Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by The Noms
A great spring meal to celebrate all the spring flavors in this Spring Menu Preview at Dante.
Living in Nebraska, we are surrounded by some of the world’s best farmland and farms who provide many of the restaurants we love to eat at with the produce and products they use to create some fantastic food. However, we do live in a state that has four seasons, so the winter months can tend to be a bit limited in the produce that is available for chefs to use.
When spring rolls around it is time to celebrate the return of the vibrant fresh produce to the menus of many of our local restaurants. For foodies like us, when the spring produce starts to roll in, we get excited because that means that chef’s are going to break out the new menus!
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One such restaurant is Dante Ristorante Pizzeria, which is Chef Nick Strawhecker’s fine Italian restaurant that features wood fired Neapolitan pizza and rustic Italian cuisine. We were invited to attend a blogger event to preview the release of Dante’s new Spring Menu and get a look at their fine Italian wine list that will pair up with the spring menu. We were very excited to attend, as Dante is one of our favorite restaurants in Omaha!
Chef Strawhecker is one of Omaha’s preeminent chefs and is one of the leaders in bringing the farm to table movement to life in Omaha. With a touted culinary resume featuring training at the prestigious Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners and experience at Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, and time in the kitchens of noted chefs like Shawn McClain, Chef Strawhecker returned back to Omaha to follow his dream of opening a restaurant in his hometown of Omaha.
From the time that Dante opened in 2008, Chef Strawhecker has focused on establishing relationships with local farmers to create innovative, top quality dishes using local produce and products at Dante. This close relationship with the local farmers has resulted in a menu that changes with the seasons. With spring coming and the producers starting to roll out the fresh spring produce, Chef Strawhecker has rolled out his spring menu!
We started out the event with a glass of excellent Italian vino that was selected by Sommelier Adam Weber, one of around 120 sommeliers in the US who have been awarded the Italian Wine Professional designation for their extensive knowledge and expertise in Italian wines. Dante pairs that extensive wine knowledge and carefully curated selection of fine Italian wines with Chef Strawhecker’s excellent cuisine to result in a wonderful and authentic Italian dining experience!
With wine in hand, it was time to enjoy a selection of some of the Antipasti (appetizers) that will be featured on Dante’s spring menu. All of the dishes were delicious, but we were really partial to the Fried Artichokes and the Fried Potato Puffs (sexy tater tots in a rich cheesy fondue!) at this Spring Menu Preview.
Dante is well known for their pizzas and flatbreads, which are prepared and cooked in the authentic Neapolitan style, which are cooked in their awesome wood fired oven at 800 degrees! The time in the super hot oven results in a beautiful thin airy crust with delicious charred bits and perfectly roasted cheese and toppings!
Chef Strawhecker rolled out his newest creation, a Pistachio flatbread, which had a rich nutty flavor that worked wonderfully with the local kale and the airy and perfectly chewy crust! No meal is complete at Dante without one of these pizzas or flatbreads!
After checking out the Antipasta, we got to see some of Chef Strawhecker’s culinary chops! Don’t let the name Dante Ristorante Pizzeria fool you, there is a lot more to Dante than just pizza! Chef Strawhecker brings his fine dining experience to the plate and creates some incredible Italian dishes. Our spring menu preview showcased some of these incredible dishes!
We started out with some beautifully plated beet tortellini made from local beets and fresh spring arugula that was plated in gorgeous dishes and edible flowers!
Our next course featured amazing Nebraska Wagyu beef and a sweet potato gratin that was perfectly prepared and visually striking (those layers of shaved sweet potato! OMG!) The dish paired perfectly with the 2014 Paolo Bea “Santa Chiara” Bianco, a beautiful Italian wine that was prepared in the old traditional style which resulted in a white wine that finishes like a red!
No meal would be complete without a sweet finish, and Chef Strawhecker and Dante delivered with their Butterscotch Budino with Sea Salt and Caramel. Topping the Budino, a crispy Nebraska pecan biscotti brought a rich nutty crunch to the dish! It was the perfect ending to an amazing meal at this Spring Menu Preview!
Chef Strawhecker and Adam Weber and the staff at Dante Ristorante Pizzeria really spoiled us with this dining experience! We already loved Dante, and getting to go check out the menu totally enhanced that opinion! If you are in Omaha or traveling here, definitely put Dante out on your list to check out!
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