Percorsi stellati/Starred Journeys: Villa Crespi (Orta San Giulio – Novara)

Today was Antonino Cannavacciuolo day. His restaurant is located in the fascinating Villa Crespi , a magnificent villa in moorish style built in 1879 by the cotton tycoon Cristoforo Benigno Crespi, who wanted to bring the charm of Baghdad back to his beloved Lake Orta.

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The restaurant is managed by the popular Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, awarded 2 Michelin StarsHis cuisine is really intriguing: it might not be striking for creativity and innovation but indeed quality of ingredients and cooking technique is sublime, preserving a sense of tradition that in my opinion is equally important.

Cannavaciuolo is a nice guy and available to the guests…and this is what you expect if you go to Villa Crespi.

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Coming to food we had to choose among 3 tasting menus (of course a la carte option is always valid): Carpe Diem (Light), Itinerario dal Sud al Nord Italia/The Italian Route from South to Norh (Medium), Fuori Pista/Off Road (Heavy)…we opted for the Itinerario dal Sud al Nord Italia which consisted of 5 main courses and dessert & cheese…a good trade off in my opinion to learn the philosophy of Cannavacioulo’s cuisine…an excellent choice I must say. We also asked for the wine pairing proposed by the Maître.

Starters to wharm up…

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Il “Buon Viaggio” di Antonino Cannavacciuolo (A welcome entrée from Antonino Cannavacciuolo)

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Scampi di Sicilia alla “pizzaiola”, acqua di polipo (Raw scampi from Sicily “Pizzaiola”, octopus water)

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Linguine di Gragnano con calamaretti spillo, salsa al pane di segale (Linguine from Gragnano with baby squid, rye bread sauce)

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Triglia, melanzana e guazzetto di provola (Red mullet, aubergine, smoked cheese broth)…a Cannavacciuolo’s masterpiece

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Suprema di piccione, fegato grasso al grué di cacao, salsa al Banyuls (Supreme of pigeon, foie gras with cocoa beans, Banyuls sauce)

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Selezione di formaggi (Cheese selection from the trolley)

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Pre dessert

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Dessert Villa Crespi

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Piccola pasticceria (Small pastries)

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