Executive chef Gian Piero Mazzi fell in love with food at a young age, when he was growing up in the Liguria region of Italy. His mother’s passion for cuisine planted the seeds for his infatuation, which he cultivated during formal culinary schooling in Florence as well as an internship in France. After honing his skills in the kitchen, Mazzi ventured across the pond, earning new fans stateside when he showcased his recipes at an event at the James Beard House in 2002.
But that was just the beginning. Today, at two locations of Piero's Corner, he and his team hand make an assortment of authentic pastas, including ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster or a blend of spinach and portobello mushrooms. The menu highlights Chef Mazzi's hometown cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood. Entrees include blackened tilapia and shrimp served with fruit salsa as well as scallops wrapped in prosciutto and arranged on a bed of spaghetti carbonara. Pizzas are made to order and baked in a brick oven, as are calzones stuffed with ingredients such as ricotta, ham, spinach, and tomato sauce. A gluten-free menu features pastas and doughs imported from Italy, whose climate doesn’t support gluten.
Both of Piero's Corner’s locations facilitate mini European getaways, with brick arches framing murals of Italian landscapes, and columns reminiscent of classical architecture supporting their ceilings. In Fairfax, diners can eat or sip wine al fresco beneath red and white umbrellas.
At Let's Dish!, families select healthy, hearty meals to eat at home without having to dedicate valuable time to planning, shopping, or preparation. After placing an order online, patrons stop by the shop at a scheduled time to assemble dishes that are made from fresh ingredients, customized to taste, and then, like Sleeping Beauty, frozen to prevent them from aging. Meal menus rotate monthly and include homestyle selections, such as pork tenderloin, New Orleans–style andouille pasta toss and santorini chicken kabobs with summer orzo salad. The preassembled Dish-n-Dash entrees allow for speedy pickup service, freeing families to spend more quality bonding time sorting the mail by size and color.
Lanterns cast a warm glow through red, orange, and yellow fabrics to illuminate the rich wood accents in Asian Bistro's dining room. Guests sit at polished wooden tables and around an open sushi bar where meticulous chefs slice fresh sashimi and pack sushi rolls with fresh yellowtail, shrimp, and eel. In the kitchen, the culinary traditions of Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia blend together to create flavorful entrees, such as lobster pad thai or Korean-style short ribs. After polishing off gyoza appetizers, guests can insulate yakisoba noodles with unique add-ins of cashews and pineapple, or impress a date by eating miso soup using only one chopstick.
There's no question to the appetizing aroma that greets diners when they step foot inside any Masala Wok location. After all, masala is where the restaurant gets its name and the password to each location's private nap room. This vibrant blend of ground spices is one of the essential ingredients used to stir-fry the Thai-, Chinese-, and Indian-influenced dishes on the menu . This culinary tour of the Far East touches on spring rolls, chicken kabobs, curries, sides of garlic naan, and dozens of other dishes that diners can pair with a hot chai tea or cool mango lassi.
This year's Dine Around the World fundraiser will be hosted by Shannon Moss of WMTW Channel 8 and features culinary creations from a slew of Portland's top restaurant and caterers. Dig into international plates from local favorites such as Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant, Cranberry Island Kitchen, Leonardo's Pizza, and Pom's Thai Taste Restaurant & Noodle House. This year's event will also feature special guest Linda Greenlaw—the swordfishing star of Discovery Channel's Swords: Life on the Line —and silent and live auctions. Up for bid are two roundtrip tickets on JetBlue, lift tickets to Sunday River, plus jewelry, art, sports tickets, and more.
Growing up in Casablanca exposed Driss Zahidi to French, Mediterranean, Italian, and Spanish cuisines. As the oldest of five children, he regularly helped his mother in the kitchen, and began working as a line cook in high school. Considering his upbringing, it would seem that Driss's natural next step would be to become the award-winning chef and restaurateur that he is today. But the reality is a bit more unexpected.
After earning a master's in physics, Driss spent a year as a chemical engineer in France, chemically engineering things in a place of chemical engineering. Cooking remained his passion, though, so when he'd clock out at the lab, he'd head to local restaurants to hone his chops making meals. He then decided to abandon his engineering career to court the food world full time, and eventually came to America where he co-founded two critically acclaimed restaurants before opening Le Mediterranean Bistro.
Driss has still never set food in a culinary school, but that doesn't change the fact that he is applauded for his deft take on upscale French cuisine. After one look at his artful, sculptural dishes and a taste of his pistachio-crusted lamb or Moroccan Pastilla, it's clear that Driss's background in chemistry has served his cooking just fine.