Cucina at the Hotel Missoni

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One could sense the excitement and sense of anticipation in the air as we savoured prosecco and canapés in the stylish Missoni bar. There was a palpable feeling of eagerness amidst the crowd as we waited to move upstairs to the restaurant, Cucina, to join legendary Michelin star Giorgio Locatelli for a five-course gala dinner to celebrate the launch of a new wine range from Santa Margarita. The banquet had been designed by head chef. Mattia Camorani who had been given the challenge of matching the menu to suit the wine choices.

Camorani prides himself on cooking traditional dishes with flavours that take you back to Italy, as he’d explained to Foodies when we met him earlier in the day. This policy is obviously working, because we could have shut our eyes and imagined we were in Italy – most tables were occupied by groups of his countrymen and Italian was the language of choice.

Our evening began with with a soup of mussels and fregola sarda (a toasted pasta similar to cous cous) with croutons, followed by pheasant filled ravioli with rosemary jus. The mussels were served with Santa Margarita’s signature Pinot Grigio, and the ravioli with an aromatic Malbech Veneto. Each wine was more than a compensation for the lack of promised croutons!

A fish course of cuttlefish and orange made for an unusual but refreshing combination, slightly marred by the grainy texture of the cannellini bean sauce. By contrast, the main course – lamb shoulder with chianti sauce, peppers and aubergine puree – was definitely the star of the evening. The lamb was beautifully tender, and the aubergine puree was melt-in-the-mouth delicious – looks, taste and texture came together and were a perfect match for the earthy Chianti Classico Riserva.

The dessert wine – Vinsanto del Chianti Classico – proved to be my personal favourite and went amazingly well with the filling of the apple tart. It could have been a perfect finish if it hadn’t been for the amaretto ice-cream on top of the tart, which was slightly overpowering.

Camorani has great plans over the next few months to celebrate Italy’s best food and produce, beginning with Lombardy and then Venice. On the evidence of this meal, it should be a fascinating journey.

Hotel Missoni Edinburgh
1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD
0131 240 166
www.hotelmissoni.com/

Cost

Bill for two:£100

Hours

Lunch: 12 noon-3pm
Dinner: Sun-Thurs, 6pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 6pm-11pm

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