For those of you who missed my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald, I’m reposting the stories here, complete with some photos that didn’t appear in the printed article.

This summer, the dynamic duo of Giuseppe and Salvatore Panzuto took over Carmel’s Pastries and Petals on Saturday nights to serve a traditional Italian dinner. Salvatore manned the kitchen and Giuseppe handled the front of house.

The Pastries and Petals dining room was taken over on Saturday nights this summer for Italian popup dinners hosted by the Panzuto brothers.

Salvatore prepared a prix fixe three-course dinner — an antipasto, a pasta course and a meat course — for just $35. The menu changed weekly, including many Italian favorites like eggplant Parmigiana and chicken Marsala.

After many failed attempts to drop by earlier in the summer, I finally made it in this weekend — and just in the nick of time, as it turned out this would be the last of the weekly dinner series.

Tomatoes stuffed with chopped vegetables kicked off the last weekly dinner last weekend.

This weekend’s menu included tomatoes with a flavorful twist on potato salad; a baked risotto casserole (sart di riso) that’s a traditional Neapolitan spin on lasagna using risotto instead of noodles; and housemade sweet and juicy Italian sausages with sautéed bell peppers.

A Neapolitan twist on lasagna with risotto instead of pasta.

The dimly lit Pastries and Petals dining room provided an intimate setting for dinner. The food had that charming, homemade character. The recipes felt like the same ones Salvatore had eaten as a kid — traditional, unpretentious Italian comfort fare passed down through the family generation to generation.

A traditional Italian classic with housemade sweet Italian sausages finished out the meal.

The weekly dinners have ended for the summer, but Giuseppe gave me a tip that he’s looking to continue offering dinners in the fall too, likely monthly instead of weekly and with an emphasis on wine pairings. Be sure to follow Pastries and Petals on Facebook for updates.

Stay tuned for upcoming dinners from Pastries and Petals this fall.

Pastries and Petals is located on Mission Street, between Fifth and Sixth, in Carmel. More information at 620-1400 or

This entry was posted in Herald, Off The Menu, Restaurants, Special Dinners. Bookmark the permalink.

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