AltaMare's Wine Pairing Dinners Are Owner Claudio's Domain

Adam Larky

Claudio Giordano, owner of AltaMare restaurant on Lincoln Road, is a vivacious Italian who's been in Miami for over 25 years. Recently he brought back the wine pairing dinners that have always been part of his restaurant repertoire.

The need to offer something unique keeps Claudio on his toes. Though his chef, Simon Stojanovic, has been nominated as best up and coming chef by Short Order, the wine pairing dinners are Claudio's domain. He selects each wine and accompanying dish. Tasting up to 10 wines and 15 to 20 dishes may sound like a dream come true, but for this restaurant owner it's "enjoyable hard work." He follows his personal motto "to achieve simplicity you have to first master the complex" and methodically works his way through the pairings, often settling on dishes that are simple but don't take away from the wine. He doesn't always get it right, but every once in a while he strikes gold.

The intimate gatherings of twenty-some guests offer an insight into

Claudio's passion for good food, great wine and happy guests. "I keep

them small so that my guests can experience something truly special and

enjoy some great wines."

They're popular. His last four dinners, priced at $65 per person, have sold out quickly. Claudio acknowledges that he's open to promoting particular winemakers or champagne houses, so he gets bargain prices. Although some aficionados may turn up their nose at the mere thought of being part of a promotional dinner, Claudio believes it's a win-win. The distributor introduces a wine, the restaurant fills seats, and diners enjoy a $150 meal for a fraction of the price.

Altamare's Pairings and Pourings event is set for Tuesday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. Call 305-532-3061 for reservations.

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