Monday, September 30, 2013

Grossi Florentino

As a surprise my partner took me here for dinner. I have to say, before I even go into the detail about the food... BEST DINING EXPERIENCE I have ever had!

We had the degustation as I really couldn't decide what to pick from the menu. As the night started and before our courses even came out, lots of little surprises came our way. There was the candied eggplant jam toast. Interesting flavors and pairing of flavors.

The bread.... I know this is something little and most people don't mention... But that butter.... velvety smooth, you can taste the rosemary and the full bodied butter intensity. Then there was the lardo.... made from lard.. it was those things you just had to try a little bit of. Then the house olive oil and olives.

To start there was a bincho albacore tuna. A bit of a Japanese influence being raw tuna with charred leak and red onion fennel. Very refreshing way to start the dish.

Veal mousse, this was one of the surprises that came out on a box like a lollipop. Not knowing what to expect you take one bite and this intense flavour explosion of a texture you expect to be sweet, but is instead meaty and punchy. It's a good surprise.... It's almost something you want to just spread on bread.





I did a bit of playing around with the menu and swapped my tuna for the smoked quail and foie gras terrine. This was a heavier dish, but to me it was worth it. Intense flavors that did not overpower one another.

Next was the steamed toothfish. I must say on the menu, this looked really boring but I think it actually ended up being my favorite for the night. The flavors were so delicate and the way it was cooked, the natural sweetness of the fish came out. Together with the nashi and crispy chickpeas, it had all the right textures as well. It was like a ballerina dancing on my tastebuds.

Quinoa salad with mushroom, pinenuts and mayo was another surprise we go in between our meals. This was light and refreshing, I could see myself eating a whole bowl for lunch.

The famous duck and porcini tortellini that I have long heard about. It sure does live up. Basic flavors and true mushroom taste. Nothing artificial but all about the natural taste. Then a bit of sweetness from the candied pear. Delicious!

Suckling pig served with artichokes, apple cider sauce, cumquat, pepper and cime di rapa. If you have this dish on it's own or as part of a 3 course meal, it's a total winner, however as part of a degustation.... it is very heavy. The succulent meat and paired with that sauce.... followed by the cumquat.... It really is a beautiful dish but sadly after so many courses beforehand, stomach space tends to be limited at this point. 

Strawberry sorbet with strawberry jam and shortbread. The sorbet was beautiful and light, teamed with the jam it gave it that extra kick in strawberry intensity. Only thing was, I think I was given a bit too much jam on my serving, after I finished my sorbet and shortbread there was still a lot of jam leftover. For a restaurant of this caliber, I expect finer attention to detail.

Finally the Chocolate part fait. It was light and fluffy and went beautifully with the ice cream. It was very good way to end the meal, however if I looked at it in isolation, this does not even come close to the best dessert that I have ever eaten. If I was to compare it to another restaurant dessert..... umm say.. Mr Hive's Chocolate bar... there would be no comparison.

At the end of the night we got to take home a goodies bag which was a beautiful way to end the night for me. Red wine vinegar and pasta to continue the experience at home.... I was stoked!

Overall I would give it a 18.75/20. The service was amazing, they truly know how to make you feel special and let you feel 'in charge' of the evening. Guy Grossi himself did come out at one stage of the evening, this to me felt quite special, a lot celebrity chefs seems to have forgotten their roots and don't really cook in their own restaurants anymore, so to actually see Guy come out in his chef whites, I was impressed. Generally speaking the food was as you would expect, besides the small hiccup in the dessert, it was one of the best nights of eating out, I've had in a long time.

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