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Posts Tagged ‘Italian food in Monte Carlo’

Cipriani has always been the Venetian treasure known under the name Harry’s Bar. As the restaurant was growing around the world it took the last name of its owner Giuseppe Cipriani and today the family’s fourth generation is in charge over this, now global, restaurant empire. Its newest addition to the family album is the Cipriani in Monte-Carlo. The interior is designed like a luxurious yacht so originality of experience is guaranteed. The only design faux-pas to me was the huge photograph of the ex-F1 manager and luxury entrepreneur Flavio Briatore hanging in the middle of the restaurant reminding the guests that he was one of the investors in the project. It seems that Mr Briatore surely has a decent ego.

Cuisine: Italian

Visit: July 2012 & April 2013

Price: High

Atmosphere: Fresh, elegant and focused on service. Nevertheless, the service was not yet spotless at the Monaco’s branch freshly after its opening in 2012. The waiters were flickering their limbs around creating the atmosphere as if one was at a royal party or a ball, yet it was not enough to manage everything perfectly. Nevertheless, I must happily admit that the service has got much better! During my dinner there in April 2013 everything was brought promptly and the waiters were very pleasant. The dress code is smart casual – jacket, but no tie needed and ladies can wear just nice dress, but not flip-flops please. It is quite a fancy place, which nothing unusual for a big name Monaco restaurant, so I would wear something fashionable to fit in.

Monaco’s own Cipriani

Food: For the high price tag you will not get a good value for money, while you can just head 10 minutes East to Italy and eat like an Italian king for at least half the price. I learned that it is important to choose the right dishes as well as drinks there. From the appetizers I would recommend the Buratta with tomatoes and basil. This dish is purely about the freshest ingredients and that was managed at Cipriani with excellence.

Burrata with tomatoes and basil

The Asparagus with goats cheese was nice but a bit boring. Perhaps the most interesting was raw Artichoke with parmesan. After mixing the parmesan into the starter it was very good. All the above dishes went very well with our intense Italian Chardonnay.

Artichoke with parmesan

Some of the main courses are a different story. The Veal Escalope (Milanese style) was very dry, which for such a classic dish was a major minus. My sister ordered Sepia with the black ink and polenta and was shocked that she got a huge plate of black ink and so little polenta, no wonder she got sick later in the night. The fish was much more enjoyable. It was grilled just right, no excess oil and very fresh. The only drawback was a side salad served with the dish. It was bitter and boring. The pastas are superb! Cipriani is known for its homemade pasta and they make them perfectly al-dente at all of their upscale restaurants – from London to New York. The Spaghetti with seafood are superb. Served in a large ceramic dish, the waiters leave the pasta next to your plate so you can serve yourself as much as you can. The dish also keeps the pasta warm for longer than they would normally stay if served on the plate.

Veal Milanese

The dolci (deserts) selection is shown to all guests on a tray. It looks good, but nothing stirring the palate. Where was tiramisu or pannacotta? The first was on the menu but not displayed on the tray. There were rather some cakes of rather international character than purely Italian. We got a slice of some flabby creamy cake, boring enough that one spoon was sufficient.

Drinks: Members of the Cipriani Club have an access to a private bar and terrace upstairs, the rest of us can have a drink at the restaurant’s bar left from the main entrance. To have your aperitivo is a must at a true Italian establishment. We have ordered Belini, a cocktail made of champagne (or prosecco) and peach pure and were not disappointed. A perfect start to the evening. The wine list is prevailingly Italian. Ordering Antinori’s white Chardonnay was a safe bet, although not a cheap one. A bit oaky to my palate, rather resembling New World Chardonnay, but it went well with our food or politically incorrectly said it made the food better. On another occassion we ordered much cheaper white Gavi di Gavi from Scolca, yet it was quite weak with the food. It is rather a refreshing aperitif than wine matching up cheese and many of the pasta dishes.

The after dinner cappuccino I had in July 2012 was a disaster! At a vending machine in Milano’s subway I get a better and a much cheaper deal. The foam was airy, not creamy enough and the coffee too strong for a cappuccino, it was resembling the French take on this otherwise delicious coffee speciality.

Opening hours & Contact: Everyday 7pm to Midnight; Tel: +377 93 25 42 50

Address: 1, Avenue Princesse Grace, 98000 Monte Carlo, Monaco.

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