domenica 6 luglio 2014

Antica Osteria Cera Michelin stars experience

When you are a sommelier, you do not enjoy only wine but also food, especially testing tasting!

 When food is not nourishment and when it’s the food accompanying wine and not the opposite, you might be in a Michelin stars restaurant.
You cross the door and there the perfect senses experience starts. Take your time, enjoy every single bite and do not wait for food, let the food wait for you.

Today I want to speak about Antica Osteria Cera, a two Michelin stars restaurant located in Venice area, closed to Chioggia. Chioggia is a small picturesque town of the northern Adriatic, vivid and full of colour, with its narrow channels that remind you about Venice romanticism. Its fish market serves surrounding areas, Antica Osteria Cera included, guaranteeing daily supply and therefore freshness.

I had the luck to try this 2 Michelin stars paradise to celebrate a special occasion and I want to tell my story and share my experience.
You can choose from the menu different courses or you can let yourself be guided by the kitchen creativity, selecting one of their menus. Obviously I opted for the second one, the “Azzurro” (blue) menu.
You start with a seaweed and herbs soup, with red snapper and clams. It’s very particular. It’s not capturing you with a captivating flavor. Perfume and colour are not so appealing. It reminded me Asian style cousine, Japanese style precisely. I needed some time to be in tune with it.

While waiting they proposed us a steamed bread with some burrata and cherry tomatoes. I can’t describe the emotions I had while tasting that soft “focaccia” style bread. Simply amazing, as it was the whole bread basket.
After the soup they served us the best plate of the menu in my opinion: cold spaghetti with king prawns, lamp, cream of pistachios from Bronte and basil. A perfect union of ingredients.
A “bruschetta” made with steamed cooked bread, stuffed with raw fish and a black truffle sauce: this small but delicious bite anticipates the more elaborate Russian salad. Russian salad is commonly a “poor” dish, made with mayo and veggies (like carrots and peas). In the “Antica Osteria Cera” interpretation it was enriched by scallops and octopus. Very delicate and colourful.


To continue we had some small calamaris stuffed with seafood and served on a gazpacho sauce. More “important” the seafood and shellfish casserole, cooked in the traditional way of the surrounding valley.

Finished? Not yet! Not be worried, everybody can cope with the menu. Portions are quite small but enough to taste them properly, leaving space for the following one. The timing between one course and the subsequent one is correct: it gives you time to appreciate everything!

...Here you are: there ravioli came. Three ravioli served with “peppy mussels”. Essential, fresh, authentic.

And finally the San Pietro fish served with beans and “pappa al pomodoro” (“tomato pap”, one of the typical “poor” dishes of Tuscany area, made with homemade stale bread, tomato, basil, extravergin olive oil, enriched with garlic cloves).

Waiting for dessert, I tell you a little bit of story. Originally this 2 Michelin stars restaurant was a traditional “osteria” (simple local restaurant) where the mother Silvana proposed to her guests typical dishes from the Venice area like the the mixed fried fish, the local seafood “cicchetti” (tapas), based on the daily availability of fresh raw materials.
During the ’90, Silvana left her role to the son Daniele who, with the help of the sister Lorena, of the brother Lionello and of the sister in law Simonetta as a maitre, transformed the traditional “osteria” in a real gourmet pleasure reality. Even if creativity and reinterpretation are a must, the local ingredients and the freshness of the food coming from the nearby Chioggia fish market, keeps somehow a link with the traditional Venetian style.

What else…? Come on, I was forgetting about sweetness. In our menu they want to keep the secret: “tasting of our patisserie” it’s how they name the dessert within the “Azzurro” menu. You start with some “pralinas” and some delicate mignon pastries; you continue with some homemade sorbets and icecreams and then you end up with an original interpretation of the “Zuppa Inglese”. “Zuppa Inglese” is one of the most controversial Italian desserts. There are several theories; following one, the story goes that the dish was developed following instructions from English soldiers who wanted a little taste of home but the taste was so good that the dish remained as a local tradition.


And about wine? Mmmmm … A huuuge and expanded wine list. All the regions, France, Spain, Austria and Germany, rest of Europe, rest of the World. An extensive Champagne range. I spent 20 minutes admiring it and dreaming about some crazy choice.
At the end we opted for a Ribolla Gialla from Sirk, produced in the heart of the Slovenia hills, closed to the Italian border. Their wine is not organic, neither biodynamic: it’s simply made following traditional processes from vineyards which are more than 30 years old. The grapes picking is rigorously manual and the wine normally is left maturing within the bottle before being sold, to enhance its charachteristics.  This Ribolla has been accompanied by food in an elegant way. Simple but very perfumed and with a good personality keeping its presence throughout the whole menu.





1 commento:

  1. I was expecting it, I couldn't believe you just had a normal dinner! this sounds great!!!!