Al Pont de Ferr, Milano
Warning. This is epic. Milan, April 2011.
Unabridged notes from the night…
Tip: refer back to the printed menu for each course.
8.30pm Sunday night. Restaurant empty, I’m first table.
Tasting Menu, no matching wine
Asked for recommendations by the glass, was given a Venetian red (which was lovely, light/medium bodied). I noticed the next table, also having the degustation, also had a glass of red.
1. Appetiser: L to R Foie Gras w apple & caramelized sugar on top, grapefruit(?) ice in a chocolate(?) outer, chestnut (soft & slightly sugary ganache, on a cone inspired by the street stalls).
2. Mosaic as per menu (Amberjack = fish)
See below for combo comment, especially re foie gras.
3. *Apparently… I thought was poor translation, but as the waiter announces the same thing, I realise the chef is having a quiet joke. Prawn is absolutely delicious, sweet, succulent and tasty. Not sure I’d call it a risotto, more a delicious pumpkin soup with savoury tasting pineapple seeds. Not sure the combo is greater than the sum of its parts, but the parts were damn good.
9pm half full. Talking, laughter & buzz.
4. Ravioli. An ethereal light sweet potato ravioli. Soo… delicate, and yes a touch of milkiness. Sauce was perfect, also delicate and the mild chives provided the perfect (also light) contrast of texture crunch and bitterness. Delicious.
9.20pm first table turns over. Still only 3/4 full.
5. My fifth/sixth course arrives. I don’t feel remotely full such has been the delicacy & lightness of the dishes. Pasta with mixed shapes & squid. A round plate this time. The green turns out not to be the colour of the plate but the well of cream of asparagus sauce. I’ve never seen squid this small and delicate… The pasta is quite al dente - perhaps a touch too much so.
6. Wow. It really looks like a forest!
More fish than it appears at first as it is plated over & under, with a broccoli sauce between.
9.45pm still 2 tables left
7. Pan fried hare cutlets medium rare - just fell apart under the knife. ‘Unctious’ is the word that comes to mind, not even sure what it means but seems so right for this. Rich and somewhat sweet, but not heavy. Endive not bitter but a perfect complement(cardamon is quite subtle). Surprisingly, the small portion coffee ice cream does seem to add value to the mix, after the initial shock!
8. Dessert. I’m offered a choice, despite the set menu - 3 ‘from the past’ and 3 ‘from the future’. I decide to stick with the plan.
Coconut cous-cous mango and sweet seafood.
Matching dessert wine suggestion is Moscato.
10.15pm looks like that last table isn’t going to be filled…Other tables are getting their bills.
Looks like a snowstorm has hit. With (cold) clams.
Turns out to be a shredded coconut snowstorm.
But wait, there’s something underneath. A mango ice cream, a bit like a Kulfi. And then theres the variety of miniature taste morsels around the edge of the plate. And hold on, the clams don’t contain seafood after all, just a variety of gelati - lemon/pineapple(?) sorbet, hazelnut(?), pistachio. The chef clearl enjoys a joke!
My only regret was that I couldn’t indulge in the impressive cheese platter that had greeted me on entry. But that would have been too much of a good thing!
10.50pm paying bill and leaving. A modest 94 Euros.
damn, too late for the shuttle bus.
A meal I doubt I will ever forget.