Executive Chef Nico created what Piero described as a “rustic menu.” What is fascinating about Nico’s cuisine is that he is equally competent with contemporary cuisine and the heartier flavors of his roots.
Mumm to start plus a vase of lovely tulips
On the left tomato gratin filled with pecorino cheese, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and a touch of olive oil. On the right crostini with lardo, fava beans, pecorino shaved on top – a wonderful hearty beginning.
2nd wine –
“Site: Volcanic soils from estate vineyards in the foothills of the Caiatini Mountains; the Pontelatone vineyard is clay and calcareous soil. Vine training is low espallier with Guyot pruning; plant density is 5200 plants/Ha. Grapes: 100% Falanghina. Vinification: After a cold maceration the wine is fermented in stainless steel. Elevage:The wine rests in bottle for 3 months before release. Notes: Perfect with all varieties of seafood and fish because of its clean minerality and fresh ripe fruit.”
Calamari e Piselli – – Vino Blanca — This was an old world-style rustic dish — sauteed calamari with peas, tomato, green pea sauce with white wine – another hearty dish of perfectly executed calamari plus fresh peas in a lovely broth
Zuppa di Pollo (Vellutota) Zucca, Mascarpone – This was a veloute of chicken soup with mascarpone cheese, ortica (bitter greens) and diced pumpkin on top – this is not your mother’s chicken soup! This was not a broth, but a velvety veloute that when mixed with the mascarpone and pumpkin was unbelievably rich.
Homemade Pappardelle with Veal and Porcini Ragu, Parmesan cheese and parsley on top – we are talking very hearty cuisine – full-flavored and again not for the feint of heart
2nd Wine –
From their website:
“The Cirò wine comes from Calabria, a fruitful land full of vineyards. Cirò is famous for its sparkling colour and of course for its peculiar flavour. Vines tilling, natural calabrien inclination, dates back to the VIII century b.C., when the ancient Greeks landed on the calabrien coast and were astonished by the fruitfulness of this land.”
“Enotria , the “wine land” (the ancient name given to Calabria by Greek people), became one of the most important centres were Magna Graecia culture developed.”
Variety;: 100% Gaglioppo grapes
Vineyards: breeding cord
Ripening: fermentation at controlled temperatures in wine bottles to refine the taste for 7 months
Tasting marks: typical red fruits bouquet (cherry, black currant, bilberry) with a good tanning structure.
Taglioni with quail ragu, speck wrapped quail, eggplant and melted ricotta cheese – another full-flavored dish
Nero D’Avola wine –
“This grape, native to Sicily, is one of the most widely planted red varieties on this arid, volcanic island. With a nice touch of floral on the nose, this 100% Nero d’Avola offers fresh plum and black currant flavors. It is a soft fruity wine with a somewhat jammy finish. Another wine made by the great Ricardo Cotarella.”
“Intense, Cherry, Berry, Smoke, Full-bodied”
Left rear – Beef Spezzato con Pavote – Beef stew with potatoes –
Left front – Grilled Polenta with gorgonzola and sausage inside
Right rear – Potato and shallot braised in red wine
Right front – Rosemary skewer of Kurobuta pork, tomatoes and onions on a slice of grapefruit
What a wondrous combination of flavor and texture – I was getting very full and couldn’t finish the dish, but did take a “doggie” bag that was consumed not by the dogs but my adult son! He loved it!
Dessert of sorbets and fresh fruit – lovely ending
What a restaurant!!!!! Sometimes contemporary which I love, sometimes rustic – just let Chef Nico and Piero do the deciding for you!