#invite #phenomenalworld #AltoVino #FoodFestival #NorthItaly
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There is a lot more to Italy than pizza, pasta, spaghetti, risotto and slick haired mafia. But lets not get into goons and stick to food eh…
Phenomenal World was invited to the North Italian food festival. The Italian cuisine is all about using the freshest ingredients and let their natural flavors come through. You will realize this when you savor the choicest dishes curated by Chef Marouane and paring them with wine selected by Master Sommelier Viraj Sawant. You will go on an unforgettable culinary trip to the regions of North Italy
It was well arranged with all of the local ingredients displayed especially the sausages, chorizho and stuffed pickles. The vespa scooter parked outside with fresh fruits and vegetables provides a pleasing touch. I still remember the Vespas of yore and the nostalgia always hits me when i see them on road and especially the new scooterettes .
After the round of welcomes and introductions with the other participants, we got down to business. It was also fun to see chefs and their commitment at work
Note – Each of the course below had a choice of veg and non veg and I went for the non-veg (obviously!!)
Vitello Tonato – Veal slow cooked and served with tuna sauce and capers which is a dish from the Piemonte region – An absolutely brilliant dish, the veal was beautifully cooked and fall apart. It had the right moisture and the flavor of the capers and tuna was a subtle hit without being too obvious. I loved this dish
The veg version available is called Insalata di Verdure di Prato – Combination of of raw and marinated grill vegetable basil cream cheese, from the Lombardia region. (Did not taste)
Villa Antinori Bianco from the Tuscanny region – The wine was exquisite with a lovely citrus taste. Low on minerals, it was velvety on the tongue and a brilliant combination with the veal. I confess I did partake quite a lot of this wine
La Cisra – A lovely subtle soup made with chick peas and winter vegetables. It had a very homely and comforting taste.
The next course was called Gnocchi Alla Piemontese which is potato gnocchi toasted with lamb ragout and cream of porcini. a skilfully prepared dish. The gnocchi was al-dente, always a pleasure and the ragout beautifully flavored. It was fresh without being too heavy on the spices. A must have
The vegetarian option had Pizzoccheri di taglio which is Buckwheat fresh pasta served with potato and savoy cabbage (did not taste)
Our master Sommelier chose the Ricossa Gavi to go with these dishes. The wine had high minerality and quite acidic on the tongue. I would prefer the Villa Antinori over this anytime
We had two choices in the Non-Veg itself. One was the Pollo Alla Valdostana, a marinated breaded chicken breast , melted Fontina cheese and taglioni pasta with a sprinkle of black truffle. A dish from the Aosta Valley in Italy known for snow capped mountains, the Mont Blanc, the pride of this valley. The breaded chicken as a stand alone was average but eat with it with a combination of the cheese and pasta, it made a beautiful flavor. All this complemented by the earthiness of the truffle. A match made in heaven
The other choice is called Branzino Alla livornese, a marinated sea bass toasted with cherry tomato, olives, capers and potato. This is a dish from Ligurial, known for its beaches and sea food, the Adriatic delivering its best to the Italian shores. I had a taste of this as well and I must say, it is a difficult choice to choose between both. The sea bass was perfectly cooked and all the ingredients beautifully combined for a winning dish. If you are going with your partner, I suggest you order both and share 🙂
For the veg, the dish is called Cannelloni alla Piacentina, which is cannelloni stuffed with spinach, ricotta, mascerpone served in a bed of basil tomato sauce.
We paired these with a Marchesi Antonori, a red wine with lovely velvety wine which had an exquisite fruity taste and a deep rich flavor which went well with the chicken.
Meanwhile the Chef was also busy making signature Italian pepperonu pizza. Yes I mentioned Italy is not only pizza but you cannot mention Italy but forget the pizza !! A perfect pizza is a combination of just the right amount of sauce and spice with the perfect crust. This was that kind of pizza. A brilliant thin crust gooey pepperoni pizza with just the right amount of tomato sauce and dripping with cheesy goodness. Imagine the cheese cobweb that just stretches all the way to your brain when taking a slice out and that was what the pizza was all about. 🙂
The last but not the least was the Pannacotta alla fragola, croccante al – Panna Cotta with crunchy chocolate and fresh strawberries. I have a weakness for Panna Cotta and though this did not wiggle as seductively as it should, the taste was decent and the fresh strawberries added a refreshing touch.
We also got a taste of tiramisu which cannot be missed if it’s all tings Italy. This is not part of the menu
The festival ends on 9 Mar, 2017 so what you waiting for? Don’t miss the chance to take a North Italy culinary tour in Namma uru and get treated like royalty. It was a pleasure interacting with everyone there especially Executive Chef Mahesh, Master Sommelier Viraj Sawant and the Master Chef Marouane.
Find them here
Linked to ABC Wednesday (I) with Italian