21 May 2014

An afternoon of fine dining

We arrived with empty stomachs. We were seated at a table at the window in a section of the dining room that overhung the lake. We were initially distracted by the view...until it started. That is, the dining experience. Firstly, we were given something to commence the meal. These somethings were a selection of flavourful mouthfuls and included black ink cuttlefish gnocchi, grilled fish with rosemary zabaglione, juliet of vegetables with olive oil froth, cheese grissini wrapped in prosciutto crudo and grissini soup. These tasty morsels were washed down with fruity spumante. Next, hot and cold stones were delivered to the table. The hot stone carried 6 different types of homemade bread. The cold stone carried a soft butter which came from a valley in Switzerland and looked and tasted more like whipped cream. The entree of soft cheese flan was so light that we wondered why it hadn't melted on the plate, soaked up the shards of celeriac or mingled with the blueberry and mostarda sauces. The pasta course was an imaginative deconstructed carbonara. Once the elements had been delivered to our table, we had before us a dish of swirled tagliatelle speckled with crispy prosciutto and topped with a shard of crispy prosciutto and half a traditional egg carton in which sat a perfectly topped egg containing a creamy yolk sauce and a shard of fried parmesan. We poured the contents of the egg over our pasta and crushed the shard over the top. This piece of art was washed down with a 2007 nebbiolo from Boca. The main course was a deconstructed vitello tonnato which comprised of a perfectly pink slice of veal, a tuna mousse and a johannesbeeren sauce. This traditional Piemontese specialty with a twist was enjoyed with a 2000 nebbiolo from Ghemme which was arguably the best wine I have ever tasted. For dessert half of us received a tasting plate consisting of morsels including hazelnut cream, lime and ricotta cake, raspberry mousse, tiramisu, chocolate pastry twist and a miniature mojito. The other half received a plate which carried a cross of salted caramel sauce onto which the waiters dropped a white chocolate ball. With the crash of the egg came an explosion of colour which transformed the plate into a piece of avant garde art. The colour included caramelised banana icecream, dehydrated and fresh raspberries, pepita seeds and the salted caramel sauce. As with all good meals in Italy, we finished this 4 hour event with a rich and smooth coffee...and as with all good Michelin 2 star meals, it was delivered by multiple kitchen and floor staff with flair and panache and explained to us in fine detail and with great pride...











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