If I am asked to recall one of my most recent dining experience, this is by far one of the most memorable I can think of. It was probably one of the first few evenings in Alto Vino, where they had organized a food pairing with wine – in the presence of Wine Sommelier Elia Atzori.
Chef Marouane Rahali and team curated a beautiful four course Italian dinner which I shall remember as an Italian Affair spun around artistically plated food, paired with wine to amuse our taste buds and senses.
As we waited for the dinner to start, we were offered 3 antipasti. The bruschetta with brie and blueberry jam really stood out and the taste still lingers.
Next came the plated amuse bouche, which really did not fascinate me so much.
The real affair began with the first course. The first course was Caprese alla mia Maniera with Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio. It was a beautifully plated and seemed like a canvas with semi dried tomatoes, basil pesto, fresh mozzarella di Buffalo, orange flours honey and extra virgin olive oil. I still remember, even after I finished them all the movement of the fork felt like an art work on the empty plate. As far as the Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio, though I am no wine connoisseur but a wine lover for sure, this pale straw yellow colored – fruity wine left my tongue refreshed & looking for more.
This was followed by Triangolini di pollo paired with Santa Cristina Toscana. The tiny crafted chicken ravioli with mushroom creamy sauce and truffle essence rested on the plate like a pendant with invisible strings. This was savoured with Santa Cristina Toscana. Unlike my prior belief that red wine has to be paired with red meat and white wine with fish or something similar, this was a completely contrast and trust me – it went well.
Next came the Risotto invisible funghi -nested orzo rice, wild mushrooms, porcini and salted almond – paired with Peppoli Chianti classic. I have never had a risotto like this before. Probably it’s the type of rice used – Orzo rice, which made it so special. To the Bengali in me, this was reminiscent of “chushi pithey” which my granny made at home. This ruby red wine, Peppoli Chianti classic surely was intense and with each sip the taste lingered longer.
Just like how they said in the Calendar song – winter last but best of all – came the Costolette d’agnello – Oven tomato crusted lamb rack with Sicilian couscous sand spinach served along with Prunotto Barolo. This was served from a decanter and this garnet red colored wine along with the perfectly made lamb rack – just made me say “parfait”.
For dessert we were served “Semifreddo al miele d’acacia e nocciole , sbrisolona croccante e gianduja acacia honey and hazelnuts semifreddo ,cramble Modena biscuit and soft Gianduia mouse”. However, the charm of the first four courses along with the chosen wine created an aura, which the dessert could not keep up to. Nevertheless, that does not demean the magic of the evening.
This will always be an evening which I would term as – the music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more…