Appetizers
March 15, 2011
Luck o' the Irish: Biba has a St. Patrick's Day pasta on the menu

By Blair Anthony Robertson, Bee Restaurant Critic
brobertson@sacbee.com

FL BIBA CLOSE.JPGWhat is Biba doing getting in on the St. Patrick's Day fun? For the second year running, the beloved Italian restaurant on Capitol Avenue in midtown is offering a special a la carte menu item for lunch and dinner to accommodate her many customers of Irish descent.

That would include Biba Caggiano's two sons-in-law.

The same restaurant that serves prosciutto di parma with caramelized pears, gnocchi del giorno and, yes, the famous lasagne verdi alla Bolognese, will be cooking up a special St. Patrick's Day stuffed pastal. As someone who is half Irish but feels like he should have been born in Northern Italy, I endorse this tradition wholeheartedly.

This hybrid, hyphenated and wholly unusual dish consists of spinach ravioli stuffed with corned beef, braised cabbage, carrots and potatoes, and finished with a sauce made of butter, braised cabbage and pancetta. No word on the green beer.

The dinner is $17.50 and lunch is $16.50.

Speaking of Biba, when I checked the restaurant website, I noticed an array of cooking classes taught by Biba herself. Each class costs 125 and is limited to 15 students. Classes cover such areas as fresh pasta, gnocchi and risotto. Clearly, they are very popular - they're all sold out through June 18.

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