When most people think about fine dining in Omaha, they typically think about heading down to the Old Market and all of the many well known restaurants that dot that district. However, there is one fine dining place that stands on its own way out in West Omaha that most people don’t think of when you first mention it, as they typically think of it as a pizza place! What is this place? Why, its Dante Ristorante Pizzeria!
This post contains sponsored content brought to you by Dante Ristorante Pizzeria.. We were provided a complimentary dining experience to review and promote Dante’s Summer Menu, but all opinions and views presented here are 100% our own. For further information please see our Disclaimer page.
Dante Ristorante Pizzeria is Chef Nick Strawhecker’s fine Italian restaurant that features wood fired Neapolitan pizza and rustic Italian cuisine. Most people are familiar with Dante’s fantastic wood fired Neapolitan pizza, but in reality, Dante is far more than just a pizzeria! You might remember earlier this year we were invited to attend a spring menu preview where we not only tried many types of Dante’s pizzas, but we got to dine on some of Chef Strawhecker’s delicious rustic Italian dishes.
For the summer menu preview, Chef Strawhecker and Genreal Manager and Sommelier Adam Weber wanted to highlight more of Dante’s fine dining side of their menu as well as showcasing Dante’s focus on being very seasonal and using as much local produce as possible. Chef Strawhecker definitely has the culinary chops to pull off some amazing fine dining dishes, with experience in the kitchens of chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Sean McClain as well as Michelin-rated Il Falconierie in Tuscany.
Adding to the culinary expertise to help make the fine dining experience at Dante impeccable is Sommelier Adam Weber, who holds the designation of Italian Wine Professional, and who has a definite talent for pairing wonderful Italian wines with Chef Strawhecker’s creations. Dante has an extensive wine program featuring 180 plus Italian wines from all over Italy, many featuring wines from small boutique wineries that aren’t widely available in the United States. Dante also tries to work with wineries who believe in sustainable production practices which can help ensure that these great Italian wines are around for years to come!
We started out with our meal with a nice glass of Bisson Vino Frizzante Trevigiani “glera,”a delightful clean sparkling wine from the Ligurian coastline to get our appetites going and the conversation among the diners flowing. With the wine having the desired effect, we were served the first antipasti dish, an elegant take on a wedge Caesar salad with bottarga (a cured pork), house bread crumbs and a chive and buttermilk dressing. As wedge salads go, this was delightful, the dressing rich and creamy and the greens fresh and crisp.
Continuing the Antipasti course we were served a bowl of chilled asparagus and green garlic soup with radish and tomato. The cool soup felt like summer, herbal and creamy smooth with a nice acid edge from the fresh tomato. Accompanying the last of our antipasti courses was a glass of 2016 Perticaia Trebbiano Spoletino, a crisp white full of citrus and melon which perfectly paired with the antipasti courses.
The Primo course featured a delicious wild boar ravioli with sugo and turnips. The wild boar was from Texas and came to Chef Strawhecker from a regular diner at Dante! This wild boar ravioli was a massive hit, with the boar being braised for 7 hours in red wine and sugo until it was super tender and full of rich flavor. All the bowls I saw were definitely clean at the end of this course! A nice glass of Randi “Blu di Burson” Uva Longanesi was the perfect pairing, this unique Italian red rich and fruity yet super light, perfect for a summer red.
The Secundo course featured two fish dishes, the first featuring fresh caught skate and roasted spring carrots atop a delicious sauce of brown butter and hazelnuts. The skate was perfectly cooked, the brown butter sauce bringing a rich nuttiness. The second fish dish was a wood roasted cape cod mackerel, served with ceci beans, blistered tomatoes and fresh arugula, the mackerel deliciously fatty which worked really well with the nutty spiciness of the arugula.
Both fish had been caught the day before so was super fresh, which for a restaurant located in the heart of the Midwest is amazing! Dante belongs to a sea food collective that works directly with the fishermen to bring the freshest catch of the day right to the restaurants. A glass of Guado ai Melo “L’airone” Vermentino from Tuscany was refreshingly crisp and acidic that complimented the richness of the fish.
The dolce course was absolute perfection, a raspberry gelato with lavender and crushed lemon biscotti. Made in house in Dante’s gelato machine, the raspberry gelato is smooth and creamy, the raspberry tasted like fresh picked raspberries, sweet and tart. The lavender syrup had just the right amount of lavender, the floral notes complimenting and pulling out the raspberry flavor! This was the perfect end to a fantastic meal especially when finished with the glass of Schiava from Elena Walch, a delightful wine that paired with the creamy gelato.
Next time you are wanting to head out for a fantastic meal or find yourself visiting Omaha, be sure to check out Dante Ristorante Pizzeria and Chef Strawhecker’s amazing cuisine! A big thanks to Dante for hosting us! Cheers!