My history with Tano passami l’olio constitutes of long glances (at the website), intense “how I’d love to go” sighs and unattended reservations due to the constant rush that haunts my life … add in that it’s never open for lunch and here are the reasons that have forced me to delay for so long.
But tonight I’m here. Me and my partner in life, at Tano’s. I didn’t really know if I was going to be lucky enough to meet him or not … I was just hoping to, given the many occasions when I’ve read and heard about him. The place is special to say the least. I would say 80s / 90s style, totally retro with great historical pictures on the walls like the Mona Lisa, to name just one, but with minor changes … they all hold a bottle of oil with the name TANO! The great chef communicates himself in a light-hearted way. On each table there are coloured and transparent glass beads, impossible not to play with … Impossible not to start relaxing straight away!
It begins with a taste of different types of bread and oil (strictly extra virgin olive oil), to figure out which, among those proposed, goes better to your palate and the food. And then … a truly flawless evening. The great tasting menu, selected and tasty ingredients and then him, to make a difference with his presence, first on tiptoe and then more and more scenic and participatory: he straightened the dish on the table and told me where the mise en place was lacking in perfection (according to him, of course, because for me the diced raw vegetables, shrimps and tartare dish was perfect while he thought it wasn’t exactly concentric!).
He has unveiled details of endless tests (that tiramisù of raw squid with béchamel and vegetables, wasn’t born so suddenly! And the paccheri stuffed with mountain cheese, basil cream and tomato comfit?), amazing to discover that the veal fillet on a bed of cheese and truffle has been cooked for 36 hours at 65 degrees (he had tried at 66 degrees but the colour was too grey, like this instead it was rosy and perfect).
The attention to both details and presentation is the key to taste his creations with the eyes first, before the palate. A care that can be seen in the final result, achieved with the love that he puts into it. The dessert? Black / white chocolate and raspberry in all possible textures: a dream.
I won’t easily forget Tano (real name Gaetano) who speaks in Milanese dialect, and kisses my hand saying that I’m Irene Grandi’s lookalike! Sooo flawless!
Photo credit: Leonarda Vanicelli