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Alimentari, the new specialty store and deli from the team behind Williamson Street restaurant A Pig in a Fur Coat, celebrated its grand opening Tuesday.
Located at 306 S. Brearly St.— just a minute walk from A Pig in Fur Coat— Alimentari is a European-style market selling select specialty items like meats, cheeses, fresh and dried pasta, olive oil, wine, amaro and gelato. “If you come to us we will help you get the products to make an excellent meal at home from start to finish,” says co-owner Bonnie Arent.
Daniel Bonanno, co-owner and head chef at A Pig in a Fur Coat, says he wants to focus on products Madison hasn’t necessarily had access to before like fresh pasta made daily (Tuesday’s offerings included bucatini and rigatoni) and a selection of dried pastas from Calabria, the region of Italy where Bonanno’s family hails from. Bonanno is also excited about Alimentari’s selection of meats, including a prosciutto from Proscuitto di San Daniele that is aged for 24 months.
Made by skilled artisans, Proscuitto di San Daniele’s mantra is “made only with meat from Italian pigs, sea salt and the fresh San Daniele air.” Available to take home for a charcuterie board, “we can slice everything to the exact amount and thickness you want,” Bonanno says.
Alimentari also carries a selection of meats from Smoking Goose, a self-proclaimed “downtown Indianapolis meat locker,” including a gin and juice salame and an uncured lamb salame with juniper berries and orange peel.
Next to the meat case you will find cheeses, including a three-year Brown Cow Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy, manchegos and creamy Gorgonzolas. Rounding out the display case are prepared salads available to go; selections will change regularly. Current salads include a beet salad with lentils, carrots and orange honey vinaigrette and an Italian potato salad with heirloom tomatoes and garlic. There are also sandwiches available to go, like a mortadella sandwich with aged provolone, pickled eggplant, lettuce and Italian dressing available for $10.
Alimentari’s shelves are stocked with olive oil, vinegars, jarred sauces, dried pastas and large cans of tomatoes, the kinds that make you want to have a big pot of tomato sauce bubbling away all on afternoon on the stove. There is also a selection of canned fishes like spiced calamari in ragout sauce from Portugal and octopus in olive oil with garlic.
Next, head to the wine section to pick out a bottle from featured small, sustainable wineries, one of Arent’s focuses. “I want wine to be affordable and interesting,” Arent says.
Don’t overlook Alimentari’s selection of amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur that is commonly consumed after dinner as a digestif. “Take it home and experiment with it!” Arent says. One interesting one to try is Amaro delle Sirene, an amaro made in the United States and aged in wine barrels from Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
Finally, don’t even think about walking out the door without heading to the freezer section for a pint of gelato from Baron’s in Sheboygan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Using Italian equipment and Wisconsin milk and cream, Baron’s churns out 120 flavors of gelato. Alimentari will carry a rotating selection; current offerings include espresso, dark chocolate, strawberry basil and award-winning raspberry beet.
Bonanno says they will to continue to add more prepared food items in the coming months, including take-and-bake lasagna and ravioli. Alimentari will continue to expand Arent says, “I’m excited about the possibilities.”