Category Archives: Italy

Locando nel Borgo Antico ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎĆ

Wow, stunning, modern farmhouse with an exceedingly contemporary funky design. We are¬†hopeful our¬†photos do justice…not too many farmers can boast a “farmhouse” like this one!

We were greeted by the wife – Luciana – at the front door. Chef Massimo Camia visited to say hello, albeit his English is far from his best language…and our Italian is virtually non-existent! They both smiled when we mentioned Chef Antimo of [L’Altro HK, now Otto e Mezzo Macau]. Thanks, Mino! Continue reading Locando nel Borgo Antico ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎĆ

Casanova Restaurant, Milan ūüĎĆ

Our¬†status with Starwood resulted in an extremely reasonable offer, along with good reviews, to try The Westin Milan’s restaurant. ¬†We had a similar offer¬†at The St. Regis in Rome, and we were well ‘n truly surprised!!! ¬†Alore, here we go again! ¬†Sadly, this place did not work!

Every table – four – full of Yanks…the bad kinds. ¬†The “Ugly American” in the table next to us¬†– sporting jeans and a t-shirt at what is considered a “fine dining” restaurant – just started playing some loud music on his iPhone. We¬†gave him “the”¬†look. ¬†The music stopped. Idiot…but at least trainable!!!

WINE

The Maitre’d / Sommelier – Gianluca – said we can sip¬†as much as we want as long as we choose the wine in consultation with him. ¬†Danger, Will Robinson, Danger (Lost in Space). We¬†warned¬†him in advance things could get wonderfully ugly. ¬†Obviously, something was lost in translation, but still fun, as the interesting wine we¬†requested was¬†not forthcoming despite being very reasonably priced. No problem lah…we will follow Gianluca!

Odd wine list with no vintages. ¬†How do you choose a wine when you do not know the year? ¬†In some circumstances, i.e. high school dating, age matters…with prejudice! ¬†The “labels”¬†definitely would be¬†expensive, but hard to tell without vintages. Strange…2nd time we have had this experience with the previous restaurant boasting two Michelin stars status!

Glasses of:

  • Prosecco Jeio Basol. Pretty good…for a prosecco…and a pleasant starter.

  • 2008¬†Gewurztraminer Lageder, Alto Adige. OkeyDokey, despite our general lack of interest in this varietal.

  • 2011¬†Cascina Felpu dei Massaretti, Rivera Ligure di Ponente, Pigato. Average drop…Pigato is similar to¬†Vermentino. ¬†A little rough in this instance.

FOOD

Antipastini of octopus salad with tomatoes, peppers, celery, lettuce and olives. Good flavours. Octopus cooked a bit too much.  Sadly, if you over-cook the octopus, you screw the pooch with this dish!

Spaghetti chittara with crab meat, broccoli and sun dried tomatoes. Love the spaghetti long-time. ¬†Excellent texture, perfectly cooked…slam dunk! ¬†Broccoli cooked to the point of a Geneva Code violation for torture…did you say Yank “prisoners of war” shameful conduct!? ¬†In this case, despite the torture visited upon the broccoli, it was not screaming “I am good”…too bad!

Blue fin tuna tartar with avocado, celery and olive oil.¬†¬†Exceptional. Large portion. ¬†We were put-off with¬†the “tartar” in cube-form….not working for us. ¬†We think you either kill the lil tuna…or slice it so thin that the texture does not feel chewy. ¬†Give us medium cooked tuna or give us crudo!

John Doury on a potato puree with fried mushrooms.  Huge Yank-size serving. Sadly, a boring dish from a flavour perspective so we only finished 1/3rd and lied, for the benefit of the chef, about having a big, late lunch earlier in the day.

Risotto with Osso Bucco. Excellent¬†risotto…we have hope for the chef because pasta and risotto MUST be top-shelf for any chance at salvation. ¬†The Osso Bucco was flavoured well, but we¬†had to use a knife…bad sign…we used the same lie as the John Doury to justify leaving 2/3rds on the plate.

We skipped offers of dessert wines, dessert, first born of the Chef…we think they figured out we were none too impressed. Oh well, we tried. Not a return restaurant!!!

 

GastroNaughties’ Restaurant Ratings Criteria

Casanova Restaurant ūüĎĆ
The Westin Palace, Milan
Piazza della Repubblica 20, Milan, 20124
Italy
http://www.westinpalacemilan.com/en/westin-restaurant

Photos (Casanova Restaurant)

Casanova Restaurant
Antipastin
Casanova Restaurant
Spaghetti chittara with crab meat, broccoli and sun dried tomatoes
Casanova Restaurant
Blue fin tuna tartar with avocado, celery and olive oil
Casanova Restaurant
Risotto with Osso Bucco
Casanova Restaurant
John Doury on a potato puree with fried mushrooms

Palazzo Petrucci, Naples ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć

This was far¬†from the easiest restaurant to find in the old town of Naples, but it was worth our¬†evening stroll through the dark, winding streets of this, from our perspective, under-rated city of Southern Italy. ¬†A beautiful restaurant¬†with a cool atrium that opens up to the kitchen where all can see the magicians at work. ¬†Mega-Cool!!! At 8:30pm, we were¬†the only diners on a Saturday night…when do people eat lunch that allows them to wait so long for dinner? ¬†We did not eat one bit of food all day as we were nursing our colds (Bless Big Pharma) and the pizza from the night before…so we were ready to rock!

It was great fun to watch the Chef finish off dishes before the waiters whisked them away. ¬†We always enjoy watching¬†“artists” at work! We sent Chef a small glass of our¬†red to say “grazie”. ¬†We loved seeing the Chef ringing¬†an ole fashion “Call Jeeves the Butler” bell to summon¬†wait staff to collect the dishes. Far more civilised than¬†screaming.

We were greeted with a sparking rose wine to start. ¬†Very¬†kind. To say it is not our¬†fav sparkler would be a British understatement, but no worries. We were a¬†little embarrassed as the reservation from The St Regis was not recorded in the Scrooge-style, 1800s ledger/book for diners. Fortunately, they found a table for two as the place was hopping by 9:30pm as¬†two very large parties were celebrating something. ¬†We made a note to inform the concierge about the cock-up…someone almost ruined our night!!!

We walked more than 3km to and plan to walk the same distance back to the hotel after dinner.

We thought service¬†was a bit fast….so only a three hour dinner. ¬†The joint¬†started jamming at 10:15pm. We were almost¬†ready to sleep….the beauty of different cultures!

It was absolutely¬†entertaining to watch the interaction between¬†wait staff, chefs, etc. Nothing seemed¬†straightforward with every conversation¬†looked like an animated debate. ¬†We sorta felt like the restaurant offered a micro-version of Italy, i.e. reasonably well-controlled, charming and mostly friendly chaos. ¬†We loved it…smiling big time….

WINE

We decided to choose wine from¬†the Campania region tonight. This decision really, really helped the budget as the most expensive wine was, well, inexpensive! When we¬†ordered a white and red, the waiter said “you want two bottles?” We¬†countered with “only if it is fine with you.” He did a double take, smiled and chuckled¬†“of course, fine with me.”

* 2010¬†Fiordiva Costa d’Amalfi – Marisa Cuomo. Blend of Femile, Ginestra and Ripoli. The waiter proclaimed “this is the best white wine in the Campania region.” ¬†Rock it, baby!!! An odd, powerful aroma of strong flowers, a bit rough on the palate with a very unique character, almost impossible¬†to describe other than in your face and a short finish. ¬†We could not¬†say we loved it, but we could not¬†say we¬†hated it. Just drink, idiot!!! We¬†held back a glass to see how it tasted after 2+ hours and warm….no difference!

* 2008¬†Vigna Piancastellli – Terre Del Principe. Blend of Casavecchia and Pullagrello. We dunno¬†anything about these grapes. We could not¬†place the aromas. Very rough tannins and heavy, sweet dark fruits – black currants – on the palate. ¬†Hmmm…

 

FOOD

Lady menus without¬†prices…we always like a bit of chauvinistic, old world charm.

The bread sticks, which we usually find to be eh, were very, very good!!!  Happy start!!!

The bread was very good, particularly the roll baked with some cheese and ham and the rolled baked with spinach. OMYG!!!  We ate way too much bread given the Yank-super-size portions. No more bread!!!

