Michael Mina Announces Italian Seafood Concept for Next Test Kitchen Pop-Up

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Chef Michael Mina
Chef Michael Mina

On Friday, November 4, Ayesha Curry will be hanging up her International Smoke apron. The barbecue pop-up from NBA all-star Steph Curry’s wife launched at the Mina Test Kitchen earlier this year in June. The restaurant will move onto it’s next concept, which it announced today, Postcards from La Costiera, on Saturday, November 12. This is the fifth concept from Mina and his team. Previous pop-ups included Curry’s international barbecue theme, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean theme, an Indian theme, and an Italian-American theme. For Postcards from La Costiera, Michael Mina and his right hand man, chef Adam Sobel, will look to Italy once again.

Housemade pasta from the Little Italy Test Kitchen concept
Housemade pasta from the Little Italy Test Kitchen concept

The duo have an upcoming culinary adventure to the boot-shaped country planned. They will visit 23 Italian food destinations—Roma, Cava de Tirreni, Penta, Alvignano, Grottaferrata, Licata, Noto, Catania, Passopisciaro, Linguaglossa, Napoli, Cetara, Montegrosso, Apricena, Trani, Bitonto, Martina Franca, Monopoli, Polignano Mare, Alberobello, Bari, Vallesaccarda, and Caiazzo. In preparation for their trip, Mina and Sobel have extensively researched the places they will be visiting. “This is an incredibly special trip for me—to be able to experience the deep roots of the Italian culture and my heritage,” Sobel said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to not only meet some of the fishermen, and cheese and salumi makers, but to also have the chance to make olive oil, to learn from the best Buffalo mozzarella makers, spend time with Italian butchers, and visit area wineries.  It’s a dream come true. This trip wouldn’t be possible without the help of my dear friend chef David Nayfield, who has connected me with Italian local and food lover, Livio Colapinto, who has planned an incredible itinerary for our visit.” Colapinto is an Italian food lover and founder of a culinary tour company, Zest of Italy—he will serve as guide to the chefs.

Baked clams oreganata from the Little Italy concept
Baked clams oreganata from the Little Italy concept

The menu for the pop-up will be inspired by their research and journey. Think of the dishes as Mina and Sobel’s culinary postcards from Italy. The initial menu will be heavy on seafood, and will feature five customizable courses with items like caviar and fresh mozzarella, sliced raw fish, black squid ink tagliatelle with octopus and clams, roasted wild black bass, and Sicilian-style bone-in New York steak. As with all the Test Kitchen concepts, the meal is served family style and consists of a hearty portion of food. Once the duo return from their trip, the menu will evolve. Italian-inspired cocktails, including a housemade limoncello program from mixologist Brian Means, will also be featured.

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