Formerly government offices the rooms are elegant,
with large antique mirrors
and simple lighting.with well spaced white clothed tables set with attractive display plates.
Everything speaks of quality, Zalto glassware,
crockery with matching designs all in rooms decorated in Roman villa style.
The windows look out over the arcade
which, even at 11.30 pm, has plenty of pedestrian traffic.
The restaurant offers either à la carte or a 13 course tasting menu. (190 Euro which is currently a touch under A$300)
Clueless as to what to order we naturally chose the degustation menu.
After a couple of curiously presented amuseè bush
These, of course, are not radishes
There is a delicate paté under these crisps of fish skin.
Caramelised Russian Salad
Sugar coated this was surprisingly successful, I'm sure it's not only because of my sweet tooth.
A crusty loaf of bread and plenty of butter was presented early in the meal.
Baby Sea Scallop, Saffron and Liquorice
All the flavours were there. The scallop, diced, was very mild. I'd rather it had been whole.
Marinated Snapper, Avocado, Chili Pepper and Almonds
My mouth is watering just from remembering the dish.
Santa Magharita Purple Prawns, Black Chickpea, Artemisia and Moscato Flavoured Lard
You have to taste it to believe it. Moscato flavoured lard, set like clear aspic lay on top of the prawns, which were not actually purple. Somehow these weird combinations really worked to make exciting and memorable dishes.
Soft Mountain Egg, Lettuce, Smoked Beetroot, Yougurt and Snail Caviar
We could eat this as an entrée every day of the week.
Risotto with Tomato, Lobster, Pea and Mint
Canaroli super fino arborio rice cooked in the Italian style but too al dente for my liking.
Hand Made Ravioli with Pigeon Offal, and Legs and Mushroom and Anise Broth, Oysters and Cocoa
Another curious dish. Tastes blended so nothing was offensive. The pasta quite al dente - again.
Pigeon Breast 'a la Milanese', and Soused Vegetables
This could be a signature dish in any restaurant in the world. Beautifully presented, perfectly prepared miniature vegetable, lightly crumbed pigeon breast and a strip of pigeon fillet, Mag Nif Icent.
Bone Marrow on the Griddle, Fava Beans, Spring Onion and Dark Chocolate
Date Sorbet, Pistachio and Black Truffle
Crescenza Fresh Cheese, Red Fruit and Elderflowers.
We drank house wine at approximately A$50 /glass. They evidently have an incredible cellar with some 2000 wines but for house wine there was a choice of only two - red or white! I am a trifle resentful at having had to pay almost A$20 for bottled water.This was far and away the best meal we ate in Italy and, if we were to judge, on the basis of what we had in terms of location, service, ambiance and food Carlo Cracco's restaurant is well worth two Michelin stars.
Nothing is perfect but virtually every dish was a triumph of presentation, colour and taste with a refined variety displayed in almost every course.
how beautiful is the dinnerware!
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