Boy, was he surprised! Thanks to Jim Weaver (on right), owner of Tre Piani restaurant in Forrestal Village, his beloved maître d’ Giancarlo Squitieri celebrated his birthday with family and friends at the restaurant Saturday night. The staff sneaked us into the upstairs room (the third “piani,” or floor). Giancarlo knew there was a private function up there, but had no idea it was for him.
Then Jim lured him upstairs, and the rest is history. I stayed for about an hour, enjoying Prosecco and passed hors d’oeuvres, and Giancarlo was still in shock when I left. If you have ever eaten at Tre Piani, you have probably encountered this wonderful man, who is always smiling and gracious (and oh-so-suave), and who sings a standout Happy Birthday, Italian style. This time we returned the favor to him! A dear friend of his even came to play bagpipes, too.
Jim finally convinced Giancarlo that he didn’t have to go back downstairs to continue working (“Really, we’ve got your shift covered!”) and that he would enjoy a special dinner with his family instead.
Meanwhile, Tre Piani is open for Thanksgiving (and Christmas Eve) this year, and the menu is luring my family in for “Tre Piani Thanksgiving Dinner Slow Food Style.” Dinner features foods from local and organic sources, so we’ll be dining on heritage breed Bourbon Red turkey this year, plus myriad other goodies, listed below. Yum! “Tre Piani Thanksgiving Dinner Slow Food Style”
First Course Buffet-Style
Pumpkin Bisque, Autumn Minestrone, Mixed Green Salad, Salumi, Local Cheese, Seafood Salad, Tuna Tartare, Smoked Bluefish Pate, Chicken Liver Pate with Port Wine and Red Onion Jam, Cape May Salt Oysters
Served Family Style
Relish trays with pickled beets, carrots, fennel, braised leeks and marinated mushrooms
Bourbon Red Turkey with Gravy, Oyster Stuffing, Herb Stuffing, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Roast Fresh Ham, Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Penne with Tomato Sauce, Candied Turnips, Creamed Onions, Acorn Squash, Sautéed Swiss Chard
An assortment of homemade pies, cakes, cookies, pastries and fruit
Complete coffee service
Seatings from 12:00-6:00
$45 per person, $15 children 12 and under, free for children 5 and under.
This is one of the nicest Thanksgiving menus I have ever seen and look forward to sampling everything tomorrow.
Faith, I’m so glad you “covered” Giancarlo’s wonderful birthday celebration so graciously put together by Jim Weaver. What a wonderful collection of people and food, and hope you had a lovely holiday with all that yummy local food.
Thanks for bringing Giancarlo’s birthday party back to life. It was truly a feast of love, an honor to share, to give back to this man who so honors us at each entry.
No maitre d’ surpasses the richness of Giancarlo’s welcome. Excellence at Tre Piani begins at the door, at Giancarlo’s hands, then Jim and his highly trained staff ‘take it to the max’.
Giancarlo absolutely didn’t believe that he would be seated with his family and served a birthday dinner… But that’s our Jim… A magical time for all! Carolyn