There, I know this title undoubtedly puzzles you... but it is emblematic of the wonderful evening I had with my lovely glass companions. I anticipate that from now on 'Poor Andrea' will be called 'Poor and Disaffected Andrea'... but I will only reveal why later 😉
After a week that put a strain on my psycho-physical stability, I realised that I am lucky because I have wonderful friends who love me very much... who are always there for me and protect me... and to know that in life you have managed to build strong bonds that go beyond difficulties is what is most precious to me after knowing who I am.
[Tweet ""A friend is the most precious thing you can have, and the best thing you can be." Douglas Pagels"]
On Wednesday evening I had dinner at the Alexander Restaurant in Ravenna... the restaurant is always beautiful and evocative... it's just a pity that the tables are so small and close together (I'll never get tired of saying that...). I really liked that the waitress changed her uniform, less plastered! She was already good before, but the beautiful smile she wore really put me in a good mood!
A delicious entrée of pumpkin tempura... it really was a great way to start dinner! Nice presentation with the foil too! Too bad I dribbled on the tablecloth like a little girl, at almost 30 years old I still have to learn how to eat well! 🙂 🙂
The starter of mozzarella stuffed with raw red prawns I thought was a very good idea! I wasn't convinced at first with the mozzarella because I thought it 'kneaded' the prawns and even covered them a bit but in fact it was all very well balanced. Even the ginger was well dosed (and that's not easy)... it was the dish I liked best together with the tuna!
I would call this dish really interesting, from the presentation to the combination of flavours. Colourful and good, even the octopus which becomes stodgy very easily melted in the mouth. Special note to the cuttlefish ink charcoal which gave crispness with flavour.
As the waitress explained to me, the spaghetti were also made with the shrimp shells... really really good. Well tied, the campari spheres gave a touch of bitterness that balanced the sweet tendency of the shrimp and the aioli sauce (which I really like because I love both extra virgin olive oil and garlic). Nice presentation too!
I would call this the most successful dish also because it is the one I have the most experience with. As I love seared tuna very much, I have eaten it several times in different places and never this good. The biggest difficulty with this dish is the cooking and here it was absolutely perfect. The quality of the tuna was also good. Particular credit goes to the composition of the really tasteful dish.
I was pleasantly surprised by the pre-dessert: a very original and childlike idea that I really appreciated.
Let me preface this by saying that I love dried fruit and so I'm already off to a good start with this choice (I'll just say that when I get ice cream my tastes are pistachio, hazelnut and almond), but I was ecstatic. The best thing (I don't know exactly what to call it) was the 'cake' which, in terms of consistency, looked a bit like Dario Loison's best panettone... extraordinarily soft. The ice cream and the chocolate were also excellent... It is worth going to the Alexander Restaurant even if only to eat this dessert with a glass of passito!
So... congratulations to Mattia Borroni, who is certainly one of the best chefs on the Ravenna scene... and I hope he will soon have his first Michelin star, which he undoubtedly deserves (I have eaten in starred restaurants that did not have the level of Mattia's cuisine)... To get there, perhaps some small improvements could be made in the service, the mise en place (tables a little more spacious... a candle on every table... a floral centrepiece...) and the wine list, which in my opinion is the only flaw in this very good restaurant.
Well, I've talked about the dinner... let's move on to the wine and the Japanese medlar! (The title is by no means accidental eh!)
I like this Lagrain rosé from St. Pauls very much, from the bright cherry colour to the nose of red fruits and an elusive liquorice note, from the round, tannic and mineral taste to the pleasant persistence. We often drink it in Vineria Nuova, a really nice place in Ravenna where I like to go with my dear drinking companions. And it is here that there was the fateful encounter between the wine (the Lagrain rosé from St. Pauls) and the now famous Japanese medlar. And it is here that the 'Poor Andrea' so affectionately called became the 'Poor and out of phase Andrea'! This is because he loves Japanese loquats, which bloom in winter when all nature is dead... but last winter, in his occasional outings, the pollinator showed up when the fruit had already sprouted... so he hopes not to come out infrequently and at the wrong time next winter in order not to be out of luck again! On the other hand, as wikipedia says, the Japanese medlar is so called because it has a beautiful, young, very hairy flower... in short, it is worth waiting for the daring flowering!
I know... you won't understand much... but it's a little tribute to my lovely friends and the many laughs I had on an evening I only felt like crying. And to my princess, whom I need only see smiling to be a little happier... by the way! Laura had her birthday on Saturday, did you wish her a happy birthday? 😉