Saturday, October 4, 2014

A New Season - A New Menu - Pasta with Beans and Mussels, Chef Salvatore Bianco, Il Comandante Ristorante (Na)

The seasonal shift from summer to autumn  is always an interesting period - at least for me.  The temperature drops a few degrees Celsius, harvest season begins, and chefs add new items to their menus.
A couple of days ago I stopped by to visit Michelin star Chef Salvatore Bianco at Il Comandante Ristorante located in 5 star luxury Romeo Hotel for a chat and to see what his plans were for the fall.
Chef Bianco gave me a sneak preview of four dishes that ready to hit the dining room. Here's one.  A classic Neapolitan dish with a twist.  Pasta e fagioli con le cozze.  Pasta with beans and mussels. 

At first glance, I couldn't help but be taken in by the colors displayed in the ceramic dish placed down in front of me- white, purple, orange, green.  An extremely stark contrast to the sleek black interior design of the hotel's restaurant.  Bianco described his dish.  

Fresh mussels which rested in a delicate Controne bean soup.  Red lobster roe, purple potatoes, and dried tomatoes.  Ok, I get it...but the pasta?  I wondered.  Here's where it got more interesting.  On the side was a small bowl with Il Commandante's puffed pasta.  Puffed pasta made with red hot chili and toasted sesame.  

Puffed pasta which, Bianco instructed, was to be carefully added to his colorful creation.  To mingle, blend, meld with the heat of the dish to become a delicate but powerfully flavorful re-visitation of a classic dish that has been prepared in his family for generations.  

A new season...
A new menu...
A new look...

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