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Some dish, and a pasta dish, at Spiaggia

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The things you learn in a 75-minute lunch at Café Spiaggia:

-- Tony Mantuano has removed Rick Bayless from his Twitter follow list. The man is too prolific, says the Spiaggia chef. "I love him, but I just can't. It's too much," Mantuano says.

-- Spiaggia will be serving decidedly downscale pizza and beer tonight. In the private dining room, that is, for tonight's "Top Chef Masters" viewing party. Twenty bucks. 8:30 p.m. Go and root for Mantuano.

-- Susur Lee, Mantuano's fellow 'Masters' cheftestant, does not own a cell phone, nor does he have an e-mail address. "It's impossible to get a hold of the guy," Mantuano says.

-- Six-year aged balsamico tastes like nectar. (Check back here in a few days for more details on Spiaggia chef di cucina Sarah Grueneberg's scarily vast knowledge of balsamico).

-- Pasta cut using a gold die, a recent find now on the cafe menu, yields a rougher finish, thereby enabling the sauce to adhere better. "And you can charge more," Mantuano chuckles.

Pictured is fusilli with Nichols Farm greens, tomatoes and almonds -- toothsome yet velvety. (And look for more discussion of pasta made using traditional brass dies -- and an equally lovely dish -- in our Low Mileage Kitchen column next Wednesday).


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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.



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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on May 19, 2010 5:08 PM.

Bayless is not tweeting from inside the White House -- but his chef IS petting the dog was the previous entry in this blog.

Top Chef Masters: Mantuano's pizza not up to tailgating snuff is the next entry in this blog.

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