ANTIPASTINI

A small slice of smoked trout on a very thin slice of parma ham with a fine mustard sauce. OMYG. We immediately thought if¬†the balance of the meal was¬†half as good, then we¬†were in for a treat…good guess as it turned out!

STARTERS

Millefeuilles of Campania’s mozzarella cheese with raw prawns and sauce of zucchini flowers. Wow, an excellent dish despite the prawns still being alive! We¬†would have preferred them cooked – boiled – slightly, but Italians seem to like their version of sushi. The mozz was¬†fantabulous!!! ¬†Oooweebaby!

Fantasy of raw fish. The¬†still living fish was¬†“excellent”, “very fresh” and “perfect without any seasoning.” We¬†ate everything including the¬†green veggie on the¬†plate, which was some excellent sort of spinach!!! ¬†Although we¬†liked, the raw fish “crudo” was better at Quinz & Gabrielli in Rome. ¬†No complaint…just an observation!

FIRST COURSES

Stand up paccheri with ricotta cheese and Neopolitan ragout and mature ricotta cheese. We had munched on this dish in the past but only when it was sitting down. Fairly typical, sitting down, of Naples cuisine for Sundays. We loved it!!! Too funny standing up. Perhaps the Chef has a certain complex? The ragout was incredible as it was huge on the palate, but fine almost like sun-dried tomatoes. OMYG!!!

Gragnano’s Spaghettoni with broccoli sauce, lobster and provolone cheese fondue.¬†The pasta was special as slightly thicker than spaghetti and very, very fine. ¬†The broccoli sauce was¬†very light and nice. Never unhappy to have some provolone cheese mixed into anything! Too, too much food!!! Why, oh why did we¬†order a second course!!!??? Another Chef will be¬†be unhappy when we¬†do not finish more than half of an excellent dish! ¬†We did mention quite excitedly that we loved it!

NEARLY UNCOMFORTABLE EVEN BEFORE THE SECOND COURSE!!! Something is wrong either with Europe or us….we simply could not keep up!!!

SECOND COURSES

Seared red mullet with chives and cheese provola, salad, yogurt and potatoes with extra virgin. ¬†We¬†guessed the Chef meant¬†“extra virgin olive oil” because, sadly, no virgin or other similar creature was served. Too, too pretty! ¬†Slightly breaded, baked and the cheese was¬†only barely, but happily, noticeable. Light, nice. We¬†almost finished…stunning!

Rabbit with leek sauce with rosemary, tomatoes pappa, chickpeas chips and chard. We helped¬†to reduce the bunny population¬†with this dish. Ooops….yikes we¬†forgot to be¬†more PG….Politically Goofy. OMG‘ing the tomatoes pappa. We¬†thought the rabbit was good, but nothing special, albeit very well-cooked.

We thought about ordering¬†the local cheese plate, but we opined that we could not eat another bite of anything even if it came from “the divine bum”. Ooops, we¬†do have our¬†moments when we¬†say exactly what we¬†feel before we¬†think about how inappropriate….old age? At least we are¬†cute…or at least our¬†mothers¬†says so.

 

Menu/Price

 

Palazzo Petrucci ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć
Chef Lino Scarallo
Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 4, 80134 Napoli
Italy
http://www.palazzopetrucci.it

Photos (Palazzo Petrucci)

Palazzo Petrucci
Rabbit
Palazzo Petrucci
Red mullet
Palazzo Petrucci
Paccheri
Palazzo Petrucci
Mozzarella
Palazzo Petrucci
Spaghettoni
Palazzo Petrucci
Crudo

Palazzo Petrucci

Palazzo Petrucci
Palazzo Petrucci

Bvlgari, Milan ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎĆ

The Bulgari Hotel¬†was hived off the central area of the historic town center on a private street. We would expect nothing else from this style icon. ¬†So private, our¬†Concierge cautioned against trying to walk to the hotel, as it was truly impossible to find unless with a local, knowledgeable driver.¬†¬†Very swish, brown and black hues, modern and young, happy people. Slick! Memories of our stay at The Bulgari Hotel in Bali many years ago…of course quite different, but a name is a name…and the attention to all things glorious was the same!

