Italian restaurant – Cucina Papoff http://cucinapapoff.com/ Fri, 01 Jul 2022 13:37:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://cucinapapoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-120x120.jpg Italian restaurant – Cucina Papoff http://cucinapapoff.com/ 32 32 Tiffani Faison’s Italian restaurant Orfano closes in Boston’s Fenway https://cucinapapoff.com/tiffani-faisons-italian-restaurant-orfano-closes-in-bostons-fenway/ Fri, 01 Jul 2022 13:37:01 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/tiffani-faisons-italian-restaurant-orfano-closes-in-bostons-fenway/ Orfano, chef and restaurateur Tiffani Faison, an upscale but quirky ode to Italian-American cuisine in red sauce, closed after service yesterdayJune 30th. Faison’s team confirms the news and notes that fans can expect updates on other Fenway projects from its restaurant group, Big Heart Hospitality, soon, including the new project in its former Tiger space. […]]]>

Orfano, chef and restaurateur Tiffani Faison, an upscale but quirky ode to Italian-American cuisine in red sauce, closed after service yesterdayJune 30th. Faison’s team confirms the news and notes that fans can expect updates on other Fenway projects from its restaurant group, Big Heart Hospitality, soon, including the new project in its former Tiger space. Mama down the street (1363 Boylston Street, Boston) and the full reopening of “adult snack bar” Fool’s Errand (1377 Boylston Street, Boston), which was used primarily as an event space during parts of the pandemic.

Orfano debuted just under three years ago and spent part of 2020 and 2021 on hiatus due to the pandemic, but when it was open it charmed fans with its martini trolley, its Chic but slightly irreverent decor and its whimsical twists on classic red-and-sauce cuisine. It was “a triumphant modern version of Italian”, according to the title of a restaurant review from February 2020 by Jolyon Helterman in Boston magazine.

The Martini Alla trolley at Orfano.
JM Washing

It has landed on Eater Boston’s “Best Food of the Week” list multiple times due to its excellent pasta dishes, especially the lobster bucatini, “with generous chunks of lobster and a fully satisfying silky richness.” , and several other local writers. hailed it as one of the best meals and top newcomers of the year in Eater Boston’s 2019 year-end surveys. As local writer Eric Twardzik put it: “Orfano has resurrected the glamor of old-school Italian chic – waiters in white jackets, martini carts, comically large pepper mills – while serving dishes that were instantly recognizable by name yet fresh and exciting in their execution”.

This closure leaves Sweet Cheeks Q BBQ, Faison’s first restaurant, as its only fully operational restaurant in the Fenway area at this time, with the replacement of Tiger Mama and the full reopening of Fool’s Errand still to come, as shown below. -above. But she’s been busy on other fronts, operating three businesses in downtown Boston’s new food court, High Street Place, and appearing on various Food Network shows as a judge, co-host and contestant. , of Chopped at Guy’s Grocery Games.

Faison and his team are still keeping quiet about exactly what will happen in the Tiger Mama space, but stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime, go drink champagne, eat some old-fashioned pizza. and try some ‘supafries’ at The Big Heart Hospitality Places in High Street Place.

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Culinary review: Luce by Davide Giacomelli at the Intercontinental Singapore https://cucinapapoff.com/culinary-review-luce-by-davide-giacomelli-at-the-intercontinental-singapore/ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 22:00:51 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/culinary-review-luce-by-davide-giacomelli-at-the-intercontinental-singapore/ The place Located at Intercontinental Singapore in what was once Ash & Elm, Luce by Davide Giacomelli is a new Italian concept in IHG ownership by Executive Chef Davide Giacomelli. The space retains the same interior as Ash & Elm, so it’s still the familiar high-ceilinged space with skylights above the restaurant. Luce means ‘light’ […]]]>

The place Located at Intercontinental Singapore in what was once Ash & Elm, Luce by Davide Giacomelli is a new Italian concept in IHG ownership by Executive Chef Davide Giacomelli. The space retains the same interior as Ash & Elm, so it’s still the familiar high-ceilinged space with skylights above the restaurant. Luce means ‘light’ in Italian, where the new concept aims to focus on fresh, local ingredients, with a seasonal à la carte menu that will be renewed quarterly.

The food Luce’s dishes are the culmination of chef de cuisine Davide Giacomelli’s training under the tutelage of several Michelin-starred chefs throughout his career and pay homage to his first love affair – the sight, the smell and the flavors of classic Italian cuisine at his father’s restaurant in the picturesque town of Sirmione, “the pearl” of Lake Garda. The menu is concise from starters to pastas, main courses and plates to share. You won’t find pizza on Chef Davide’s menu if that’s what you’re looking for, as he wants to highlight the lesser-known but equally worthy Italian dishes.

I started with the bruschetta (S$19) – grated garlic toast topped with Parma ham, buffalo mozzarella, crushed cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves and basil.

One of the dishes that the staff recommended to me was the Octopus Peperonata (S$36) – Octopus cooked Sicilian style, pan-fried with ratatouille of red and yellow peppers, red onions and fresh tomatoes. Nice bright colors on the plate with the mix of greens where the octopus has a chewy texture.

If there’s one dish you must have at Luce’s, it’s the much-loved Acquerello Lobster (S$46), which did not disappoint. The Acquerello lobster dish uses Carnaroli rice, a type of Italian rice from northern Italy. Carnaroli is also known as the “king” or “caviar” of risotto rice, and is said to produce the creamiest risotto. This dish is more indulgent because the al dente risotto soaks up the rich essence of the lobster stick prepared with half a Boston lobster. A must-try dish here!

In the dish, I opted for something lighter in the mouth, Merluzzo alla Puttanesca ($46). Seared Atlantic cod is served with a fresh homemade tomato sauce, taggiasca olives, anchovies, pantelleria capers and fresh herbs. Not really an element of surprise on this dish, but a well executed cod dish.

For desserts, the Fragola (S$18) is a fairly light option with strawberry yogurt mousse, yuzu chocolate cream, strawberry coulis and dulce crumble. Otherwise, opt for the namesake Luce misu (S$18), a variation of the traditional tiramisu. I’m not usually a fan of tiramisu but this version isn’t as sweet, as there are more chocolate elements where the bitterness balances the sweetness. You get mascarpone cream espuma, espresso syrup, lady finger sponge cake and crispy feuilletine.

Getting mad I would certainly like to see more outstanding dishes created on the menu in the next round, because while the savory dishes are generally competent, only the lobster Acquerello left a deeper impression.

Will I come back? It’s a good move from Ash & Elm to Davide Giacomelli’s Luce where there’s a clearer definition of cooking. The concise menu works well and every restaurant should have a signature dish, and in this case, lobster risotto for me and Luce-misu for dessert. The spacious setting is also ideal for couples or group meals.

This was an invitational tasting, although all opinions expressed are our own.

Make your reservations instantly at Luce by Davide Giacomelli here.

TheRantingPanda says:
taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Vibe: 4/5
Overall experience: 4/5

Luce by Davide Giacomelli
80 middle road
Singapore 188966
Tel: +65 6825 1008

Opening hours
Lunch
Wednesday to Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Having dinner
From Wednesday to Sunday:
The bar is open from 5:30 p.m. for aperitifs
6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (last order at 9:30 p.m.)

Rated by The Ranter

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Powerhouse Italian Restaurant’s Flour + Water Will Bring More Pizza to North Beach Next Year https://cucinapapoff.com/powerhouse-italian-restaurants-flour-water-will-bring-more-pizza-to-north-beach-next-year/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 17:30:00 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/powerhouse-italian-restaurants-flour-water-will-bring-more-pizza-to-north-beach-next-year/ North Beach diners can expect another option for thin-crust pizza with bubbly, blistered spots, this time courtesy of one of San Francisco’s most respected Italian restaurant groups. Flour + Water Hospitality Groupthe team behind the eponymous fresh pasta mecca in the Mission and Penny Roma just around the corner, will reopen Flour + Water Pizzeria […]]]>

North Beach diners can expect another option for thin-crust pizza with bubbly, blistered spots, this time courtesy of one of San Francisco’s most respected Italian restaurant groups. Flour + Water Hospitality Groupthe team behind the eponymous fresh pasta mecca in the Mission and Penny Roma just around the corner, will reopen Flour + Water Pizzeria on Columbus Avenue just up the street from Washington Square Park by the end of the year next.

The group recently signed a lease for the former Rose Pistola space at 532 Columbus Avenue and hopes to begin construction by the end of the summer. The news follows news that the pizzeria’s original location on Valencia Street is being rebranded as Yellow Moto Pizzeria following a split between the restaurant group’s original partners. This restaurant and space is no longer part of the Flour + Water Hospitality umbrella, but instead falls under the management of David White, who closed the pizzeria in mid-June to revamp and rebrand it ahead of its mid-July debut. .

In addition to on-site catering, the restaurant will be built around plans for a robust take-out and delivery operation and will serve a full menu of beer, wine and cocktails. Lundberg Design, which also spearheaded the recent renovation of Flour + Water at the corner of 20th and Harrison streets, will handle development plans.

With 4,000 square feet of space to play, the Flour+Water Hospitality Group team plans to make the new pizzeria a flagship venue – and a hub for a number of take-out spin-off venues scattered around the city. More details on these upcoming satellite locations are expected in the coming months, but they will rely on the glazed pulp production room at the North Beach Restaurant. Co-chefs Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow will continue to refine their dough recipe, working with growers and farmers across Northern California to guide the direction of the menu.

]]> Osteria Mozza Review: Award-winning Italian restaurant reopens at Hilton Singapore Orchard https://cucinapapoff.com/osteria-mozza-review-award-winning-italian-restaurant-reopens-at-hilton-singapore-orchard/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 10:24:55 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/osteria-mozza-review-award-winning-italian-restaurant-reopens-at-hilton-singapore-orchard/ Osteria Mozza at the Hilton Singapore Orchard Image credit: @osteriamozzasingapore The idea of ​​high-end restaurants terrified me. You could count on the food to be great, but everything about it – the presentation, the fancy interiors, and the pressure to behave properly and properly – was somewhat distracting. I no longer have this pain, but […]]]>

Osteria Mozza at the Hilton Singapore Orchard

Image credit: @osteriamozzasingapore

The idea of ​​high-end restaurants terrified me. You could count on the food to be great, but everything about it – the presentation, the fancy interiors, and the pressure to behave properly and properly – was somewhat distracting. I no longer have this pain, but dinner at Osteria Mozzarella reminded me of my preference for unpretentious restaurants that serve simple, home-style cooking of the highest quality.

After closing its doors in Marina Bay Sands in 2018, Osteria Mozza has found a new home in Hilton Singapore Orchard. Cal-Italian Restaurant is co-owned by Nancy Silverton, the American celebrity chef, baker, and author known for sparking the artisan bread movement across the United States in the 1990s. Her emphasis on simple cooking with ingredients from quality has earned Osteria Mozza much acclaim, including a Michelin star for its quirky Los Angeles restaurant.

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Food at Osteria Mozza

Our evening menu followed a fairly typical Italian meal structure. We started with canapes, and what happened was two dishes that contrasted almost comically. The first was Mozzarella from Puglia ($68++)a majestic mound of white cheese decorated with red cruschi pepper, and the second, Marinated olives ($16++)was jumbled together on a small plate with chilli d’arbol, candied garlic and orange peel.

osteria-mozza-mozzarella

Ironically, despite the difference in size and elegance, it was the Mozzarella di Puglia that had the most subtle flavor. The mozzarella was rich and flavorful, with a light musk. But it is nonetheless easy on the palate and never goes into indulgence.

Osteria Mozza is said to be the only restaurant in Singapore to use cruschi pepper, which is an Italian sweet pepper. These added crunch, smoke and the slightest hint of spiciness. Enjoy the cheese with the fett’unta bread served on the side to enjoy it to the fullest.

osteria-mozza-olives

Modest olives had more explosive characteristics. Hints of spice, acidity and garlic flavor blended into the flavor of the olive, which itself was sweet and crisp.

osteria-mozza-cesar-salad

Caesar of Nancy ($23++) was our first antipasto. As the name suggests, Silverton’s fingerprints are all over this version of the Caesar salad, especially with the bread, which is his area of ​​expertise. The crostini (toast) was soft but crispy around the edges and went well with the salad.

The hearty appearance of the dish belies a complex taste. Those big anchovies at the top of the salad were so salty, but then the lettuce added balance with its refreshing flavor, the egg added creaminess, and it all came together to be greater than the sum of its parts.

osteria-mozza-squid

The other antipasto we had was the Grilled Calamari ($22++). The main flavor here is smoke – even the lemon, which added brightness to the squid, was grilled. The romesco sauce also piled on the smokiness but in a different way, leaning on the sweet and garlicky as well.

osteria-mozza-orecchiette

And now, the sector. The small, ear-shaped Orecchiettes ($32++) the pasta produced a peppery burn, while the meaty chunks of savory sausage and earthy Swiss chard added plenty of flavor depth. In terms of texture, the orecchiette was delicate and melted in your mouth, giving my tongue a break from the heat.

osteria-mozza-raviolis

During this time, the Fonduta Ravioli ($38++) was anything but a quiet affair. It had a musky cheesy taste that was almost overwhelming, but combined with the savory undertones it becomes an undeniably exciting dish, although it threatens to get too jelak.

fish-osteria-mozza

As for the second sector round, the Whole Branzino on the piastra ($65++) impressed with its comforting flavors. Considered one of Silverton’s favorite dishes, the sheer pleasure one gets from it is due to the fresh Branzino fish which boasted herbal notes and crispy skin.

pork-chop-osteria-mozza

There was also the Pork Chop Milanese ($46++)a large slice of pork that’s incredibly well marinated, fragrant and juicy, although it may be too fatty for some.

Atmosphere at Osteria Mozza

osteria-mozza ambiance
Image credit: @osteriamozzasingapore

Osteria Mozza has the appearance of a fancy restaurant, but there’s something about the way the space is laid out that gives it a more laid-back, community vibe. If you want an even more atmospheric experience, there’s also the lush outdoor terrace that overlooks Orchard Road.

Osteria Mozza is a six-minute walk from Somerset MRT station.

The verdict

Despite all the glamor surrounding Osteria Mozza, I was happy to find that the fare remained rooted in the simple sophistication that Nancy Silverton craves. Here, you’re not paying for art or inventiveness, but rather for soulful good food. And that’s what really matters, isn’t it?

For another great restaurant to check out, take a look at our Perch review. If you’re looking for some interesting food to try in Somerset, read our review of Ebi Bar.

Address: 333 Orchard Road, Level 5, Hilton Singapore Orchard, Singapore 238867
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Website
Osteria Mozza is not a halal certified restaurant.

Perch Review: Asian-Fusion Bistro With Sakura Ebi Pasta And Thai Curry Roasted Chicken In Jewel

Photos by Kay En Ze and Melvin Mak.
It was a media tasting at Osteria Mozza.

Osteria Mozza Review: Award-winning Italian restaurant reopens at Hilton Singapore Orchard

  • Osteria Mozza Review: Award-winning Italian restaurant reopens at Hilton Singapore Orchard – 8/10

8/10

Summary

Advantages

– Food is generally of high quality
– The best dishes here combine warm charm with superb flavor
– The atmosphere is comforting and pleasant

The inconvenients

– The grilled calamari was a bit rubbery
– Pork chop Milanese may be too greasy for some

Recommended dishes: Mozzarella di Puglia ($68++), Nancy’s Caesar ($23++), Orecchiette ($32++), Whole Branzino alla Piastra ($65++)

Opening hours: Tue-Sat 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Address: 333 Orchard Road, Level 5, Hilton Singapore Orchard, Singapore 238867

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Meet the father and son behind modern Italian restaurant Sfizio in North Phoenix https://cucinapapoff.com/meet-the-father-and-son-behind-modern-italian-restaurant-sfizio-in-north-phoenix/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/meet-the-father-and-son-behind-modern-italian-restaurant-sfizio-in-north-phoenix/ Italian roots run deep but family ties run deeper for chef Rocco Pezzano and his son Marco Pezzano. Bringing together childhood memories and traditional Italian flavors, the Pezzanos opened Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen, a neighborhood restaurant from the ground up in North Phoenix last summer. Click to enlarge From wines to specialty cocktails, Sfizio serves […]]]>

Italian roots run deep but family ties run deeper for chef Rocco Pezzano and his son Marco Pezzano.

Bringing together childhood memories and traditional Italian flavors, the Pezzanos opened Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen, a neighborhood restaurant from the ground up in North Phoenix last summer.

Click to enlarge

From wines to specialty cocktails, Sfizio serves an all-day happy hour Monday through Friday at the bar.

Nikki Michelle Charnstrom

True to the kitchen’s motto, the Pezzanos are proud of Sfizio’s homemade sauces, pasta and bread.

Italian cuisine is not that complicated. It’s about the ingredients. That’s why we spend a little more time making our own pasta, making our own bread,” says Rocco, reiterating that a plate can be beautiful but its taste comes from the ingredients.

However, the best dish requires more than just the right ingredients and a chef with years of experience. It comes down to a chef’s love for their craft. For Rocco, catering is the only thing he knows well and cooking is his passion.

“In almost everything I do, I put my heart into it,” he says.

After a long career as a chef and restaurateur, Rocco closed the door on this chapter of his life for almost a decade. Then, years later, his son came up with the idea of ​​opening a restaurant together.

In February 2021, they rented the space. In August, Sfizio welcomed its first customers.

“We had a lot of problems with the aid at the start. I was there about seven days a week cooking. A week before I opened, I had no employees,” says Rocco. “I had no one in the kitchen, so my plan B was to make two pizzas, two pastas and two salads – I said that’s it, that’s all I’m going to do.”

From humble beginnings, the Pezzanos have experimented and expanded their menu to include a wide variety of starters, salads, pastas, pizzas, desserts and most recently an original creation called Sfizini.

Click to enlarge A selection of dishes from Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen.  - SFIZIO MODERN ITALIAN KITCHEN

A selection of dishes from Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen.

Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen

“We’re especially proud because it’s unique to us. It’s something we invented ourselves, and we obviously named it after our own place,” Marco says.

Sfizini is a vibrant and flavorful tribute to Rocco’s upbringing and his mother’s cooking. Also in the kitchen, she would prepare a one-time bite for the family as a light snack before the main meal, he explained. She would often take a piece of bread, scoop out the center, and fill the inside with classic Italian ingredients.

Sfizini is Rocco’s version of it, combining fresh bread and flavors of yesteryear to bring his childhood memories to life. Customers can choose from eight different flavors, such as meatballs and mozzarella, Italian sausage or sautéed eggplant, or choose a combination of three.

Opening a restaurant sparked a truly healthy and wonderful relationship with his father, Marco says. As business partners, they found a new layer to their already close bond.

“It’s an interesting dynamic that goes from being a kid listening to your parents to now telling them what to do sometimes,” Marco says. “I saw a lot of maturity and growth in me. I grew up from being, you know, a kid with little or no responsibility to now being involved in this, and I really admire him.

Rocco and Marco recognize each other’s strengths and that has made all the difference in finding the balance they need to run the business together, the duo say.

Click to enlarge Sfizio is a scratch kitchen serving homemade sauces, pasta and bread.  - NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM

Sfizio is a scratch kitchen serving homemade sauces, pasta and bread.

Nikki Michelle Charnstrom

Marco, currently an architecture student at Arizona State University, influenced the restaurant’s modern design and chic aesthetic, while his father Rocco crafted a distinctive menu true to his southern Italian lineage.

Mutual understanding and genuine mutual respect accelerated early business decisions and necessary restaurant renovations. The general assumption that opening a family restaurant can be difficult doesn’t seem to phase them.

For the Pezzanos, their motto, “Family first, then family running a business,” is how they stay focused on their values ​​and priorities. Eager to spread the Pezzano name, Rocco and Marco focus on perfecting their craft, the Sfizio experience and the food they want to be known for – encouraging each other with the phrase “Let’s take it to the next level”.

Marco helps his father adapt to today’s restaurant world, dependent on social media.

“At the time when [dad] ran restaurants, it was basically essential that you had good food because there was nothing else to rate your restaurant. There was no social media, there was no buzz, there was no trend… it was just, “Hey, this place serves really good food, let’s go eat there. Now restaurants have become more of an experience,” says Marco, “we try to do both here. »

While hype or “buzz” is one aspect they would like for their restaurant, it is not all they want. Many trendy restaurants offer mediocre food, but you go for the unique atmosphere or experience, says Marco. Sfizio aims to combine both experience and a high quality menu, two aspects of the restaurant industry that are equally important to them.

“From my perspective, I think one thing in the restaurant industry today is different from a long time ago, is that you lose a lot of personality. It’s not often you go to a restaurant and know it’s a family establishment, but you see the family in there,” Marco says.

Click to enlarge Sfizio is located in North Phoenix across from Desert Ridge Marketplace.  - NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM

Sfizio is located in North Phoenix across from Desert Ridge Marketplace.

Nikki Michelle Charnstrom

At Sfizio, Rocco and Marco work side by side in the restaurant they built together. From the Italian menu derived from Rocco’s roots to the bold sign Marco built that proudly reads “Sfizio” on the wall, Sfizio embodies the bond of this father and son duo.

Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen

21050 North Tatum Boulevard, Unit 110
www.sfizioitaliano.com
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

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Opening of the new neighborhood Italian restaurant Osteria Renata in Prahran https://cucinapapoff.com/opening-of-the-new-neighborhood-italian-restaurant-osteria-renata-in-prahran/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 05:31:15 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/opening-of-the-new-neighborhood-italian-restaurant-osteria-renata-in-prahran/ Osteria Renata is the new venue for the team behind Park Street Pasta & Wine A neighborhood diner inspired by the flavors and hospitality of Italy, Osteria Renata opened its doors this week, June 21. This is the highly anticipated new venue from the team behind the beloved Park Street Pasta & Wine. With an […]]]>

Osteria Renata is the new venue for the team behind Park Street Pasta & Wine

A neighborhood diner inspired by the flavors and hospitality of Italy, Osteria Renata opened its doors this week, June 21. This is the highly anticipated new venue from the team behind the beloved Park Street Pasta & Wine. With an on-site pasta lab that sees fresh pasta produced daily by chef Gus Cadden, they serve both signature Italian cocktails alongside classic Australian craft beers in their bar.

What do you want to know

  • Osteria Renata opened this week in Prahran
  • From the team behind Park Street Pasta & Wine, they are committed to serving fresh pasta and delicious classic Italian cuisine.
  • Visit them at 436-438 High Street, Prahran

Check beat eats for the latest food and drink news from Melbourne.

With menu highlights including shucked oysters, 36-month-aged acorn ham, tuna tartare, squid ink mezzemaniche, roast megaphone and many more comforting Italian dishes.

“Renata has drawn friends and family to the table each week with her warm hospitality, sharing lovingly prepared dishes, and it is this approach that underpins our restaurant philosophy, which is to create an experience of a way reminiscent of your Nonna’s table – simple, generous and delicious,” says owner and restaurateur Alex Ghaddab.

“Osteria Renata strikes a balance between adventurous and classic dishes, with our pasta lab allowing Chef Gus to have fun and challenge himself and his team with various additions to the menu. We want to be the Italian of the neighborhood, not reinventing the wheel but sticking to what we do well and respecting good quality seasonal products.

Visit them at 436-438 High St, Prahran. You can make an online reservation in the section here.

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3-course madness at the new Italian restaurant Amore in Montrose https://cucinapapoff.com/3-course-madness-at-the-new-italian-restaurant-amore-in-montrose/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 16:12:08 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/3-course-madness-at-the-new-italian-restaurant-amore-in-montrose/ When I get lucky on a restaurant visit, there will come a time when I’ll sit up straight in my chair, eyes wide, nerve endings at attention. That’s when I tasted something that’s not just good, but crazy – the kind of dish I’ll think about later. I experienced three of these moments in Amore […]]]>

When I get lucky on a restaurant visit, there will come a time when I’ll sit up straight in my chair, eyes wide, nerve endings at attention. That’s when I tasted something that’s not just good, but crazy – the kind of dish I’ll think about later.

I experienced three of these moments in Amore Italian Restaurantthe 6-month-old business of longtime Da Marco chef Alfredo Mojica and his wife, Christina.

Number one: a powdered pink tuna al taglio, its soft slices of raw fish accented with black sesame seeds, tendrils of freshly grated horseradish root, sea salt and a sparkle of lemon. Suddenly the warm summer evening sang.

Wood-roasted Patagonian prawns at Amore Italian Restaurant in Montrose

Alison Cook / Staff

Number two: wood-roasted Patagonian shrimp in a kind of deep shell-infused sauce that takes time and skill. The base was tomato, with a touch of butter and cream; but the shells gave it a dark, oceanic flavor that reminded me of a classic Nantua sauce on steroids. The prawns themselves were oily and perfect, with a pearly crunch.

I had looked askance at the raft of bread below, but once I tasted that masterful sauce, I shut up and drank.

Number Three: Ravioli Occhi, homemade pasta pillows stuffed with frisky sheep’s milk ricotta, smoothed with olive oil and sent straight to the moon with tart Meyer lemon zest, salted bottarga (eggs of dried fish) and sweet pinpoints of crushed amaretti, the Italian biscuits usually confined to dessert.

Occhi ravioli at Amore Italian restaurant, with sheep's milk ricotta, bottarga, fresh horseradish, Meyer lemon and extra virgin olive oil

Occhi ravioli at Amore Italian restaurant, with sheep’s milk ricotta, bottarga, fresh horseradish, Meyer lemon and extra virgin olive oil

Alison Cook / Staff

Great. This is my favorite pasta dish in Houston right now, and just right for the season.

3310 S. Shepherd, 713-485-0033

Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday


Everything else I sampled with a few friends that evening was solid, save for the pizza that emerged from the glamorous, golden wood-fired oven that defines the restaurant’s long, narrow space. The bottom crust was insufficiently burnt and the perfectly nice toppings of burrata, prosciutto, egg, arugula and a little tomato seemed overly generous.

Is there too much good prosciutto? In this case, yes. However, all the elements come together here to produce fine pizzas. Time will tell us.

Mojica pasta clicks on the right path. Bouncy strands of linguine with manila clams in their shells got an earthy boost of pancetta chunks, the unsmoked Italian bacon, plus a hint of red chili.

Harry’s Bar Spaghetti with Lobster was lusciously rich, the springy noodles smothered in a tomato-based brandy sauce similar to prawns, meaning fortified with seafood shells and smoothed with a little cream. The fresh mint was the surprise item. At $38, this pasta is a splurge, but there’s more than enough for two people to share.

Harry's Bar spaghetti at Amore Italian restaurant, with lobster, brandy, tomato and mint

Harry’s Bar spaghetti at Amore Italian restaurant, with lobster, brandy, tomato and mint

Alison Cook / Staff

I was interested to see that Mojica incorporated seafood into some of its pasta ideas, like white lasagnetti with branzino; Where. squash tortelli seasoned with salmon roe. Fish has always been a strong point at Da Marco, so I look forward to returning for Mojica’s treatments of branzino, pink snapper, Dover sole and grilled sea bream (orata).

Another point of interest: Here, Mojica, who was born in Mexico, is free to incorporate Latin elements into his menu. Thus, adorable bites of potato croquettes make slivers of Iberian ham sprout and are gilded with a truffle cream; or salmon caviar accompanied by small corn cakes. American notions also creep in in the form of “Thanksgiving Duck”, red wine-braised short ribs and individual baked Alaskas.

The menu’s eclectic leanings continue a classic Houston history arc, in which veteran Hispanic cooks who worked in the city’s top restaurants eventually branch out. Mojica has taken the path that took the Pucha brothers from classic French tables to their own Maison Pucha with Ecuadorian influences.

Hospitality at Amore is warm, led by Christina Mojica; and there’s a team of waiters you’ve probably met at some of the best restaurants in town. A nice gentleman I know from BCN and A’Bouzy actually rushed outside to greet me after seeing me nearly run over by a city bus as he was trying to get over construction obstacles on Shepherd Drive. Be warned, the rumble will last another month and a half or so.

Yes, there are white tablecloths, but the feel is more democratic than Da Marco. You can wear whatever you want, and the evaluation at the door to establish your place in the pecking order is utterly absent. The slot-like layout – a legacy of the Shepherd Drive storefront used to house Maine-ly Lobster-Roll Sandwiches – ensures there are no obvious “best” tables.

The wine list is less Italian and less grandiose (both in quality and price) than that of Da Marco. But it does the job, although over time I hope it gets refined.

At dinner, the room feels like a lively family reunion, populated by Mojica fans and longtime customers, many of whom seem to know each other. Near me, two generations toasted a birthday with multiple orders of a puff pastry confection sprinkled with almonds and oozing pastry cream.

I had to order one too. And guess what? Mad-good.

alison.cook@houstonchronicle.com

Featured Culinary and Cultural Stories



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Nicole Brisson Unusual Italian restaurant Amari https://cucinapapoff.com/nicole-brisson-unusual-italian-restaurant-amari/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 00:05:19 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/nicole-brisson-unusual-italian-restaurant-amari/ Following the successes of Brezza and Bar Zazu at Resorts World Las Vegas, chef Nicole Brisson and hospitality veteran Jason Rocheleau are launching their third restaurant, Amari, at UnCommons this winter. The Italian restaurant planned for southwest Las Vegas will feature artisan pastas and pizzas and a market where customers can purchase a bottle of […]]]>

Following the successes of Brezza and Bar Zazu at Resorts World Las Vegas, chef Nicole Brisson and hospitality veteran Jason Rocheleau are launching their third restaurant, Amari, at UnCommons this winter.

The Italian restaurant planned for southwest Las Vegas will feature artisan pastas and pizzas and a market where customers can purchase a bottle of wine to enjoy at the restaurant or take home.

“We really wanted to do something that went back to mine and Jason’s roots, like these more American Italian-style neighborhood restaurants where it’s very pizza- and pasta-centric,” says Brisson, who previously opened Eataly in Park MGM, and Local Italian Cuisine at Mountain’s Edge.

In 2021, Eater Vegas awarded Brezza Restaurant of the Year for Coastal Italian Cuisine. In March 2022, Brisson and Rocheleau are joining forces to open the European tapas and café restaurant Bar Zazu.

Brisson and Rocheleau’s move to the $400 million, 40-acre mixed-use UnCommons campus marks the continuation of a trend of restaurant owners moving off the Strip.

“You see all these people who had amazing restaurants coming out of the Strip,” Rocheleau says. “Over the past five to eight years, the off-strip is really emerging. And that’s where you’re going to see a lot of culinary talent settling down. And it is necessary.

Brisson says the move to UnCommons puts the restaurant in his backyard.

“Right now, a lot of my universe and Jason’s universe consists of a lot of conventions that really drive our business. It’s usually what’s in town and you organize experiences around those people,” says Brisson. “I think we have a great following in Vegas. I feel like the out of band community is asking for a premium product and a premium product. And I think a lot of our clientele will be friends and peers. I think it will be like home every day.

Brisson and Rocheleau are still beefing up the menu at the nearly 5,000-square-foot restaurant, but Brisson is eyeing a signature Bolognese lasagna, tableside Caesar salad and traditional antipasti from local farms to be among the dishes.

The market in front of the restaurant will also offer take-out versions of some dishes and pints of bolognese and pomodoro sauces.

Amari will join at least eight other bars and restaurants when UnCommons opens, including Coffee Class, a tiki tequilería called Todo Bien and a sports lounge called General Admission.

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Culinary review of the Italian restaurant Donatello on Orford alley https://cucinapapoff.com/culinary-review-of-the-italian-restaurant-donatello-on-orford-alley/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 17:00:00 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/culinary-review-of-the-italian-restaurant-donatello-on-orford-alley/ FOR many years, if you want a taste of Italy without leaving the Warrington border, a place comes to mind. Donatello on Orford Lane is a favorite among the city’s pizza and pasta lovers, with patrons returning frequently, knowing they’ll be well fed. We visited recently for a midweek meal and a few drinks – […]]]>

FOR many years, if you want a taste of Italy without leaving the Warrington border, a place comes to mind.

Donatello on Orford Lane is a favorite among the city’s pizza and pasta lovers, with patrons returning frequently, knowing they’ll be well fed.

We visited recently for a midweek meal and a few drinks – and we were certainly not disappointed.

