My wife and I enjoyed an excellent lunch in this training restaurant today, with five friends as our guests. The menu gave us a well-varied choice of starters, mains and desserts. I would have been happy to eat any of them! My starter was frillata di merluzzo (Yes, I had to ask - tasty little cod fish cakes, delightfully presented on baby spinach leaves with a Hollandaise sauce); most others had a spiced pumpkin soup (swirl of cream, mini-slice of grilled pumpkin and crispy bacon); for mains, some had duck breast, others pan-fried fillets of sea bream, garnished with vegetables cooked à point; desserts were split between black cherry sorbet, served with dark chocolate sauce and topped with lemon zest, and coffee panna cotta, crowned by two fat blueberries, a minuscule chocolate cigar and a tiny sprig of fresh mint. I draw detailed attention to the presentation because it somehow sums up the skill exhibited and the care taken over every element of this meal. The restaurant manager was very helpful over the booking of the meal, the maître d’ welcoming and professional, our waiters efficient and very attentive without being fussy, and we were aware of their tutor, subtly keeping a benign eye on things. At the end of the meal, all the students who had been ‘front of house’ or in the kitchen came by the tables, and we were able to chat with them over our coffee. They were very impressive young people. And we look forward to returning!
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