We would be walking more than 5km after lunch to see part of the old city as well as buy train tix to Turin so we decided missing the pre-lunch walk was acceptable.

Excellent, rustic, best “farm” bread we ever had munched! We slathered with exceptional olive oil and¬†ate¬†like truck drivers!

WINE

Glasses of:

  • 2008¬†Franciacorta Contadi Castaldi Spumante. Actually very nice. A very good Franciacorta usually is¬†a nice aperitif. Champagne still has no worries, but this is good for a start.

  • 2011¬†Proseco Valdobbiadene. Super sweet, OkeyDokey for an aperitif. ¬†We definitely are not Proseco people.

  • 2011¬†Contadi Castaldi Adro (BS) Curtefranca. Blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco from Lombardia. Nice, fresh, slightly fruity, dry, fair amount of acidity. ¬†Excellent by the glass offering.

  • 2011¬†Villa Gemma Bianco Masciarelli San Martino sulla Marrucina (CH). Blend of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Cococciol and Chardonnay from Abruzzo. Trebbiano very pronounced. ¬†Pleasant.

Bottle of:

2007 Az Agricola Cos Acate (RG) Contrade Labirinto IGT. ¬†A Sicilian Nero d’Avola. Crazy, Port like bottle. The Sommelier said¬†this is “the best” Nero d’Avola in Sicily. Dark, cherry red. Darn good expression of the “black grape of d’Avola.” ¬†Very happy, reasonably priced given the locale, bottle!

 

FOOD

Burrata mozzarella with spinach and tomatoes. Excellent and simple. We had rested approximately 40 hours since our last mozz at Obika so we were ready and we loved it!!

Salmon carpaccio. Basically, a very good smoked salmon. Nothing special.

Veal Milanese. Excellent, but the veal was a bit too thick as was the bread coat. Not as good as Otto e Mezzo in Hong Kong. Three cheers Рor stars Рfor Umberto Bombano!!!

Swordfish with Sun Dried tomatoes and various veggies. Yummy! Beautifully prepared and succulent piece of fish. Tomatoes special!

Apple Tart. A gallant effort to¬†challenge Bombano’s equivalent dish at Otto e Mezzo in Hong Kong, but not winning the battle! Pretty good, crunchy, not too much yogurt. ¬†Happy lil¬†piggies.

Time to walk!!!

Menu/Price

Bvlgari ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎĆ
Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Milano

Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7/b – 20121 Milano
Italy
http://www.bulgarihotels.com/en-us/milan/bar-and-restaurant/il-bar

Photos (Bvlgari)

Bvlgari
Burrata mozzarella with spinach and tomatoes
Bvlgari
Swordfish with Sun Dried tomatoes and various veggies
Bvlgari
Salmon carpaccio
Bvlgari
Apple Tart
Bvlgari
Veal Milanese
Bvlgari
Az Agricola Cos Acate (RG) Contrade Labirinto IGT 2007
Bvlgari
Bvlgari

Arnolfo – Siena, Italy ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć

We arrived at this modest, historic building a short taxi ride outside the little town of Siena. ¬†The restaurant basically is a well-appointed dining room on the ground floor. ¬†Upstairs is home to¬†four bedrooms (Relais & Chateaux) for guests to sleep overnight after a wonderful night in the dining room…we would have killed for a lift after the wonderful wines and sumptuous victuals. ¬†We stayed¬†in one of the rooms as getting back to Florence after this “event” would have been¬†unpleasant! ¬†The room was adorable with all the expected niceties.

Giovanni and Gaetano are brothers, who have worked together developing this family business in this house for 30 years. ¬†We were honoured to join the celebration of their 30 year anniversary. ¬†Giovanni handles¬†management, wine (Sommelier), marketing, taking orders, etc. Gaetano is¬†the Chef. Both Giovanni and Gaetano introduced themselves…nice! ¬†Gaetano has been¬†a guest Chef at Grissini in Hong Kong.

They named the restaurant after an Italian architect by the same name, Arnolfo, who built their family home as well as the building in which the restaurant and guest rooms are situated.  We were impressed with the brothers sense of history.

