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Wine Bar Food: Mediterranean Flavors to Crave with Wines to Match

Wine Bar Food: Mediterranean Flavors to Crave with Wines to Match

by Cathy Mantuano, Tony Mantuano, Tony Mantuano
After the workday, in places like Seville, Milan, Barcelona, and other cities that dot the Mediterranean, people gravitate to wine bars to relax, meet friends, savor small dishes of flavorful food, and, of course, enjoy the local wines that perfectly complement the moment.

In Wine Bar Food, acclaimed restaurateurs Cathy and Tony Mantuano show you how to


After the workday, in places like Seville, Milan, Barcelona, and other cities that dot the Mediterranean, people gravitate to wine bars to relax, meet friends, savor small dishes of flavorful food, and, of course, enjoy the local wines that perfectly complement the moment.

In Wine Bar Food, acclaimed restaurateurs Cathy and Tony Mantuano show you how to re-create this irresistibly appealing part of the Mediterranean lifestyle at home. Organized by city, from Lisbon to Rome, and paired with accessible wines from each region, the delightfully unpretentious, simply prepared dishes can be shared as small plates by many or make a sit-down dinner for two or more. The 100 recipes emphasize flavor and ease of preparation over strict authenticity, so you’ll be able to round up the ingredients effortlessly to create delicious meals any night of the week, including:

Flaming Ouzo Shrimp (from Athens)
Pork Ribs with Garlic, Chilies, and Tomato (from Naples)
Pea, Bacon, and Pecorino Salad (from Nice)
Amaretto Polenta Pound Cake (from Venice)

Rich with great advice on affordable wine gems and recipes for some killer wine cocktails, Wine Bar Food has everything you need to make weeknight dinners and gatherings with friends simple, fun, and flavorful affairs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Cathy and Tony's new take on the seemingly simple and yet immensely satisfying concept of food and wine pairings makes it easy for both the novice and the professional to get so much more than the sum of vino plus comestibles. Most interesting to me are the lesser known wines from the Iberian peninsula and the killer yet easy to make snacks that accompany them. I'll take one of everything, please.”
—Mario Batali, author of Molto Italiano

“With the popularity of small plates growing every day, this book by ‘team Mantuano’ will help you fill your table like the finest chefs do in their kitchens.”
—Bobby Flay, author of Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook

“Having witnessed Chef Tony at work, I can safely say he is indeed a magician. Tony's approach is both elegant and breezy making this cookbook of secrets, also known as Wine Bar Food, a must-have addition to any kitchen. Plus, there are loads of delicious recipes for vegetarians like me.”
—Todd Oldham, designer

“There is no better Italian restaurant in America than Spiaggia; Tony Mantuano has always been committed to the truest flavors and finest pairings of wine for his extraordinary cuisine. Now, with Wine Bar Food, he makes that same standard of inspired excellence available to home cooks and wine lovers everywhere.”
—John Mariani, food and travel correspondent for Esquire Magazine and author of the Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink

“I can only imagine the fun Cathy and Tony Mantuano had bar-hopping their way through Mediterranean culinary capitals researching these mouthwatering recipes that transport your mind and taste buds all at once. These bar bites are for non-fussy cooks and guests who have the confidence to enjoy what is rustic and what is local.”
—Danny Meyer, author of Setting the Table

Publishers Weekly

Husband-and-wife team Cathy and Tony Mantuano (chef-partners of the Spiaggia in Chicago, and authors of The Spiaggia Cookbook) share their delightful versions of wine bar recipes from across the Mediterranean. Each chapter focuses on a specific city (Rome, Seville, Nice and Lisbon, to name a few) and includes fun, fresh cocktails as well as simple yet delectable small plates and regional wine suggestions. The authors encourage mixing and matching recipes from different cities, explaining "the point is to bring a little bit of the wine bar lifestyle-good food, good wine and simple technique-into your home." The couple includes background information on each dish, giving the reader a distinct sense of each recipe, all written with clear and thorough instructions. From Venice there is Whipped Baccalà with Polenta Crostini, and Black Pasta with Scungilli. Cocktail recipes include Limoncello Martinis from Naples and Mediterranean Lemonade made with ouzo, anise-flavored liqueur from Athens. Unique dessert recipes round out the assortment of options such as Mascarpone-Filled Dates with Chocolate and Lavender Ice Cream Sandwiches. With excellent sections on cured meats, imported cheeses and specialty pantry items, this is a wonderful book for food and wine lovers alike. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

The Mantuanos, husband and wife restaurateurs, collaborated on this work focusing on regional foods and wines from the Mediterranean, which is organized around ten iconic cities (Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, Seville, Barcelona, Nice, Lisbon, and Athens) and offers approximately ten recipes for each. The recipes range from snacks/tapas to more substantial entréelike preparations, as well as desserts, and recipes for wine cocktails for each area. At the end of each section is a two-page entry on the wines of the region, including descriptions of major wine types and names of well-known local producers. No specific wine pairings are provided with the recipes, however, which would have made the book more useful and interesting. Interspersed between the city chapters are also short sections on artisanal cured meats, prepared pantry items from the areas, and cheeses. A resource guide for hard-to-find items is included at the end. Overall, the focus seems to be more on food than wine. Nicely illustrated; purchase where there is interest.
—Susan Hurst

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Read an Excerpt

Wine Bar Food

Mediterranean Flavors to Crave with Wines to Match
By Cathy Mantuano

Clarkson Potter

Copyright © 2008 Cathy Mantuano
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307352798

Flaming Ouzo Shrimp
Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course

This recipe is in the tradition of the flambéed Greek cheese dish known as saganaki. Ouzo is a Greek anise-flavored liqueur that matches well with shrimp.

Make sure that the ouzo goes on while the dish is very hot, or it will not light. And remember to stand back when flaming the shrimp. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

   • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
   • 1 russet potato, very thinly sliced
   • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
   • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
   • 1 1/4 pounds peeled and deveined extra-large shrimp (under 15 per pound)
   • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
   • 6 ounces ouzo
   • 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.

2. Heat a large skillet in the oven for 5 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the oven and add 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Carefully layer the potato slices in the pan, slightly overlapping them. Top with the slices of jalapeño, garlic, and finally the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

4. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and add the ouzo. Stand back and carefully hold a lit match to the juices to flame the dish. As the flame begins to die down, squeeze the lemon over the shrimp. Serve immediately.

Limoncello Martini
Makes 1 cocktail

Amalfi in southern Italy is full of lemon trees that produce the biggest, most flavorful lemons in the world. So what do you do when life hands you these lemons? Make limoncello martinis, wonderfully refreshing in spring and summer, bracing in fall and winter.

   • 1 lemon wedge
   • Confectioners' sugar
   • 1 1/2 ounces citrus-flavored vodka
   • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
   • 1 ounce limoncello
   • Twist of lemon peel

1. Rub the rim of a martini glass with the lemon wedge. Put some confectioners’ sugar on a small dish, tap the dish to level the sugar, and invert the glass into the sugar to coat the rim.

2. Shake the vodka, lemon juice, and limoncello with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a lemon twist.


Excerpted from Wine Bar Food by Cathy Mantuano Copyright © 2008 by Cathy Mantuano. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

CATHY MANTUANO is an expert on pairing food and wine. TONY MANTUANO is chef-partner at the celebrated Spiaggia in Chicago. The husband-and-wife team is opening Enoteca Spiaggia, a wine bar in Miami’s South Beach, in 2008. This is their second cookbook.

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