2012 got off to a very gourmet start with two gourmet meals this month. Chef finally managed to get a table for me to try the legendary 8 1/2 with its newly crowned 3rd Michelin star. It’s full for lunch and dinner through till end of January and into Feb.
I can see why this place is full all the time, simple great food made luxurious with quality produce. Service is friendly, attentive and unobtrusive. I’ve very fond of Northern Italian cuisine having lived in the Veneto and one of my best Italiana friends is from Bergamo where Bombana is from. Chef Marino whose food I also love and find comfort in at Sureño in Beijing is also from Bergamo. He used to ring me every time special orders of fresh burrata came in.
There’s a great article in the NY Times on Bergamo, I regret only having had a brief day trip there. Definitely on the list to return and spend more time cooking and eating.
“And, of course, there are pastas: ravioli-like casoncelli, stuffed with ground beef, breadcrumbs and cookies and cheese, served in a sauce of browned butter, sage and bacon pieces; and pizzoccheri, a buckwheat pasta, mixed with winter greens, melted fontina cheese, Parmesan, sage and potatoes.
If those names are unfamiliar, it’s because when it comes to cuisine here, tradition reigns.”
We started with a belon oyster (one of my fav) marinated in champagne served with green apples and bits of salmon, topped with caviar—that set the tone for our lunch.
Giant tiger prawn pasta with courgette—fresh, simple and straightforward. It’s faultless, the pasta al dente, the prawn perfectly cooked, sweet and crunchy.
Given our weakness and love for truffles, chef bombana did a simple but very luxurious risotto for us. Could we have some risotto with our French puymeras truffles please. Inhale. Eat. Repeat.
This was my least favourite and slowed my rhythm a little. Pork cheeks with something that tasted like spam served with polenta. After being spoilt by the first few courses, I guess they had to bring us back to earth.
Dessert, however brought our spirits back up, fresh grapes with grape jelly and a sorbet.