As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we had a perfect evening in Villa Cimbrone’s Il Flauto di Pan restaurant. Here’s what Michael wrote on tripadvisor:
“We have been to some of the most wonderful restaurants in the world, but few can match the extraordinary beauty and grace of this incredibly welcoming and exceptionally well-executed restaurant experience. It would be hard to find a more beautiful location than Villa Cimbrone, but this restaurant does not rest on the laurels of its location. The food is creative and beautifully presented, the service is impeccable—friendly, gracious, anticipatory—and the setting matches the elegance, beauty and serenity of the external surroundings. The kitchen relies on exceptional ingredients, much of it coming from its own biological garden or the nearby sea, and then works wonders. The wine list is excellent and the wine pairings with the tasting menu were beyond what we might have expected. In particular we had a Quarz 2009 from Cantina Terlan, a sauvignon from the Alto Adige region, that puts the best Sancerre to shame. We left after almost four hours, satisfied beyond words, to wander home through the tranquil streets of Ravello, gazing at the stars and wishing the night would never end. It gets no better than this.”
We chose the “big” tasting menu, and Il Flauto di Pan served us nine courses, which were not huge (they were a perfect size), thank heaven.
- Beef carpaccio with parmaggiano
- Smoked red sea bream carpaccio served with buffalo yogurt sauce (the sea bream was shaved into impossibly thin slices, and as you can see, the presentation was stunning)
- Cream of tomato soup with a fried ricotta cheese ball, served with a Bloody Mary that was mixed at the table and then misted with a combination of balsamic vinegar and vodka (this was my least favorite course—it had too many things going on, and the ricotta cheese ball was too large)
- Several types of tagliatelle made with seaweed and cuttlefish ink, served with a sea urchin and clam sauce (simply divine—it tasted like the bottom of the sea—and I loved that additional sauce was served in a sea urchin shell)
- Caramelle ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, served with a rabbit ragu and a spiced, aromatic sauce (this was my hands-down favorite dish—gorgeous and delicious; the ravioli was shaped like the hard candy—caramelle—that are wrapped in cellophane with the ends twisted)
- Red sea bream fillet with an aromatic herb crust, served with couscous and a fish sauce
- Lamb chop in an herb crust, served with stir-fried vegetable and a honey sauce (I ordered mine rare and it was cooked perfectly—wonderful!)
- Panna cotta, served with a lovely dessert wine (delicious!)
- Warm coffee pudding, served with Bailey’s cream and white chocolate water ice served in a cup made out of dark chocolate (amazing!)
After all of this superb and beautifully presented food, our waiter brought a multilayered serving box of house-made cookies—one of my favorite foods—but we were too full to eat more than just a couple of them.
It was such a wonderful night. I need to conjure up a special occasion, so we can return to Villa Cimbrone and Il Flauto di Pan. Ci vediamo!