|Luciano, Franco and Nando Bifulco|
So it was refreshing to pay a visit to th Bifulco family's latest undertaking- Bifulco Exclusive just a cuople of months old. Franco Bifulco and his sons Nando and Luciano are butchers known for some of the best meat in Campania. The family already has two locations in the small town of Ottaviano in the Naples province; Bifulco Braceria and Bif Burger. So why add a third? Wouldn't it compete? No is their bet. Their desire was to go from an ordinary shopping experince to an exclusive one.
Bifulco Exclusive can be thought of as a real meat lovers' paradise. The first floor is the butcher shop where shoppers can get a view of what goes on behind the scenes. No secrets here! Large glass windows lets one see it all. Then there is of course a wide selection of Bifulco meats, but here one can also purchase top quality cheese and deli items. Not ready to go? There is even a bar where you can order an aperitif and enjoy it on the second floor.
My destination that afternoon, however, was towards the third floor, to enjoy a sit down meal in a spacious dining room with a perfect view of the kitchen and pass.
When it is my first time to any location, I'm always tempted to try everything, but after speaking with Chef Roberto Lepre, responsible for developing the menu and putting together the brigade, we narrowed it down to just a few items.
Take a look!
First, an appetizer called arancino sbagliato- basically, an arancino made inside out. The rice is inside while beef, peas, tomato sauce and creamy cheese is on the inside.
Next - pork terrine with all the flavors of the popular reinforcement salad served in Campania during th Christmas season such as cauliflower, Neapolitan peppers, and anchovies.
Next, a taste of two main courses/secondi.
Beef shoulder (dry aged 180-220 days) with potatoes, porcini mushrooms and minestra nera greens.
I decided to take a few steps to the pass and get a closer look as they prepared my next dish starring Caserta black pork.
The pork is served with spring onions from nearby Nocera, ratte potatoes and rosemary mayonnaise.
Ready for the mini buns? Lepre asked. Would you like to try all 6?
- steamed mini bun, smoked salmon, wakame seaweed, provolone and hazelnut ointment
- roast beef, lemon mayonnaise, raw champignon, creamy walnuts, and radicchio trevigniano
- scottona beef (dry aged 90-120 days), minstra nera greens, bacon and taleggio cheese
- lamb genovese and creamy goat cheese
- porchetta (Bifulco selection) , Agerala provola, porcini mushrooms, chestnuts, and Jalepeno mayonnaise
Bifulco makes their own buns, too. My favs were the porchetta...
and the scottana beef.
As usual, I needed a break before dessert.
They sent me two to try.
Dacquoise with hazelnuts, pink chocolate, mandarin and candied chestnuts.
Then Catalan cream with almonds, Gianduia, roccocò and passion fruit gelato.
The Bifulco family. Their desire was to go from an ordinary shopping experince to an exclusive one.
Did the succeed? In my opinion, they are definitely on their way.