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Chic & easy - authentic Italian fare dishes up (2)

(China Daily)

13:43, March 25, 2013

Homemade Italian lemonade brings back memories of warm summer days and fresh-cut grass. (Photos / China Daily)

Jay To recommended the homemade Italian lemonade while I waited, and it didn't disappoint. I was reminded of a recent trip to Sorrento in southern Italy and the bright lemons that were everywhere there.

The tartness of my cloudy drink was refreshing with a hint of peppermint, and its icy coldness brought back memories of warm summer days and fresh-cut grass.

After being joined by a friend, we tackled the extensive and ever-evolving menu.

There were a number of new truffle dishes and we decided to try the toasted Parma ham, black truffle and mozzarella cheese sandwich.

Oozing mozzarella and savory Parma on crust-free, lightly toasted bread, the dainty tea-size triangles are a sunny Mediterranean variation on the classic ham-and-cheese sandwich. Dots of black truffle sauce for dipping served as a luxuriously earthy condiment.

We moved on to one of Papi's signature dishes: fresh burrata cheese with Italian cherry tomatoes.

The burrata was so creamy and silky that it glided along my tongue; its consistency reminded me of the best Greek yogurt. Juicy red tomatoes were good for tempering the richness of the cheese, and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil gave the dish brightness.

I spotted a wheel of Parmesan cheese near the open kitchen and couldn't resist trying out some homemade tagliarini with Parmesan cheese sauce and sauteed fresh porchini mushrooms.

Although it was one of the evening's special pastas, there are similar items that call for freshly made sauce.

One of the chefs carted over the large cylinder of 24-month-old aged Parmesan on its own wooden stand and proceeded to scrape a serving of cheese with a spoon and fork.

He then brought over piping hot noodles and whirled in the cheese, imbuing every surface on each strand with a thin coating of deliciousness. A quick mix with fragrant mushrooms and presto!

We had a simple and simply spectacular plate, with savory al dente tagliarini that put any thought of sharing out of my mind.

Even Papi's veggies are worth shout outs, particularly pan-fried baby artichoke and sauteed spinach with potato.

The wine list is nothing to sneeze at, either, offering a dozen choices of Italian reds and five Italian whites.

While desserts consist of the usual suspects such as panna cotta, novel items included fresh-fruit pizza and hot zabaglione with marsala wine. Too bad my eyes were bigger than my tummy - but there's always next time.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:GaoYinan、Wang Jinxue)

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