Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sud Ristorante - Quarto, Naples #MichelinStar

After a disappointing meal at the Michelin starred il Comandante and the news that Palazzo Petrucci was closed for August, it looked as though ‘high end’ dining on this trip would be outdone by pizza and traditional trattorie… then we discovered SUD.

Asking our hotel concierge to book us a taxi, she couldn’t fathom why on Earth we wanted to visit a restaurant in the agricultural town of Quarto – she even called her colleague out from the back room (who lives there) to see if he’d heard of it. He hadn’t. Luckily for us, the Michelin inspectors had… and what a gem it was.

What Michelin say, ‘The delicious cuisine served in this restaurant, one of the most interesting in the province of Naples, more than makes up for its less than perfect location. The name is a good indication of the style of cuisine, which focuses on the specialties of southern Italy.

SUD offered a number of menu options: a 7 course Tasting Menu, for 60 euros (selected by Chef Marianna Vitale); a 4 course menu, 40 euros (selected by Chef Marianna) and a 5 course menu, 47 euros (selected by Chef Marianna – or complied by the guests). We selected the 5 courses, compiling the menu ourselves.

Our first choice of Shrimp, guacamole & sea urchins, was delightfully light and fresh. Then the Veal tartare with figs, hazelnuts & toasted bread – with a subtle anchovy buttercream and a hint of star anise, the ratio of meat to the accompanying flavours was spot on.

In appearance, both of the previous dishes were particularly stunning but it was the Spaghetti with sea anemones that really wowed in terms of flavour - strands of spaghetti enrobed in a rich anemone sauce came buoyed by a crest tomato and a splash of wasabi.

Rivalling the Anemoni as my favourite dish, the Veal tongue with blue fish marinated with shiso, tomato flavoured mayonnaise & capers powder was a joy. Slithers of silky smooth tongue came interspersed with a ceviche of blue fish and with a fresh bite of shiso. More bursts of flavour came from wholegrain mustard, a vibrant tomato mayonnaise and a smattering of caper powder. 

Gamberi, guacamole e ricci di mare
Shrimp, guacamole & sea urchins

Tartare di vitello irpino con fiche e nocciole
Veal tartare with figs, hazelnuts & toasted bread

Anemoni con spaghetti
Spaghetti with sea anemones

“Vitello stonnato” Lingua di vitello con pesce azzurro marinato alla shiso, maionese al pomodoro e polvere di capperi
Veal tongue with blue fish marinated & shiso, tomato flavoured mayonnaise & capers powder

Mousse al caffè, cuore di liquirizia,salsa di cioccolato e sambuca
Coffee mousse, heart of liquorice, chocolate sauce & sambuca

“La perla del mediterraneo” – Semifreddo alla cassata, pistacchio di Bronte, salsa al passito di Pantelleria e gelée alle pere con anice stellate
The pearl of the Mediterranean – cassata semifreddo, pistachio, raison sauce Pantelleria, pear gelée & star anise

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