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Genoa plans to stage a bigger big night

Fans of Lynne Rossetto Kasper's conversational cookbooks and popular NPR show, 'The Splendid Table,' will have a few opportunities to witness her wisdom firsthand when she visits Portland this month.

The most enticing of these is a special dinner that she will help prepare at Genoa on Thursday, Jan. 10. Kasper will guide Genoa's chefs in constructing a massive, baroque tortellini pie that Genoa chef Cathy Whims says will be even more elaborate than the one featured in that foodie-fantastic movie 'Big Night.'

The pie, historically reserved for important feasts, will be a first for Genoa. In fact, Whims says making tortellini is a new undertaking for her staff, which turns out many handmade pastas but has avoided the 'little twists' because they are the most time-consuming.

The centuries-old tortellini pie is a sweet pastry shell filled with tortellini meatballs, a full-figured ragœ and sweet cinnamon-scented custard. The intensive entree is a fitting choice for a dinner to benefit Portland Slow Food, a chapter of the worldwide organization that encourages appreciation of lovingly made food and shuns crude fast food.

During the multicourse dinner, Kasper will speak about Renaissance tastes and traditions. The cost is $125, which includes wine and gratuity. Considering that that is about what you'd lay down for a regular meal at Genoa, this one's a bargain.

Genoa is at 2832 S.E. Belmont St.; call 503-238-1464 for reservations.

New pup pub

Although their style is unique, Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. owners Gary Geist and Alex Stiles seem to be tentatively treading down the path blazed by Mike and Brian McMenamin.

Later this month, the Lucky Lab proprietors will open a second brew pub in a renovated Multnomah Village Masonic temple. Stiles says the 1925 building, which has sat unused for some time, 'has a lot of character now, but back then it had even more.'

The Lucky Lab crew has been scrubbing away to recapture the hall's salad days ambience, ripping up carpets to reveal pristine fir floors and making the most of the 2,000 square feet spread over two stories.

Whereas the company's existing Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard pub often plays host to more dogs than Laurelhurst Park, concerns about noisy barking forestalled a dog patio at the new location, which is in a residential neighborhood.

But Geist and Stiles were eager to set up shop in Multnomah Village precisely because it still operates as a village that encourages foot traffic. Another change here is the menu, which will offer pizza in place of bento and sandwiches.

The new Lucky Lab opens later this month at 7675 S.W. Capitol Highway; telephone number is 503-244-2537.

Contact Christina Melander at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .