Risotto with cuttlefish ink and crispy soft shell crab
A few months ago, I was Mandy’s (Gourmet Adventures) plus-one and we tasted almost all the pastas on the menu. I didn’t write a review because I thought it would be impolite to Mandy.
But I was very impressed with the food. Every pasta was a win. And so I requested the experienced Chef Mario Caramella, who won the best pasta dish in an international competition held in Italy, to design a $100+ menu for RERG annual Christmas gathering. (Eight of us paid about $120 each.)
Surprisingly, there was no pasta on our menu. But the menu was carefully designed to reflect the Christmas season and every dish was perfect. Started with Lodigiano cheese flakes, which had hints of cherries, perfect with Champagne and on bread. The Boston lobster with liquid panzanella (tomato sauce) had generous portions of lobster which had a very nice texture. This dish had a WOW factor, complex and savory.
The seared foie gras with sweet and sour pumpkin cream was an interesting combination, but some of us preferred to eat each item individually. The foie gras was crispy outside, tender inside; and the pumpkin soup had a layered taste.
Risotto with cuttlefish ink and crispy soft shell crab was competent but the highlight of the night must be the festive roasted turkey roulade with dry fruit filling. When it reached our table, the pressing aroma of white truffle assaulted our noses. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we salivated. It was difficult to handle turkey this well, with a nice, bouncy bite. The dry fruit and chestnuts were very festive and the porcini mushrooms were AWESOME, all the flavors and gelatinous texture similar to pork belly fats and virtually no calories. This was an oral orgasm.
The dessert was equally perfect, visually pleasing and extremely aromatic. It was a two-in-one: a panettone souffle, a panettone (Italian sweet bread with candied fruits and raisins) meets souffle. It also had bits of orange peel, adding an interesting texture.
I was looking at a few restaurants for our Christmas celebration and was so relieved and glad to have chosen In Italy. My friend’s concluding line: “The food deserves to reach a wider audience. This restaurant deserves to be bustling.”
Merry Christmas, everyone! and Happy Birthday, Yandao.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.