Traditions are all a matter of perspective. They can be constraining, like having tuna casserole for dinner every Friday night of your life, or they can be affirming of the ongoing nature of life and its cycles. One recent tradition we've enjoyed is the yearly series of rosé dinners that Monique and Kevin host each summer at Castagna Restaurant on Hawthorne.
Like last year, this summer they're doing a series of four casual, family-style regional dinners arranged around our favorite summer wines. Each dinner includes three courses and two glasses of rose for $45, a steal at any price. And from the dinners we went to last year, each course is packed with great food, and those two glasses seem to be refilled at least once.
The schedule this year is drool-worthy and features:
• July 18 Loire Valley: Cider-cured pork loin cooked in hay with André Neveu Sancerre Pinot noir 2006 and Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot noir 2006.
• Aug. 1 Provence: Grand Aioli dinner of garlic-centric dishes with Commanderie de Peyrassol 2006 and Chateau Miraval 2006.
• Aug. 15 Bandol: Bouillabaisse with Chateau Pradeaux 2006 and Domaine de Terrebrune 2006.
• Aug. 29 Cassis: Roast Bronzini with Clos Sainte Magdelaine 2006 and Domaine du Bagnol 2006.
Make your reservations now to guarantee a seat. If you've been looking for a reason to move from the café side of the wall to the restaurant, this is a fantastic excuse to do it!
Details: Castagna Restaurant, 1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd. at the corner of 18th. Phone 503-231-7373 for reservations.