The drinks menu has a good selection of wines and beers, with a selection of gins also available if that is your choice.

Some members of the group opted for a carafe of the house white wine and others for a bottle of Peroni – in Rome, as they say.

Donatello Italian restaurant on Orford Lane

To start, we chose a garlic bread pizza to share. Always a winner that rarely leaves you disappointed.

The great thing about Donatello is that they allow a half and half option for those with different tastes, or those like us who were spoiled for choice, they wanted both.

Now, we’re big on our Italian food, but the garlic bread starter we chose – half cheese and half spicy (tomato, chili and onion) – really hit the ball out of the park.

The bread base was springy and flavorful, while the mozzarella was stretchy and delicious, complemented nicely with a slice of picante, which didn’t offer too much of a kick, but enough to leave you satisfied and smiling.

pizza half cheese and half spicy garlic bread

pizza half cheese and half spicy garlic bread

Service was quick and the staff were very friendly and chatty, but not overly enthusiastic, allowing you to fully enjoy your food and soak up the ambiance.

It has been a few years since our last visit, the restaurant having undergone a well thought out refurbishment during this time.

Although not the same as alfresco dining sitting in a Florentine piazza on a warm Tuscan evening, the interior makes you feel like you are Italy itself and not Orford – as charming as that may be.

For the main course, as a group of pasta lovers, we opted for three different pasta dishes.

Penne all'amatriciana

Penne all’amatriciana

My choice fell on penne all’amatriciana, described on the menu as penne pasta in a tomato sauce with bacon, onions, garlic, chillies and fresh basil.

Once again, the course was flawless. The pasta was neither too tough nor soggy, absorbing the tomato based sauce well which had enough spice without blowing your mind.

A nice touch was the cherry tomatoes cooked in the dish, which was overall very nice.

One of my guests opted for penne della casa – penne pasta in a creamy white sauce with chicken, asparagus, parmesan, mushrooms and a hint of chili.

Pennes of the house

Pennes of the house

They too were happy with their choice, the asparagus offering a different but welcome change from the typical pasta dishes.

The third of us enjoyed the penne arrabiata – but not as you normally know.

It was served as chicken and mushrooms cooked in a spicy tangy tomato sauce with parmesan cheese, topped with mozzarella and rather just a fresh egg, with penne pasta added.

The egg on top was an unusual but delicious surprise, the yolk oozing after being cracked, helping the savory sauce to make the dish very satisfying.

Penne arrabiata

Penne arrabiata

Although the menu offered a good selection of desserts, the three of us were too full to try any.

However, we did see staff bringing some to a nearby table who were eagerly waiting, and the dishes looked both attractive and well-proportioned.

Comparing it to other Italian restaurants we’ve tried recently, Donatello was definitely one of the best if not the best, and the price was reasonable alongside its fellow continental restaurants.

Overall we really enjoyed our visit and will definitely be back in the future.

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Portland, OR has a new vegan Italian restaurant https://cucinapapoff.com/portland-or-has-a-new-vegan-italian-restaurant/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 23:42:05 +0000 https://cucinapapoff.com/portland-or-has-a-new-vegan-italian-restaurant/ The restaurant prides itself on its handmade pasta and fresh ingredients. PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – When people think of Italian food, they usually imagine cheese, meat and creamy sauces, but a restaurant in Portland is taking a different approach to classic cuisine. Lila, located at 960 SE Madison St., opened last month and offers plant-based […]]]>

The restaurant prides itself on its handmade pasta and fresh ingredients.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – When people think of Italian food, they usually imagine cheese, meat and creamy sauces, but a restaurant in Portland is taking a different approach to classic cuisine.

Lila, located at 960 SE Madison St., opened last month and offers plant-based pastas, pizzas, small plates and other dishes. On the menu, tagliolini with hazelnut basil pesto and dried tomatoes.

People can also enjoy soy ricotta and spinach pizzas made with sunflower mozzarella.

“It’s just something the Portland community wanted,” said restaurant owner Sanjay Chandrasekasran. “I don’t think there has been anything like this since Portobello, which closed a few years ago.”

As for what sets Lilla apart, he added that the pasta is handmade with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Dasquale Lioddi, who is the chef at Lilla, told KOIN 6 News that it is possible to prepare quality Italian cuisine without all the ingredients that people are used to.

“We eat a lot of cheese and meat, but we certainly eat mostly vegetables in Italy,” Lioddi said. “A lot of dishes are already oriented to be vegan. This is something Lilla wanted to bring out. Show another side of Italian cooking, and how fun it can be with vegetables and many other ingredients that are usually really used and shown.

Going forward, Chandrasekasran plans to add alcoholic beverages to the menu and add more staff as the restaurant continues to offer a new approach to Italian cuisine.

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