Speaking of occupied, we were so focused on the restaurant and its 10th anniversary that we nearly forgot to discuss Chef Pellegrini's culinary creations with him. We reminisced first about some of our past and present meals at Valentino, as we've tasted their pizza, pastas, salads, charcuterie and multiple desserts. "Our pizza is cooked entirely on the grill from the get-go," Chef Pellegrini told us. "We make sure it's nice and crispy on top. Then we flip it and then add the tomato sauce, cheese and chopped herbs. By the time the other side is cooked, the cheese melts. We don’t stretch it out on the grill; we stretch it out in olive oil, which gives the crispiness to the dough and it's nice and crunchy.
"We buy the prosciutto direct from San Daniele, although now we get it from a distributor (I used to buy it direct when times were good; now, of course, we can't keep around $10,000 worth of prosciutto inventory!). I've found that San Daniele is one of the sweetest and most flavorful prosciuttos out there, consistently so. The Parma is also good, but I'm partial to San Daniele.