Cucina Casalinga, Wilton, Connecticut
A Connecticut kitchen where you can make it like Mario.

From the March 24, 2003 Issue of New York

Don an apron at Cucina Casalinga and you might find yourself crisping a white-clam pizza in the authentic Tuscan-style oven or crushing basil leaves picked from the garden for a tangy trenette con pesto. The school, located in Wilton, Connecticut, offers day and evening classes ranging from “Pizza on the Patio” to “Sunday at Grandma Peppina’s House,” a crash course on homey dishes like oven-baked ziti with meat sauce. Afterward, you and your classmates wash down the results with bottles of Barolo. Spend the night at the Inn at National Hall, built in 1873 and overlooking the Saugatuck River, where the rooms and suites are extravagantly decorated with canopy beds, antique armoires, and hand-stenciled ceilings. In the unlikely event that you have room for a late-night meal, try the hotel restaurant, Miramar, founded by Olives chef Todd English. The Mediterranean-influenced menu features dishes like fried squid with jalapeños and mushroom-crusted monkfish. You can compare skills.
— Betsy Goldberg

Cucina Casalinga (from $100 for a three-to-four-hour class; 203-762-0768;; Inn at National Hall (rooms from $320; 203-221-1351;
Photograph: Courtesy og Cucina Casalinga.