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Michael's on Naples Ristorante

Zagat Guide Rated #1 Italian Restaurant in Long Beach


"Michael's on Naples sets the new standard for a classy, urbane restaurant within the greater Long Beach area, and arguably, within the state of California."



"The menu is classic Italian with bright Southern California notes."

-Los Angeles Times


"The perfect fusion of contemporary style with traditional flavors."

-The District Weekly


"Owner Michael Dene treats customers as cherished guests in the dining room."

-Lisa's LA


5620 East 2nd Street 

Long Beach, CA 90803


In September of 2006, a delightful couple joined Tuscan Women Cook for a week of cooking and wine. Little did we know that Michael and Patti Dene were to become great friends in the future. Michael had just sold his business and was looking for some new idea to keep him occupied. By the end of the week of making pasta and tasting wine, Michael announced to all that he was returning to Long Beach, California and "open a restaurant". The Denes were inspired by the Tuscan women, the way they prepared fresh pasta, the high quality of all ingredients and the Tuscan lifestyle.



Michael Dene has a passion for authenticity and quality, something missing in so many chain restaurants today. Local, sustainable products are always his prime concern. "From the farm to the fork, with no chemicals or factory farming; I try to be involved every step of the way" said Michael.  


Michael also has a special way of attracting the best in personnel, as with his general manager, Massimo Aronne, from the Liguria region of Italy. Massimo's gentle manner and soft personality is second only to his fine knowledge of Italian wine. Get him talking about his homeland, or its viticulture, and you'll have a seriously passionate conversation on your hands. David Coleman is the chef at Michael's and the ever-changing menu is focused on seasonal availability, using the freshest and finest that Southern California has to offer. Nightly specials reflect the chef's creative imagination and versatility, with handmade pasta, bread right out of the oven.  

3 men

l. to r.

Michael Dene                 Massimo Aronne           

David Coleman


If something lighter is what you have in mind, stop by next door at Michael's Pizzeria. Now only do they make the dough fresh daily, Michael's also makes the cheese and meats for their pizza. Michael brought his pizza mentor from Naples to advise and assist.


Michael and Patti have opened what could be our favorite Italian restaurant in the USA. We are so proud to have them attend Tuscan Women Cook and find some small amount of inspiration from the methods and cuisine of our wonderful
Tuscan women. If you are ever in the Long Beach area, please stop by.

Michael's on Naples Ristorante























March 2012. Tuscan Women Cook, LLC

We are delighted that so many people continue to enjoy our stories of the people and places near us in Tuscany, and other parts of the world.


In this issue, we are making available a video of Dania Misotti making risotto with Brunello wine in the kitchen of her famous Hotel & Ristorante La Chiusa where our guests spend their week with us.


Additionally, we are introducing two of our very favorite graduates, Michael and Patti Dene and their incredible restaurant-Michael's on Naples-in Long Beach, California. The Denes have always told us that the women of Tuscan Women Cook in part inspired them to open their Zagat #1 rated restaurant.


Our lead article covers the enormous amount of snow that covered Tuscany during the month of February.


Our 2012 classes are rapidly filling, and many weeks are already sold out. We do have a number of spaces available during prime weeks, but they will probably not last long.


We do hope you can join us one day in Tuscany.

-Bill and Patty Sutherland


Under the Tuscan Snow

The month of February found Italy covered in snow. A winter storm battered much of Italy, bringing arctic temperatures to the north and snow as far south as Naples, disrupting transport and commerce across the country. Rome had between six and eight inches of snow, the most in more than a quarter century, downing trees, snarling traffic and leaving shops shuttered. Some vehicles were trapped for 10 hours on the ring road that surrounds the capital in Rome and trucks were forced to pull off highways in much of the center and north of the country. International news reported that snow blanketed Italy from Venice to as far south as Naples, but the vast amount of snow that fell on Tuscany was not as widely covered.


Temperatures were below zero and roads were icy and dangerous. Trees had fallen everywhere, making many small villages appear to be war zones. Unusually heavy snow fell over much of Tuscany, causing disruption of train and road transport, especially in mountainous regions where emergency services struggled to reach isolated villages.


This bad weather that impacted all of Tuscany originated in the Balkans. The people of Tuscany were advised not to take any trips except those absolute necessary. There were thousands of people without heat, without water, without food. In our area, local farmers brought out their tractors and kept most of the roads clear.


In Montefollonico, we recorded about 125cm (50 inches) of snow. Urbino, about 150km to our northwest set a record with 327cm (128 inches)-the deepest snowfall in over 128 years.


With this much snow and extended low temperatures, there are both positive and negative thoughts concerning the local agriculture. Tuscany saw an autumn and a beginning of winter with little rainfall, so little that in many cities the water was rationed. With these abundant snowfalls, the earth is filling up with water and even the springs will feel the positive impact. However, many farmers are worried about the olive trees. In 1985 there was an extended period of extreme cold in our area, and most all of the olive trees died. Because it takes years for the olive trees to mature after they are planted, it took some time for the local industry to recover.


Through it all, the Tuscan people are very resilient knowing the green fields covered in brilliant red poppies and brocoletti are just around the corner awaiting spring.   




Dania Misotti

Our first class each week is at the gorgeous Hotel & Ristorante La Chiusa with the equally beautiful Dania Misotti. Dania is one of the most amazing chefs we've ever had the pleasure of working with. Our guests immediately fall in love with her, as she amazes everyone with her vivacity and charm. She has earned Michelin stars numerous times over the years for her wonderful cuisine. For this newsletter we want to share a video of Dania in the kitchen preparing risotto made with Brunello wine. Click here or on Dania's photo to watch the video.     


Breaking News! 

The cover story of The Costco Connection magazine (March 2012) costco_pauleyfeatures Jane Pauley as the "reinvention evangelist" for her inspirational work on the AARP show "Your Life Calling".


Patty and I were honored to be featured on the show in November and now to be spotlighted in the magazine article with a wonderful sidebar about Tuscan Women Cook (page 23). Costco Connection has the second highest distribution of any magazine in the USA!


Click here or on the cover image to read the article.


Click here to watch the Jane Pauley interview shown on The Today Show plus a video of Jane learning to make pasta.


As you can imagine, our 2012 classes are filling rapidly.

Click here for our 2012 calendar.


If you enjoyed our newsletter and wish to share it with someone, please click the "Forward to a Friend" button above, or if you do not wish to receive additional information, just click the "SafeUnsubscribe" button below.

We love what we do, and we love having so many wonderful guests join us each year in Tuscany. Hopefully, you will come (or come back) to be with us again soon.
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Bill & Patty Sutherland
Tuscan Women Cook, LLC
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2005-2012 Tuscan Women Cook is a U.S.A registered company based in and operated solely from the United States of America. flag