The family hails from Sicily, but moved to Siena in the 1960s.  They do lunch and dinner five days per week. The kitchen is huge, ie 800 sq feet, and they now have permission to expand another 600 sq feet. Why!? We have seen many restaurant kitchens in our lives, but never one so large and beautiful.  A very happy place to work!!!

Giovanni told¬†us about the places around the world he has visited during his one month per year holiday (they close for one month in January/February…nice), ie Bhutan, Myannamar, China, etc. He is an adventurous fella… ¬†We shared¬†a glass of the 50/50 with the Chef while discussing Italian Chefs in Hong Kong and Italy. Good fella!

A table of four Italian men are so drunk and loud. I have had my share of idiot moments, but not in this quality restaurant unless, of course, I booked a private room to act the part. They are now high-fiving in suits. C’mon, fellas, there is a private room downstairs…open your wallets!!! I hope they suffer immense hangovers!!!

Food

Crostini. Very nice with each piece having a parmesan flavour.  Yummy!

Antipastini. Several sweet, sour, salty and bitter victuals for the palate. Very, very good. Nicely presented.

Sea bass in a potato puree.  Another small offering from the Chef.  Excellent. Great texture for the fish!

Bread tartlets.¬†OMYG! One tomato, one onion, both stunning. ¬†Then a ricotta filled roll and another roll with sesame seeds. Yikes, we ordered the Gourmet Menu. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!! Now they added a mini-croissant and baguette. Killing us…happily!!!

THE ESSENCE – GOURMET MENU

Here we go….

Scampi, Goose Liver, Passion Fruit Sauce and a Side of Cold Scampi Sashimi and Passion Fruit Sorbet. OMYG, please end it now!!! The combination with the Frog Grass was inexplicably wonderba!  The passion fruit went extremely well with the perfectly grilled scampi, which was so so succulently soft!!! A magnificent hot and cold combination!

Scallops, Lardo di Cinta Senese, Lentils, Beetroot. It was too pretty to eat.  Yeah, right!!! Outstanding, especially the lentils. The beetroot really made a nice contribution of almost a BBQ-ness flavour.

Lasagnetta, Prawns, Clams, Broccoli. Yet again, far too pretty to eat, but we¬†sacrificed our¬†eyes for our¬†tummies. ¬†A wonderfully light “pasta” dish. ¬†The lightest yet. ¬†We love the Chef!!!

Ravioli, Sea Robin, Fish Soup, Squid, Red Mullet. WOW, we¬†loved this SUPER-FISHY dish. Exceptional. All the fish and seafood were very soft. Wow!!! C’mon, stop it!!!

Cod, Yellow Pumpkin, Herring Caviar,¬†Carrots, Oranges. ¬†Carrots and pumpkin puree….OMYG!!! The cod was beautifully prepared. Everything worked wonderfully together. We¬†found the orange slice a bit too tarty. The caviar went well with the entire dish. WE enjoyed the¬†dish of salted cod with a crispy biscuit “sandwich” and sesame seeds. Hey, this Chef¬†is an outstanding genius!!!

Pigeon Leg and¬†Breast with¬†Shallots, Hazelnuts and Coffee. Coffee and hazelnut flavors covered up the apparent or natural gaminess of the pigeon. Thick piece of meat, both leg and breast, compared to the starved version we usually enjoy in Hong Kong. Another story….

Turbot Encrusted with Almonds with Black Olive Sauce, Spinach and Potatoes. The black olive sauce was¬†nice. The fish was¬†perfectly prepared and worked exceedingly well with the almonds…exceedingly. The spinach and crunchy lil potatoes were very, very yummy. Ranked right up there as one of the top dishes ever to work its way down my gullet! OMYG, AWESOMESAUCE!

Vanilla Cake and Grapefruit Sorbet as a PRE-DESSERT!!! ¬†C’mon….done!!!!

Millefeuille, Pears, Cardamom, Gianduja, Pine Nuts from Pisa. C’mon…so succulent!!! The pears were stunning! We felt¬†so healthy….self-knowledge and self-deception…

Petit¬†Fours. ¬†We were¬†barely looking…we really could have used¬†a lift to make it to our room on the next floor…ugh…

Wine

The wine list was separated into white and red with 90 pages of, well, everything!!! The books were bound by hand and printed on beautiful, parchment-like paper. Molto interessante!  Each year they print a new version. Wow!!! 20,000 bottles cellared on the premises with the balance at Capanelle, which has state-of-the-art storage.  Wonderful wine people!!!

