Toronto’s Gabriele Paganelli will be joining the stampede of commuting chefs when M Cafe and Famoso Restaurant open in July at Max Mara in Chevy Chase.
As at his Toronto eatery, Paganelli will focus on the food of his native Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy—timbales of pecorino di fossa (a sheep’s-milk cheese aged in a rock cave), cream-of-artichoke soup, chestnut-flour tagliatelle with guinea-fowl ragoût and seared tuna crusted with salmoriglio (olive oil, herbs, and garlic) bread crumbs.
M Cafe, the more casual espresso/wine bar/cafe, will be open all day and serve prosciutto-stuffed cornetti (Italy’s doughier take on the croissant), pizzas, salumi, and Tuscan classics like vitello tonnato.
An amused Paganelli recently submitted to our Either/Or questionnaire.
Fresh. My mother and grandmother used to make it every day. There isn’t a single dish with dried pasta on my menu.
Barolo, because it’s Italian, though I understand it all started in France.
I was born a kilometer from the seashore [Ravenna], and my parents used to send me to the Italian Alps in the summer, so I’d have to say both.
Skiing is more fun. If you don’t have good company and you’re out at sea all day, sailing could get boring.
Armani is more serious, but Prada is youthful.
Benigni, because he turns the serious into fun.
Madonna, because she’s Italian-American and a little crazy.
Soccer—even with the big scandal.
Sophia. She is very, very warm.
TV. When I get home at midnight I watch sports—soccer, motorcycle and car racing—to calm down and fall asleep.
Steak because it’s more natural.
Pappardelle. It’s a large noodle, and it absorbs so much more sauce.
Gianduja, because there’s chocolate and hazelnut. It’s much more interesting because your palate gets to taste both the chocolate and hazelnut.
Espresso, unless I need the Fernet.
[Laughs] M Cafe.
It depends on who’s making it.