Gracie Presanson

Bruschetta Board

Postino Wine Cafe, Phoenix

I find that this menu item takes all the best pairings from a cheese and charcuterie board to build bruschetta on freshly baked bread. The guest gets to pick four choices from a list of 12 combinations to be enjoyed by the table or as an individual entree. The ricotta with dates and pistachios is a must for one of my selections. Such a smart way to mix in variety, introduce new things and see what you like. And the dish pairs perfectly with a bottle of wine. Yea for

Spaghetti with Black Pepper, Parmesan and Olive Oil

Coltivare Pizza & Garden, Houston

This is a very simple dish with simple ingredients, but the flavors are different from any pasta I have had. The flavors are so fresh when combined together, making it a great meal. The food cost on this dish has to be one of the best in the industry. Look around and you will find a bowl being enjoyed at every table. 

rpm italian bomboloni

Bomboloni Donuts

RPM Italian, Chicago

The bomboloni are billed on the menu as “Cooked-to-order Italian Brioche Donuts.” They come to the table rolled in a vanilla sugar with Nutella and cream for dipping. These are the perfect ending to a meal as they are just the right size. When in Chicago, RPM Italian is always one of my stops, and the bomboloni is the way I end my meal.