Donatello’s full of holiday spirits

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Donatello’s Italian Restaurant is making use of its newly expanded space with exclusive holiday celebrations this year.

The owners are meticulously planning a Christmas Wine Dinner on Dec. 4, where seven wines are paired with seven courses. Each dish and wine is served to you at your table as you hear why each wine was selected to go with the food.

Owner Beth Aasen said it was a way to get all of their favorite customers together for the holidays and to sample some options from a new wine list.

“With the old space, we were working out of a closet basically,” she said. “So now we have room for a greater variety of wines. We doubled our selection and we thought this would be an awesome way to showcase our new picks.”

Donatello’s recently moved its dining room into the spot formerly occupied by La Mie Emilie and they’ve been trying to keep adding more options with the increased space. They added a new coffee shop which is now serving holiday-themed beverages, such as gingerbread, peppermint and eggnog flavored cappuccinos.

Donatello’s is also getting into the holiday spirit by booking private parties, something they just didn’t have room for previously with such limited space. The restaurant nearly doubled capacity from about 32 to more than 50.

The owners, Beth, Patrick and Adam Aasen, are also one of the few non-chain restaurateurs who will be giving up their Christmas Eve to serve customers.

“The customers you get on Christmas Eve are in such a good mood, that it’s actually a real pleasure to work that night,” Adam said.

But its big holiday celebration takes place at the Dec. 4 wine dinner, which starts at 7 p.m. Diners will enjoy wild mushroom ravioli, Italian wedding soup, slow-cooked veal roast and much more. They will play games that test their wine trivia and learn about new wines they might not know about.

Adam and Beth Aasen recently appeared on WISH-TV’s morning show, “Indy Style” to talk about how to pair wine with food.

“It’s not just about whether you choose a red or white wine, it’s all about balancing the weight and characteristics,” Adam said, “and there are a lot of wines that break the traditional pairing rules.”

Tickets to the wine dinner cost $85 per person and include tax and tip. The owners said about half of the 50 spots have been sold already, so eager customers can call them at 317-564-4790 to save a seat.

Donatello’s is located at 9 W. Main St. in the Carmel Arts and Design District.


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