Gaetano loved Capannelle so we did¬†both white and red from the winery. If we want to do a tour, then he will arrange. Hmmmm….

Ca’ del Bosco Spumante. Very good aperitif.

2008 Chardonnay Capannelle Ratfaele Rossetti – James Sherwood. Only 15,000¬†bottles produced each year. Bangkok klong (the whiff of human kind wafting through the air) on the nose of this 100% Chardonnay. Excellent, smooth, elegant, slightly powerful. Beyonce with Hanna Montana (Miley Cyrus)…when she was one of Mickey Mouse’s gals ;-). Unfiltered…the cloudiness is showing…no problem on the nose or flavor. Excellent drop!!!

2004 Avignonesi Capannelle 50 & 50 Ratfaele Rossetti – James Sherwood. A blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Merlot. Giovanni made us¬†a believer in this winery. A to Z excellent. Big, soft, fruit, licorice, good tanins, spectacular finish that went¬†on for quite a long time. Decanted in a huge, bowl-like “glass”. The actual glasses also were large-mouthed. Good choices for glassware, we¬†thinkist! This wine easily could¬†lay down another 5+ years, easily!

Menu/Price

Arnolfo ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć
Chef Gaetano Trovato
via XX Settembre n 50,¬†53034 Colle di Val d’Elsa¬†Siena
Italy
http://www.arnolfo.com

 

Photos (Arnolfo)

Tano passami l’olio ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć

To say this Michelin One¬†star restaurant was¬†in a less than stellar neighborhood would be a British understatement. A dump by any standard! To support that theme, the door was locked, which required¬†guests to ring the bell to gain entry. The other table at 8pmish sported¬†two fellas in jeans. We were very¬†over-dressed. Oh well…one couple was properly dressed aside from us so not a complete waste of our dry-cleaning bills.

Chef introduced himself as well as his wife. He speaks English very well, which of course made the conversation more lively. He worked ten days in Hong Kong at Otto e Mezzo with Bombano. He, sadly, hardly tried Cantonese food during his visit. During the evening, he¬†was actively involved in taking orders, explaining food and even pouring wine and serving food. Interesting, full-service Chef with a lot of energy despite being nearly 60. ¬†He spent¬†a lot of time outside the kitchen…a lot…which was great as we sipped wine until 1am with Chef Tano…good fun!

From our experience, Italians eat fast! We spent 4+ hours feasting at Tano passami olio (just like we usually do at French, Portuguese and Spanish restaurants).  Most restaurants we have visited in Italy shuffle you out the door in less than 3 hours.

The wine list was intriguing. NO vintages mentioned because they cannot afford to re-print the list too often…odd. They price was the same regardless of vintage…exceedingly odd. Prices were, equally,¬†exceedingly reasonable. We still do¬†not understand how a restaurant¬†got a star with that sort of wine list, but what do we¬†know! Fortunately, we have chosen – been guided – well.

No sommelier in sight, but our waitress was quite well-versed in wine, which she confidently joined us in claiming, arguably, the most important part of dinner. Good chicklet!!!

The collection of olive oils was incredible and obviously the reason for the name of the restaurant. Check out the photo.

Proseco in Champagne flutes. We cannot say we have noticed much of a difference from Proseco to Proseco so we did not even request to see the name of the aperitif-version of these bubbles.

Antipastini of a puree of potatoes, green veggies and olive oil.  Shocking Рwith two slices of Italian sausage. We loved the olive oil flavor. Tried with the sausage. Very nice and smooth.  Excellent starter!!!

Sicilian olive oil Secularis. ¬†Very yummy but a little rough. Tuscan olive oil Argento even yummier and smoother. Simple bread to dip and try the olive oil. ¬†Excellent bread with exceptional olive oil…life!

Bread selection flavored with olives, curry and salt. Exceedingly nice, too nice, too much. We had A LOT of food on the way!!! The curry flavoured bread had more smell than taste, but interesting.

