Pasta as a Love Language: Valentine’s Day at San Morello

BY Taylor Rebhan

Take a look behind the scenes and into the kitchen of the Shinola Hotel’s Southern-Italian restaurant San Morello as they prepare for Valentine’s Day—and learn what it takes to craft a meal with love from Detroit.

The scene is set: A warm glow flickers off colorful tile. White linens are tidy. Glasses are full. Even the chairs invite you to sit back, stay awhile. And the aroma? Nothing short of heavenly.

Forget candy, chocolates, and greeting cards. The hospitality team at the Shinola Hotel has crafted a plethora of experiences that will make Valentine’s Day a true day to remember. From appetizers to aperitifs, a romantic evening is just a bite away.

The only question remains: Why wouldn’t you treat your beau to San Morello for Valentine’s Day? After all, food is a love language. And the fastest way to the heart—at least for this writer—is through the stomach.

Detroiters are lucky in love. There’s no one better suited to prepare a meal with passion than Chef Andrew Camellini’s Southern-Italian and Sicilian-inspired neighborhood restaurant. The cucina experts at San Morello will be serving their signature à la carte menu of authentic wood-fired dishes, pizzas, and housemade pastas crafted with local, seasonal ingredients alongside three festive Valentine’s specialties.

They’re specials worth swooning over: A Crab Crostini with fennel, Meyer lemon, and Calabrian chili for a kiss of spice. Lobster Ravioli, prepared fresh by the pasta professionals and prepared with sambuca and soffritto bianco for a truly Italian finish. And last but certainly not least, a perfectly executed Grilled Veal Chop, served with escarole and a rich-yet-crispy truffle potato.

Fall in love yet?

For Chef della Cucina Cory Barberio, love is a key ingredient in a dish. You ought to be able to taste it in every bite.

Chef proved as much as he gave us an inside look at the Lobster Ravioli dish, starting with fresh pasta. You won’t find the flash-frozen or dried stuff at San Morello. From flour to finished product, it’s a labor of love—one that’s not undertaken lightly. Shinola photographer Brian B. snuck a taste for himself, and suffice it to say he’s got plenty of ideas for his Valentine.

So when it comes to an evening to remember, leave the food to the professionals. After all, San Morello takes its inspiration from Italy, a local, people, and cuisine known for nothing if not passion.

Reservations can be placed at SanMorello.com—and why not make a night of it? Book a room. Put on a record. Disappear into a robe. And fall into a moment you’ll never forget, made with love from Detroit.

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