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Portland: Basta's Trattoria Renaissance Dinner October 4

For anyone interested, this is a nice, well priced dinner option(s). I've always enjoyed Basta's over the years.

Renaissance dinner at BASTAS part of the historic dinner series

Savoring Italian History
A Three-Part Historical Dinner Series at Bastas Trattoria

Portland, Oregon [September 21, 2011] - This fall, Bastas Trattoria chef/owner Marco Frattaroli debuts a monthly dinner series that will explore Italian cuisine through the lens of history. "I've always been fascinated by how food influences the historical timeline," explains Frattaroli. "And while it's often the last thing that we look at when we examine history, food and cooking customs offer so many clues about what was going on at any given time and place."

For the three-part series, which will take place the first Tuesday of the month starting in October through December, Frattaroli has identified three areas of history that have had a significant influence on Italian cuisine and culture: The Renaissance, The Early Roman Era and The Jewish Diaspora.

Each dinner includes a guest speaker who will speak to the subject while chef Frattaroli prepares a family-style feast for guests in Basta's private dining room. Each dinner is $40 (does not include wine and gratuity). To make reservations, call Bastas at (503) 274-1572.

The full schedule includes:

A Renaissance Affair: Spit Roasted Meats
Tuesday, October 4th: 6:30pm - 9:00pm
The Renaissance [14th - 17th centuries] was a period of vast innovation that affected all areas of life including literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion and cooking. Breakthroughs in mechanics resulted in the invention of mechanically rotating spitsthat used weights to rotate, much like a clock. Frattaroli will use a self-designed motor run spit for this dinner that emulates Medieval and Renaissance spits.
Speaker: Jesse Locker, Professor of Renaissance & Baroque Art at Portland State University.

An Early Roman Feast: Quasi Vegetarian
Tuesday, November 1st: 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Chef Frattaroli will focus on the 300 BC time period. Contrary to popular belief, not all Romans were gluttons who ate lying down. The early Roman Era diet was quite healthy by today's standards and consisted mostly of leafy greens, fish, nuts and legumes.
Speaker: Walter G. Englert, Omar & Althea Hoskins Professor of Classics & Humanities at Reed College.

The Jewish-Italian Kitchen
Tuesday, December 6th: 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Today, the Jewish population in Italy is only about 28,000, but Jewish-Italian cooking spans over 2000 years. The first major Jewish immigration to Italy came in the year 70AD, when Jews settled in Rome. By the end of the first century, some 30,000 Jews were living there. Over the years, there have been two other major migrations: the Ashkenazim, who came from Central Europe in the early 14th century, and the Sephardim who came after the expulsion of Jews from Spain. Today, Italian Jewish food is influenced by the Jews from the world over, including Tunisia, Libya, and Iran as well as those from Israel, France, and the United States. This dinner will explore the history and anthropology of Italian Jewish cuisine, focusing on the different regions of Italy with any Jewish influence.
Speaker: Roger Porter, Professor of English at Reed College and former restaurant critic for The Oregonian.

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