Thursday, April 27, 2017

Let's Begin at the Beginning - Taverna Estia, Brusciano (Na)

I did a little studying before my visit to Taverna Estia (two-starred Michelin Restaurant) last weekend.  I read the menu online, chose what I wanted, and was determined not to be swayed by tasty temping words such as new menu or the like.
Or so I thought.  Not more than a couple of minutes after Maître Sommelier Mario Sposito shared with me a list of spring sensations that were coming soon, I broke down.  I happily broke down right after Chef Francesco Sposito popped his head out of the kitchen door to say hello and patiently wait for my order.
I looked at the menu.  I looked at Mario, then I looked back at the chef with a sigh and said France’, pensaci tu! Loosely translated as Francesco, you decide for me.

So let us begin at the beginning.  The aperitifs and appetizers hand stamped Taverna Estia!

New entries in the finger food department:

Whole wheat pasta brisee with herb ice cream, fresh mint leaves, and Maldon salt.

 Cannoli stuffed with ricotta, bonito fish, and red turnip sauce.

And classics such as toasted bread, butter and anchovy...

alongside soft green pea sponge with a sliver of pork cheek carefully laid on top.

Then a parade of exciting appetizers beginning with this colorful sea urchin.

The base of the dish is dehydrated sea algae.  Then the chef made an urchin granita that shared the space with a flavorful foamy provola cheese, and three leaf clover sprouts! The bread stick?  Not a bread stick at all, but a scorzanera root transformed perfectly into a tasty treat.

Here's a bit of spring.  A light fresh spring Sposito salad starring  asparagus.  It looks as if it's a garden lying on a bed of crumbled parmigiano shortcake. A honey vinegrette, green apple semispheres,  and a mustard ice cream with a kick completed the story.

A fresella made of pasta brisee with mussels, octopus, snails aka as munacill ,  shrimp, little clams and tomato chutney.  All in a roasted squid broth and spicy oil aka, holy oil

Last but not least - the dish that I was waiting for.  One that I had strongly suggested to Sposito that he include on my gastronomical journey.  Artichoke!

 Smoked artichokes stuffed with foam of pecorino cheese and black truffles.
Sposito pratically painted the plate using garlic, Italian parsely, and anchovy cream.  Fantastic!

And this was just the beginning!!!!

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