Villetta was absolutely perfect Saturday night – Chef Pippa outdid herself and one dish – the calamari dish was one of the best dishes I have ever had. Before going into an in depth post re the cuisine, I thought a few general comments are in order.
We have a propensity to return to the same places over and over again. We find that building a relationship with a restaurant is an important part of the experience for us. We often get little surprises from the chef and/or a personalized menu selection as they know our likes and dislikes so well. We often do BYO and my husband finds that he can pair the wine much better if he has eaten the chef’s cuisine on a regular basis.
BYO Champagne – photographed in our wine cellar
Pizza – Santa Barbara Spot Prawns,Zucchini Blossoms, Crescenza and Meyer Lemon – this was in a word delicious – perfect crust, fresh ingredients. This has just been added as a pizza preparation and definitely worth ordering.
Local calamari ‘in zimino’ with chick peas, spinach and grilled polenta – this was an A+ dish. The braised calamari was so tender and spiced so perfectly that you almost held your breath as you ate it, not believing how good it was. If ever there was a signature dish of Chef Pippa, I would put this at the top of the list.
“In Liguria today, zimino is the sauce left over from cooking beet greens, spinach, or Swiss chard in a little water and olive oil. But it is an old word that Giordano di Pisa used in 1304 in his Libro della cura delle malattie (Book for the care of illnesses) to mean a kind of seasoned cooked dish. Modern linguists have made a case that the word derives from the Arabic word samin, meaning fat or something buttery.”
BYO White Wine
Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with toasted hazelnuts, butter and sage – I was thrilled to see this on the menu again. It is a great dish and as good as I had remembered it from a couple of weeks ago.
Polletto ‘al mattone” with toasted ciabatta panzaanella with green apples, smoked alpine goats milk ccheese, toasted walnuts and cider vinaigrette – the chicken was juicy with lovely crisp skin.
We had 4 dishes and each one was excellent – this is a food lover’s dream of a restaurant – the ingredient remains supreme and the execution is flawless. This is not a chef who throws lots of ingredients together just because she can where the end makes little or no culinary sense. This is refined food done with great care and passionate dedication.
We were four for four – a great culinary adventure.