Friday, February 16, 2007

Ristorante Malga Panna

(13 February 2007)
Via Costalunga, 56
38035 Moena, Trentino

I went there to celebrate my Sister-in-law's 50th birthday with family and friends. We where skiing in Val de Fasse in the Alte Adige as a substitute for her having a massive party. The restaurant is out of the way to say the least and we would never have found it had we not been following our friend Franko who is a local bar owner. Basically, you drive all through the town of Moena, a suburb of Trentino, until you come to the hills behind the town. Then you thread through the old town in the hills on streets barely wide enough for a car. Once out of the town you drive up a winding hill for a few hundred meters until all of a sudden a great big farm house appears out of nowhere. We where doing this during a pitch black winter night but I don’t think we would have found it during daylight either. But clearly if you make it well enough the customers will come because the food was fabulous and the restaurant full.

I had the following:

  • Foie gras with Parmesan Cheese Sable, Caramelized Apples and Balsamic Reduction;
  • Tortelli al talleggio e tartufo trentino (Tortellini filled with Tallegio Cheese served with Trentino Truffles);
  • Il Maialino Si Fa in Tre (Trio of Suckling Pig)
  • Pre Dessert - Mousse of Toffee and Dark Bear Gele
  • Composition of Chocolate

The foie gras consisted of tinned and fresh liver perched on the parmesan cheese sable. Very good combination but what made this dish was a fig reduction that was heavenly. The reduction had a quality that was like very fine runny liquorish but sweet like fig. A great combination with the FG. Unfortunately, the chef has the same problem as I with fresh foie gras as per the reindeer recipe below. The fresh foie was not fully cooked and did not work for me.

The Tortellini was unbelievable. One of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had. There is very little to say about this dish except for the sauce otherwise it is literally as advertised. Some cheese filled fresh tortellini with shavings of truffle on top. I don’t think the cheese had been treated in any way. The sauce was made by frying up end pieces of beef and then boiling them in water until a very small amount of strong stock remained. The stock was then mixed with truffle olive oil (I think!) and a little bit of Tallegio cheese melted into the sauce. This is one of those combos that if well done is indescribably good. Others in my party had a tortellini filled with smoked pumpkin and hare ragout on the side, very special and very tasty. The wild mushroom angel hair pasta was also fantastic and the house specialty.

The Trio of Suckling Pig was typical chef’s dish that says “see how perfect my craft is” but is nevertheless very very good. It consisted of suckling pig fillet, cutlet and crispy belly all impeccably cooked on the outside and moist on the inside. Great quality meat as well; no complaints. Most of the rest of the table had venison that was on par with the best meat I've ever had. My brother had a braised veal and quail combo that he declared excellent.

The pre dessert was a huge surprise both because it is very Hestonish for what is a very traditional restaurant and because it worked so well. It is quite hard to describe but somehow the two tastes perfectly complement each other and the gele was actually a little crispy and provided a bit of texture.

Composition of Chocolate was a classic Michelin starred dish, great mousse, great cakes, great sauce. Had it before, still love it.

No comments: