This was the eleventh anniversary of our first lunch at Enoteca and once again we have to thank the Enoteca team for a warm welcome and great food. I had requested a reprise of some favourite dishes from menus of the past and was well pleased with the outcome.
A tasty amuse bouche (melon and parma ham, a macaroon and truffle flavoured ice cream) started the proceedings accompanied by Raventos Blanc Nit de Nit Rose 2015 (Spain), a refreshing rosé. Daniel Arn, our food spokesman, complimented Chef Stefano for this great start to the meal.
The five breads also attracted praise and with these came a choice of two absolutely delicious olive oils which perhaps exhausted the restaurant’s annual budget for condiments! Sorry, Nicola, for our possibly taking advantage of your generosity.
Next came Onion cooked in salt filled with braised quail and the first of two Sauvignon Blancs, Churton Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Malborough, NZ). Both wine and food earned praise though wine spokesman, Jake Meerman, noted the wine to be slightly acidic and with a characteristic “kerosene” nose. The quail was delightful and well matched with the wine.
Danny’s favoured dish at home, Spaghetti & tomato water and Burrata cheese, fulfilled all his expectations with the raw tomato juice adding flavour to perfectly cooked spaghetti one could deem “toothsome”. Jake found the second Sauvignon (Terlano Winkl Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from Alto Adige, Italy) seemed to be almost a carbon copy of the first apart from additional smoothness and sweetness.
Lasagna 2017 “(Granny would never be able to do that)” is a signature dish of Stefano and appreciated by the several diners who visit Enoteca regularly. Danny complimented the beef and béchamel sauce but confessed he likes his pasta to be softer, less crunchy; I liked it very much. This was served with Massolino Nebbiolo Langhe 2012 (Langhe, Piedmont, Italy) and was thoroughly appreciated by one and all; sadly the colour has started to fade from the wine which might herald its passing.
Our pick of the wines of the day was Felsina Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 2013 (Tuscany, Italy) to which Parker had given 95 points; we all thought it to be a very nice wine with lots of things going for it. However, it was postulated that an Amarone might have proved a more suitable match for the Roasted Venison, popcorn, caramelized peach and beans purée, the main dish of the lunch. The meat was quite gamey (I loved that), but tender and had been cooked perfectly.
Chocolate after-eight Cigar at first sight seemed to be too much to follow four large savoury servings but most ploughed on and enjoyed the dessert. It was accompanied by Rabl Traminer Auslese 2010 (Austria), not too sweet and very popular with most diners. There just remained a selection of Italian Cheeses with Taylor’s Port or Armagnac, thoughtfully brought by Tom Whitcraft and Andrew MacDowell to celebrate their birthdays.
Finally, coffee. As ever, the service was immaculate, and we appreciated the attention we received throughout the meal from Proprietor Nicola, Maître d’ Alessandro and the three lovely waitresses.