Dante is Omaha’s leading Italian restaurant that focuses on sustainability. We recently had the opportunity to visit Dante Ristorante Pizzeria in Omaha to taste some of the seasonal fresh dishes created by Owner/Chef Nick Strawhecker and his team. We enjoyed our dinner with a wine pairing from Dante’s Adam Weber, Sommelier, IWP.
The Place and People at Dante Ristorante Pizzeria
Dante Ristorante specializes in authentic wood-fired pizza, but they are way more than just pizza. Dante is an authentic ingredient-driven restaurant, where the ingredients true flavors shine. The menu is rustic Italian and is truly sea or farm-to-table. All ingredients are sourced as sustainable, organic, and from local producers as much as possible.
The Chef/Owner Nick Strawhecker is a true lover of presenting a table that he is proud of and it shows. Much like me, Nick believes that his travels greatly influence his career. Much of his training and early career was in Europe, including time at the Michelin-rated restaurant, Falconierie, in Tuscany. Omaha is fortunate that Nick ended up back in town to open Dante.
Much like the food at Dante, the wine follows suit in quality. The Sommelier of the wine program is Adam Weber and he is the first person in the state of Nebraska to receive the Italian Wine Professional designation. Adam is one of the few Sommelier’s that I have come across that has the ability to change the wine in a heartbeat to adapt to the menu changes, based on what shows up from the farms.
The Food at Dante Ristorante Pizzeria
Chef Nick and his team prepared an unbelievable six course meal with five wine pairings for us. Each course was amazing and one I would return and order over and over again. It was perfect as I firmly believe that this is best way to truly taste a restaurant menu and get to know the chef.
Paired with a 2015 Bisson, Gelera Vino Frizzante (marca trevigiana. i.g.t.).
The first Antipasti was a Wedge Ceaser with bottarga, breadcrumbs, chives, and buttermilk. The second Antipasti was a delicious chilled asparagus and green garlic soup with radish and tomato. Each order is made fresh.
Paired with a 2016 Perticaia, Trebbiano Spolentino (spoleto, d.o.c.).
The Primo was one of my favorite dishes of the evening. Chef had received a whole wild boar and made a delicious Wild Boar Ravioli with sumo and turnips. I am not a wild boar girl, but now I am.
Paired with 2013 Randi “Blu Di Berson Uva Longanesi (ravenna, i.g.t.).
Okay, first off, NEVER and I say never, have I had Skate in Omaha. No Chef has been brave enough to put it on the menu that I know of. Plus, Omaha has a reputation of not being very progressive in it’s food until recently. It’s basically been a salmon and maybe trout community. Chef sources his seafood from a Brooklyn. Each morning, he is able to decide what he wants fresh from the boat and it is delivered the next day.
The first Secondo plate was a Seared Cape Cod Skate with sun choke, carrots, hazelnuts and brown butter. When I tell you it was the most delicately cooked Skate I have ever had, I am not exaggerating. The sunchoke was so fresh and paired beautifully and if you know anything about me, you know I believe brown butter is the best thing in the world.
Paired with 2015 Guado Al Melo “L’Airone” Vermentino (toscana, i.g.t).
The Second Secondo plate was a Wood-Roasted Cape Cod Mackerel with ceci bean, blistered tomatoes, and arugula. Mackerel is one of those fishes that has a taste of its own. Chef and his team allowed the fish to shine through and it did.
Paired with 2016 Elana Walch, Schiava (alto adige, d.o.c.).
Well, I have to say this was my favorite part of the meal and it usually is not. The team made a fantastic Raspberry Gelato with a Lavender and Crushed Biscotti. There is nothing more to say about that dish. It simply speaks for itself. I literally took my finger and cleaned the bowl.
The menu at Dante Ristorante Pizzeria s always changing and although the above menu was delicious, I guarantee you the menu items will be just as delicious when you visit. Dante’s is a perfect addition to the Omaha restaurant scene.
Dante Ristorante Pizzeria is located at The Shops of Legacy at 168th and Center. They are open for lunch Tuesday to Friday from 11 AM to 2:30 PM and dinner from 4:30-close. On Saturdays, they are open from 11 AM- close and Sundays, noon to close.
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.