You don't have to go to Naples to enjoy a traditional mouth-watering Italian feast on the countryside.
The second annual Italian Garden Dinner, sponsored by the Italian Garden Project, will be served Aug. 24 on the lawn of the Fern Hollow Nature Center. The event will feature a simple, fresh menu similar to last year, but with some changes in store.
“We changed the menu to make it a little different,” said Marisa Tobias, president of Fern Hollow.
To start, two types of appetizers will be offered: zucchini fritters bruschetta with Tuscan white beans; and bruschetta with gorgonzola and Fern Hollow honey.
Main dishes include meatballs in roasted tomato sauce; grilled chicken with lemon and rosemary; grilled eggplant with tomatoes, basil and cheese; a pasta station with two types of fresh pasta, sauces and a variety of farm-fresh ingredients; green beans with olive oil and garlic; tomato and cucumber salad and fresh green salad.
And if you have some room left, desserts include cookies, fruit, expresso, homemade gelato and homemade limoncello.
The BYOB dinner has added a wine tasting this year with Naked Grape providing wine, Tobias said.
Also new is the live accordion music featuring Hank Eduardo to provide just the right ambiance to the Italian dinner. Eduardo will play before and after dinner, she said.
“Hopefully after dinner we’ll get people out there to polka,” Tobias said with a laugh.
The Italian Garden dinner is one of the nature center's main fundraisers, the other large one being the annual Fall Music Festival. The fundraisers benefit education programs at the nature center.
Reservations are being taken now and space is limited to 100 people.
Tobias said many of the people who attended last year are returning.
“We sold out last year and we hope to do the same this year,” she said.
If You Go:
When: 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24
Where: Served on the lawn of Fern Hollow Nature Center.
Cost: Members $75/ Non-members $100
Make Reservations: Call 412-741-6136. Payments are also being taken in advance.