and inspiring tastings the restaurant will hold this year. The dinner was presented in five courses, created by Taverna Banfi’s chefs. Each course was paired with a unique and carefully selected wine from Damiani. During courses, Lou Damiani and our very own Penelope Pankow circled around to each table discussing the unique qualities of the oil, vinegar, or wine used for that course. For a look back at the evening’s wonderful courses, glance at the full menu.

A Budding Partnership

This week’s tasting dinner serves as the beginning of a very exciting partnership between F. Oliver’s and Taverna Banfi. We are working closely with Greg and his team to supply our ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils for the restaurant’s many tables. We are so honored and excited to be working with Taverna Banfi in this way.

Finally, we’d like to thank everyone for coming to the dinner–the strong attendance was instrumental for the atmosphere and overall success of the evening. Tasting dinners are an exciting opportunity for us and we’d like to do more of them! Be sure to leave a comment here, on our Facebook page, or visit us in our stores with your own ideas for tasting venues! And last but certainly not least, savor a photo of one of the evening’s highlight courses: Ruby Red Grapefruit Herb Salad with F. Oliver’s Fresh Pressed Meyer Lemon Custard.

Grapefruit Herb Salad

Grapefruit Herb Salad