My sister, in marrying an Italian bloke, set us all up for two weddings. The first, a few weeks back at the York and Albany in London, was a lovely day, with beautiful food and drink and rather tame and sketchy brother-of-the-bride speech. Last weekend we flew out to Northern Italy for the Italian do.
The brother-in-law is from a small town north of Torino. It’s not as twee to say that everyone knows each other, but it’s not far off! That’s really not always a bad thing though, as in this small town lies the Michelin-starred Ristorante Gardenia. So who better to do the wedding food?
I actually know their son quite well, as he is a wine maker, producing some top wines from the local grape, Erbaluce. No-one’s ever heard of Erbaluce, but all you need to know is that it’s got bags of acidity meaning it’s perfect for making sparkling wines and sweet wines. Anyway, back to the food…
We started with table upon table of perfectly sculpted entrées. It was hard not to go too nuts. The carne crudo (raw meat) with violet leaf and sliced fig was…just…well, let’s just say I had a few! There were little pots of Fritto Misto (mixed deep fried vegetables) knocking around that went great with Roberto’s (the son) sparkling wine. And then just if you thought you couldn’t fit any more in, they called us to our tables for the actual dinner. Oh boy!
In a lot of Italy the food tends to be beautifully done, but they tend to eat the same stuff all the time. So to stand out form the 5 restaurants in the small area doing exactly the same food is a tough ask. Apparently not so much for the guys and girls from Gardenia. They blew us all away with perfectly cooked, presented, and thought out dishes of cheese soufflé, vegetable risotto, and beef cheek. Oh, and don’t forget the white chocolate and raspberry wedding cake that we washed down with local sweet and fizzy dessert wine.
I think that’s me done with weddings. As a foodie and wine-o, it’s unlikely to top this!