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.
The restaurant is managed by the popular Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, awarded 2 Michelin Stars. His 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.
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…
Il “Buon Viaggio” di Antonino Cannavacciuolo (A welcome entrée from Antonino Cannavacciuolo)
Scampi di Sicilia alla “pizzaiola”, acqua di polipo (Raw scampi from Sicily “Pizzaiola”, octopus water)
Linguine di Gragnano con calamaretti spillo, salsa al pane di segale (Linguine from Gragnano with baby squid, rye bread sauce)
Triglia, melanzana e guazzetto di provola (Red mullet, aubergine, smoked cheese broth)…a Cannavacciuolo’s masterpiece
Suprema di piccione, fegato grasso al grué di cacao, salsa al Banyuls (Supreme of pigeon, foie gras with cocoa beans, Banyuls sauce)
Selezione di formaggi (Cheese selection from the trolley)
Dessert Villa Crespi
Piccola pasticceria (Small pastries)