Chef Paride Noviello lifted the lid on his new menu at Rossini’s last month after arriving from a stint as head chef at La Gondola in the Kempinski Hotel, Beijing. He’d previously spent a couple of weeks with Rossini’s consultant chef, the Michelin-starred Alfredo Russo, who was over here presenting his own new additions to the menu.
Trieste-born Paride inherits one of Bangkok’s longest-standing upmarket Italian restaurants and also one of the most stylish. The decor is steadfastly traditional, designed like the dining room of a medieval Tuscan castle, complete with heavy fireplace, a tiled floor that looks almost cobbled, and wooden beams and domes in the ceiling.
The menu, however, has lots of modern touches, while sticking to the flavours of the traditional Italian kitchen. Among the starters, seared goose liver (B790) is a rich pudding of a dish, plated with pumpkin espuma and very sweet amaretti crumble, which, as well as adding texture, balances well against the earthy liver.
Black cod (B920) is a good choice for the main course: weighty and pure white, it sits like an iceberg in potato foam, with additions of olives and San Daniele ham powder adding salty brine to enhance the sea flavours. The trio of soups are more traditional: Tuscan artichoke, minestrone and seafood with garlic bruschetta (B580), in which a delicate, thin and light-tasting broth has small islands of seabass and a central tower of chunky scallops.
Rossini’s has more reasonable wine prices than many restaurants in this bracket, courtesy of its Primo Vino policy, which promises “top shelf wines at cellar prices”. They have a good selection by the glass, from champagne and sparkling, to whites, reds and dessert (B220-B660). You can pick up a glass of 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, by the very respectable New Zealand winemaker Sileni, for B280, which is pretty good value in this setting. And bottles, starting at B995, include a long list of both Italian and French and a small selection from Spain and the New World.
There’s also a series of power lunch menus with wide choices, at B690 and B780 (two and three courses), and degustation menus (from B1500 for four courses).
To finish the meal, there are half a dozen desserts (mostly B320), such as limoncello soufflé with soft chocolate and blood orange sorbet, and a very creamy take on the classic tiramisu; or make your choice from the cheese trolley. Enjoy them to a proper jazz soundtrack with the kind of wailing sax that might have you moving to the Living Room for post-prandial brandies.
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