There’s something so engaging about connecting with the food we eat on a truly historical level—and Portland food geeks are likely to eat up information as much as dinner. Feed your hunger for facts and food as part of the latest dinner series at Bastas Trattoria in Northwest Portland.

Join Bastas chef and owner Marco Frattaroli for a unique historical look at Italian cuisine: the dinners will feature a guest speaker and will focus on several aspects of Italy’s history and culture—the Renaissance (October 4), The Early Roman Era (November 1), and the Jewish Diaspora (December 6)—as well as a family-style feast highlighting the culinary highlights of the period.

The Renaissance dinner will feature spit-roasted meats, as well as a discussion lead by Jesse Locker, Professor of Renaissance & Baroque Art at PSU. The early Roman feast will offer a "quasi-vegetarian" array of dishes (think leafy greens, fish, nuts and legumes) paired with food for thought from Reed College Classics and Humanities Professor Walter G. Englert. The last dinner in the series, The Jewish-Italian Kitchen, will explore the two thousand year history of Jewish-Italian cooking with Roger Porter, Professor of English at Reed College and former restaurant critic for The Oregonian.

Each dinner starts at 6:30 pm, $40 per person. To make reservations, call 503-274-1572. Bastas Trattoria 410 NW 21st Street