Caramelized scallops poached in coral crispy orange and puree spinach (2012). Scallops caramelized not our favourite…it is¬†like coffee with milk and sugar…if good scallops/coffee, why mess with it!? Having said that, the dish was¬†good. ¬†The spinach was¬†excellent….we mean extraordinary. We¬†would have had the spinach as our¬†appetizer all by itself. Beautiful. The citrussy flavor of the sauce way too much but pleasant.

Crispy duck breast (thin sliced, which is excellent) cooked at low temperature (58 degrees for 13 hours) in mustard cream with honey and balsamic vinegar and black truffle (2012).¬† We were humming the¬†mantra of “Yeung Kee”, a famous roast duck and pork restaurant in Hong Kong. Exceptional.¬†Truffle mustard? ¬†Seriously!? ¬†Excellent dish! ¬†OMYG!

Gnocchi of violet potato stuffed with red pesto creamy Buffalo mozzarella with shrimp, red mullet and asparagus (2012). So much going on in this dish, hard to say what we thought. Dark brown gnocchi!? We never had that before. Red mullet and shrimp with the asparagus? Odd. The mozzarella really made a statement. We would say very good, but not excellent.

Spaghetti stuffed with roe hen’s egg and sauce of Grana Padano cheese, honey and champagne with chili (2012). Outstanding as the chili waited until the end to kick in.¬†OMYG¬†as we mopped up the sauce with the bread…loved it!!!

Mazzara (Sicily) prawns baked in puffed rice with a rice cream of Sichuan pepper ravioli made of milk skin filled with puree zolfini beans (2012). Shrimps baked well¬†with rice krispies…who would have thought to use for¬†anything other than something you had to shovel down for breakfast at Mom’s orders!? Nothing exciting. Sichuan pepper…where? Ravioli boring. Best part was¬†the white beans. Sadly, it was an¬†exceedingly boring dish.

From fish to meat rainbow (2012). His vegetables and his rainbow (2012). A rainbow of colours! The tuna aspect of the dish was¬†very, very good. The presentation was¬†perfect. Clever…and very tasty!

2008 Beyond the Clouds Elena Walch Alto Adige. Chardonnay. Vanilla, oak, very smooth, good finish, slightly sweet. We¬†liked. We cannot say the “best” Chardonnay ever, but we happily can say excellent on all fronts…and even better value. Even better warm after two hours!!! ¬†The best Austrian wines, after all, are made in Italy!

2009 Pinot Nero Ludwig Elena Walch Alto Adige. A very nice¬†nose at the start despite the 14% alcohol. Kinda, sorta in between a Red Burgundy and California Pinot Noir. We thought¬†it required time¬†to awaken. Excellent! We¬†love the Italian part of Austria…or Austrian part of Italy. Depending upon your allegiance, we¬†suppose. A most happy sip!!!

Menu/Price

Tano passami l’olio ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć
Chef Tano Simonato
Via Villoresi, 16 ang. via Pastorelli. Milano
Italy
http://www.tanopassamilolio.it

Photos (Tano passami l’olio)

Obika Mozzarella Bar ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć

This restaurant was located in the¬†corner of a fancy food court. ¬†As the name implied, the “bar” focused on, you got it, mozzarella.

We started with:

Fried mozzarella bites. Not bad, but nothing special. ¬†We probably would give them a miss next time as “fried” really did not do justice to the mozzarella!

Mixed salad. Good lettuce, better tomatoes.  A little rabbit food to match with our mozzarella!

We love mozzarella so we decided to go big!

Degustation of mozzarella. Huge amount of cheese. We finished half. Ricotta, Paestum Gusto Delicato, Pontina Gusto Piu Deciso, Affumicata Gusto Molto Deciso and Stracciatella di Burrata. We simply could not finish. Excellent cheese!  Really OMYG!

We took half the plate back to the hotel to snack on tonight with a bottle of wine.  Easy, cheesy sorta day!

 

Menu/Price

Obika Mozzarella Bar ūüĎćūüĎćūüĎć
Via Santa Radegonda, 3, 20121 Milano
Italy
http://obica.com

Photos

Obika

Obika
Obika