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Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

  1. Someone order an Iberico Pork Foie Gras Burger?

    December 19, 2011 by Dini

    Iberico Pork Foie Gras Burger

    Covent Garden’s Love-in…Opera Tavern

    Numerous visits in 2011

     As one of my stand out dishes of 2011, Opera Tavern’s Mini Foie Gras & Iberico Pork burger furiously holds it weight against it’s beefy couterparts. Served with a spicy-sweet Guindilla pepper garnish, this balances the rich, silkiness of the foie gras and Manchego cheese strewn on the Iberico pork. It is utter deliciousness and always executed to perfection, on my numerous visits there (some especially for it – heaven knows what it does to my cholestorel level!)

    A Tapas restaurant, specialising and showcasing the best of Italian and Spanish regional dishes and produce, Opera Tavern has thrown the gauntlet down in London and fitted in nicely with it’s sister outlets’ (Dehesa & Salt Yard) ethos of great food.

    One of my favourite tipples there, that I whole-heartedly recommend is the Vina Gravonia, Crianza 2001 (a White Rioja) at £10 a glass is an indulgence, but when you’re dining out on silky foie gras and burgeoning stuffed courgette flowers, why not? Also take time to peruse their spirits list, Simon Mullins (Owner) has a penchant for Whisky (not in line with the concept- but who cares) and you’ll find some great Blends and Distillers Editions c/o Millroys of Soho.

    Other notable dishes include their Italian Scotch eggs, with a dreamy runny yolk. I also enjoyed the steak with marrow, which added a moist sumptuous to the tender meat. If I had one criticism, it would be to query why so many of the dishes come with aioli, a little overkill for me (but delicious even so).

    Their admiration of ‘pork’  follows through to the fixtures and fittings in the restaurant…the bronzed trotters for door handles and the jamon beer taps. I find sitting downstairs on the bar stools is the best spot ‘in the house’. Here you can easily while away hours, waitching them carve jamon and offer you cheeky tipples, to wet the appetite.

    As you can see, I’m a massive fan. The execution is perfect, attentive, knowledgeable service with a smile and the dishes are simply delicious.

    Opera Tavern, 23 Catherine St,  WC2B 5JS

    Opera Tavern on Urbanspoon

  2. Antonio Carluccio’s Italian Lunch

    May 25, 2011 by Dini

    One ‘Greedy’ Italian for Lunch…

    ‘The Two Greedy Italians’ (first shown in Summer 2012), is a BBC2 series I’ve really relished, allowing me to travel along with Antonio Carluccio and Genarro Contaldo around their native Italy. Allowing me to reminisce of some the places I’ve been to and dishes I’ve tasted. So when I saw a listing on the Hot Dinners events listings to have lunch with Antonio (ticketed event), I took up the opportunity. I alongside 14 other diners had a feast of dishes selected from the series’ accompanying book, not cooked by the man himself, but by the Carluccios’ Team. No sign of Contaldo, he wasn’t due at this engagement, as a Carluccio’s restaurant event, a shame as I love the combination of the bickering two (like an old married couple).

     ‘Mof Mof’ was adorned on leflets scattered on the dining table. This was explained as Antonio’s motto, translated as “Minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour”, something I whole-heartedly agree with about the best of Italian dishes.

    The Starter was a great selection of Antipasto including Carne Crudo (p30 in the book), which I’d say was like a Steak Tartare, washed down with a glass of Prosecco. This platter was immense, and shared between four of us, we had no problem in demolishing the lot, as evident by the
    clear slate.

    The Main was a Linguine with Mussels and Prawns (p66 in the book) accompanied with a glass of Bertani Due Uve Bianco. Nice plump and juicy seafood, bejewelling the pasta, with a nice kick of red chilli.

    The Dessert was a Ricotta and Lemon Tart (p174 in the book) accompanied with a glass of Moscato D’Asti.  I’m a bit of a wimp on the coffee front, so opted for a Latte, to finish off my meal.

    The food good, but I think the occasion of meeting someone I’d grown up watching on the Telly, was more of a pull for me.  I did spot quite a few recipes whilst perusing the book that I had my eye on trying and so opted on buying a copy and of course getting it signed. Cheekily enough I asked his very kind assistant Anna to get it signed by Gennaro too (which she did for me). Alas, the luncheon ran away too quickly and Antonio was bidding ‘Ciao’, as he had an afternoon date with Gennaro and Vanessa Feltz on a TV show.

    To find out more about the book and the series, click here