It was the Saturday night of Mother’s Day weekend and our local son and his family took us out for dinner. We went to a restaurant that we have been to, and I wrote about several times. We went to the original location for Bigalora Cucina, which originally was called Pizzeria Biga and created by Luciano Del Signore who we have followed since his early days at Fonte D’Amore and later at his acclaimed Bacco, and we are looking forward to his new joint endeavor to open later on this year. To show you how fickle and changing the climate is for restaurants, this location was once where you could find Il Posto and before that it was the Vineyards; and each venue was known for the food.
My Bride and I were still not hungry from our lunch outing, and even after walking all around downtown Birmingham, but we wanted to see the family, and it was great that they were honoring my Bride, as we also honored our Daughter-in-Law for Mother’s Day as well. An assortment of appetizers was ordered, but we really just noshed a bit to be social, as we were still full. We also decided to share one pizza for the two of us, and the pizzas are normally considered an individual sized pie. The secret to Bigalora Cucina is the proprietary dough that Luciano created, as it is very light and easily digestible. We had the Bacco Sausage Red Pizza, which was House-blend Mozzarella, Roasted Onions, Roasted Hungarian Hot Peppers and House-made Sausage and the best part, was no heartburn afterwards. As a side note, I will mention that Luciano had created a “vegan” and a “gluten-free” version of this dough as well, to accommodate all the requisites of today’s diners.
Luciano Del Signore does not allow any dust to settle on his apron or chef’s smock, he is always striving to do more. He has his own craft-micro-brewery and has a winery up in the Leelanau Peninsula region of Michigan where he now produces his House wine brand called Baia Estate. Since my Bride and I are the only drinkers we just had some glasses of wine, as we didn’t need another bottle of wine. We started with Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT 2017. Tiefenbrunner is a fifth-generation winery and is considered one of the oldest in the South Tyrol of Italy, Sud Tirol as it is known to about two-thirds of the local inhabitants as the region abuts the Tyrol region of Austria, and it is known as the Alto Adige to the Italian speaking inhabitants of the region, and the rest of the country. The vineyards for Pinot Grigio were originally planted in 1982 and one region is noted for its alluvial sand base and the other for its chalk gravel. Fermentation takes place in Stainless Steel and then it is aged on fine lees for four months in Concrete vats prior to bottling. A soft floral nose, and just an easy drinking wine; and I really think that is what most people expect and want from this grape. With the pizza, I switched over to a red wine and had the Flecha de los Andes Aguaribay Malbec Vista Flores 2016 from the Argentine branch of Compagnie Vinicole Edmonde de Rothschild. Vista Flores is the biggest and most popular and desirable part of the Uco Valley near Mendoza as the predominate alluvial soil makes the vines work that much harder to bear fruit. Compagnie Vinicole Edmonde de Rothschild, under the auspices of Benjamin Rothschild began in 1973 with the purchase of Chateau Clarke and Chateau Malmaison and are now in six estates in five different countries. In 1999 they purchased and began Flecha de los Andes in Argentina where they produce a couple of signature wines and some popular priced wines as well. A value priced Argentine Malbec that it is big with a bit of a velvet finish, so it would be good with most red meats, and it was a little over kill for the pizza, but it helped with those hot peppers. It was good to see the family and my Bride was happy to be remembered and that is how it should be.