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The Italian job

Last evening we had a lovely dinner with Italian food. Not the average pasta you can find at any ordinary Italian restaurant, but freshly made pasta. I am not sure if there are any other places that make their own fresh pasta in Bucharest, but so far, from the places I visited, this is the very first one. We were invited to dine together by our friends Christiana and Yannis.

I‘ll try to describe a little bit my culinary experience, but if you are not there to taste it yourself, you can probably grasp only a small percentage of the feeling you get from such a delicious food. The restaurant was initially established in Buftea a few years ago and was a very cozy place with great Baroque architecture and only 4 tables to serve. Now they have relocated to Blvd Mihalache and have a bigger space to accommodate more customers. People that know both places still have their hearts with the previous location, but the food remains as tasty as before and the new location is very nicely decorated.

The dinner was memorable: had a few starters first and then tried 5 different kinds of fresh pasta with amazing flavors. I think the best thing to do is to let pictures speak for themselves.

Crepes with spinach, prosciutto and cheese: Beef carpaccio with Parmesan and arugula:

Clams and shellfish:

The next round were the most amazing dishes of fresh pasta I had so far: pasta with zucchini and shrimps:

Pasta with eggplant, basil and garlic:

I posted also the other dishes of pasta with Gorgonzola:

and pasta Carbonara:

Just to make sure the food experience was complete the next dish was a Bistecca alla Fiorentina made from Italian beef brought from Tuscany. Before cooking the raw meat looks like this: an almost 1 kilo piece of meat

And the result is a huge tender steak:

Juicy on the inside:

We did have two wines with this gargantuan meal: a white Solo Quinta 2009 and a red Cuvee Uberland 2006 both from Recas.

Solo Quinta 2009

Price: 110 RON at the restaurant

This is a very interesting blend of 5 different grapes, one being Merlot. The Australian winemaker of Recas started to experiment in 2008 with Solo Quinta blending 4 white grapes with the juice from a red grape. In 2008 he chose Cabernet Sauvignon and in 2009 Merlot. The other 4 grapes are Feteasca Regala, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat. The result is one of the best Romanian white wine produced.

The wine has a clear yellow lemon color. Initially the wine was served too cold and showed elegant floral flavors of linden, acacia,elder and roses and as the wine gets warmer, flavors of  grapefruit and apricots come out of the glass. In the mouth the wine is medium body with a very pleasant acidity, crispy, flavors of red currants, apricots, honey, vanilla and a fresh spiciness come together to make a round and balanced wine. A real good pairing for the dishes we had. The wine has a pleasant fresh medium aftertaste. Very good+ to Excellent

Cuvee Uberland 2006

Price: 180 RON at the restaurant

This is the top red cuvee from Recas.  I like the 2006 but I am not a fan of their 2007 Cuvee Uberland which I find very tannic and hard to drink for the moment. The 2006 is a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon and a little bit of Feteasca Neagra. The wine has a deep opaque red with purple hues color. The best way to describe the nose of this wine is spicy: cinnamon and cloves hit you strongly from the get go, with flavors of dark fruits on the background and a nice discreet oak aroma. In the mouth the wine is medium to full body, round, with silky tannins, with blackberry, prune, ripe dark sour cheery, black pepper, good balance and a nice mouth-feel. The wine finishes with a medium aftertaste with a slight sensation of sweetness. Lovely bottle that is drinking very well right now. Very good+ to Excellent

The dessert is as good as the rest of the food: tiramisu

and the best panacotta I had so far with forest fruits:

The only thing I have left to say after this perfect evening is: Thank you Christiana and Yannis for the lovely company and the amazing food we had together. We shared a memorable experience and I am looking forward to see you soon.

Thanks for reading!

FYI: the restaurant is Osteria Gioia by Patrizia.

Categories: Romania
  1. August 4, 2010 at 23:23

    Looks like you had an absolutely amazing and delicious meal! If you love Italian food, you will love Di Palo Selects, http://www.dipaloselects.com. Di Palo Selects offers the finest authentic, imported Italian specialty food products from cured meats and delicious cheeses to unique pantry items such as fig jam and gluten-free pasta. Check it out!
    Happy Eating,
    Di Palo Selects

  2. August 5, 2010 at 15:39

    Hi Cosmin,
    It looks that you had a very pleasant dinner, and the wine was perfect for your dishes. Did you selected it, or it was on the “house suggestion”? Any way great wines.

    • August 5, 2010 at 15:53

      Hi Andrei,

      The food is really tasty and I chose the wines. As a matter of fact they don’t have Cuvee Uberland 2006 listed on their wine list, only 2007 is printed. But I ask if they have 2006 and luckily the waiter was kind and found a bottle for us🙂. The people at the table were really excited about the wines at the end of the meal.
      My experience based on some disappointments had already a high cost so I am pretty reluctant nowadays in asking for advice in terms of wine picking in restaurants or wine shops. At least I blame myself for choosing wrong but with all the modesty I kind of know most of the wines sold in Romania. So it is really not so hard to choose something.

      Thanks for your comment and you are welcome to give more feedback.
      Cosmin

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