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Michelin Starred

Contraste

A reserved and elegant setting which induces to talk without ever hearing the other tables

Back and forth, back and forth. “Your destination is on the left.” Oops, I went too far … but where is it? Contraste is already teasing me. Even though I am holding my Iphone and Google Map is showing me the way, nothing, this place is nowhere to be found: ah, wait a second, there’s an intercom on the door and a small sign: it does not scream its presence, it slyly waits for you to pass by.

Contraste | Photo Credit: Guido de BortoliPhoto credit © Guido de Bortoli

It just seems like walking into a home. The garden outside, well-kept, with white chairs and tables that already whet the desire for finger food and summer aperitivo, inside there are smiling waiters (even if I’m late and I had perjured punctuality) and a dozen round tables, all white and all of them have a cotton cloud and blue lights in the middle of the table. A simple but elegant mis en place.

Contraste - Tavoli Nuvole | Guido de BortoliPhoto credit © Guido de Bortoli

The cloud will be the altar of the amazing nibbles prepared by the chef Matias Perdomo – already Michelin starred at “Pont de Ferr” – as entreé. Tasty, colorful, beautiful and, needless to say, very good… of all, a small soft and sparkling green little apple, two leaves on top and inside: sardines in saor! Astonishing. The cloud disappears when it gets serious, the tasting menu is waiting for me and the waiter’s kindness allowed me to change a course with a dish from the à la carte menu. For those who like the challenge, there’s a mirror menu. Just describe yourself, your tastes and personality and the chef will create a menu that reflects you!

Contraste - Interni | Paulo Rivas PenaPhoto credit ©  Paulo Rivas Peña

I begin with “passeggiando fra i boschi” (literally walking in the woods): porcini mushroom cream garnished with small pieces of apple and hazelnut. If I hadn’t had that little bit of dignity, I would have licked the plate. Here comes the ”Alunga in verde” (Alunga in green) : a particular kind of tuna fish, unknown to me, raw cooked with a capers sauce which mixes the flavour and increases it. Followed by “Il donut bolognese” (revisited lasagna in a donut shape) and “gnocchetti con salsa affumicata di anguilla” (gnocchi with smoked eel sauce), the “caciucco straordinario”, (“extraordinary fish soup” that gave me the distinct feeling of being by the sea, with its paradisiac fake mussels stuffed with fish), “filetto alla pizzaiola” (tenderloin with tomato sauce and oregano) and… the dessert. Yes I still room for dessert. “Pulp fiction”: bullets of dark chocolate, beetroot blood, rose petals and mountains of coconut cream, impalpable on the palate but with delicate and persistent taste. Finally, “Gerusalemme” (Jerusalem), white sesame bricks, to symbolize the Wailing Wall, a golden dome of sugar worked as if it was glass, filled with ice cream, pomegranate microspheres, dates and nuts to complete.

Contraste - Pulp Fiction| Christian ParaviciniPhoto credit © Christian Paravicini

All in a reserved, elegant setting (painted ceilings and contrasting red chandeliers) which induces to talk without ever hearing the other tables. Great atmosphere, excellent game of lighting and shadows, great food (in my case also great company), excellent service. There is no star yet, should we bet they will be double? They’d be well deserved!

Contraste | Photo Credit: Guido de BortoliPhoto credit © Guido de Bortoli

On the way out, no one can resist peeking into a giant keyhole in the wall… it’s a playful huge lock where you just have look and there you find the team at work, preparing amazing dishes. Now that you know about it, not to go there – culinarily speaking – would be your biggest mistake.

 

Photo credit cover picture © Guido de Bortoli

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