Thursday, July 12, 2018

Summer in the City, George Restaurant Naples (Na)

Summer in the city.  The date was 21 June 2018, the first official day of summer. While city dwellers headed back to home from the beach, I decided to head towards Corso Vittorio Emanuele 135.   Home to Grand Hotel Parkers but also home to one of Naples newest gourmet restaurants, George Restaurant. George restaurant located on the 6th floor this 5 star luxury hotel. It is one of the oldest in Naples and boasts an amazing view of the city. I was there that evening to pay a visit Chef Domenico Candela, his brigade, and the dining room staff headed by restaurant manager Giovanni Avolio and Maitre SommelierAldo Gambardella.

Once I was able to snatch my gaze away from the Bay of Naples I had a chance to sit down and enjoy many of the dishes from Chef Candela’s summer menu for 2018 beginning with an aperitif /aperitivo. Let's begin.

A cylinder of pasta filled with a chicken a liver pate.  

Next Cromesquis of lamb. 

Eggplant parmesan airbag.

Chicken terrine and foie gras with cherries.

Modern caponatina 

and fake clams.
Fake clams?  Sure!  I had to ask for a brief explanation…

I take the clams and I cook them in the classic way, sautéed with garlic, oil parsley, a bit of white wine…. classic Mediterranean. After, I filter them, add agar agar to form a gelatin and the cut into small pieces.  I add the gelatin pieces to an algae infusion and put it all in a clamshell.  Then I make a lemon compote like lemon jam, I put a little essence and a grated lemon and seaweed algae - to give that touch of scent of the sea.
Shrimp with a grouper tartare mustard leaves, mayonnaise with shrimp coral.
A tartlet made with a potato dough. Inside there is a mushroom cream with ginger and geranium. On top, grated hazelnut from Piedmont and a Pimpinella leaf,


Let’s begin with black…. made with rice and cuttlefish ink. Then white rice with algae, the red one is made with beetroot and the orange with an American sweet potato, and then an American sweet potato peel, followed by polenta.

My curiosity had ignited. I had never tasted the chef’s cuisine. Never.  Candela, a Neapolitan, has spent quite a bit of time outside of Naples recently in France so I was very interested to learn what he had to offer to his guests.  Neapolitan as well as international tourists who, as I did, decided to spend their first night of summer on this beautiful terrace overlooking the city of Naples.

An amazing appetizer: scampi presented three ways – raw, fried, and with an exciting bisque.  The chef added linguine to keep it company. 

Then  cod fish from Faer Oer Islands delicately cooked  in lemon scented oil, saffron fish zabaglione risotto pasta and piquillo peppers.

Then it was time for the first course or I should say first courses. Risotto with wild arugula, cheese from Apulia and raspberry. 

Then small potato dumplings with ricotta cheese napkins, seasoned with lemon pepper foam bursting with smoked buffalo milk mozzarella cheese and a light green broth.

Then it was time to try for 870. Gulf 870. I like seafood and being a mathematician. I found it hard not to enjoy the story behind this dish as explained to me by chef Candela himself.  

Dimers in George restaurant can enjoy a magnificent view of the Gulf of Naples and it becomes even more interesting when you learn that the dish that was about to be served to me got its name from the circumference of the golf 870 square meters. Bass, lemons from Sorrento and an iodized sauce. 

Veal sweetbread cooked with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (aged 36 months), artichoke puree, Amaretto and Arabic coffee.

I took a brief pause before dessert.  Enjoying the view, a quick stroll around the dining room, a peek into the kitchen –which can be seen from the sala thanks to a giant glass window.  A sip of Aglianico, then back to my seat.

Dessert – keeping with the summer theme.  Melon, tomato and basil. 

A cantaloupe melon cannelloni filled with yogurt, candied cherry tomatoes, fior di latte ice cream and essence of cantaloupe.

Gazing at the full moon, I mentally planned my next trip back...maybe early fall to check out the Krug lounge or cigar room. 

In the meantime, Ciao George!

left to right...
Vincenzo De Luca, Fabio, Fabio Sangiovanni, Domenico Candela, Me, Antonio Lerro, Giampierro Pezziella

Cucina and Sala!!!

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