Visited: April 2023
Rating: Three Michelin Macarons
The restaurant da Vittorio in Brusaporto near Bergamo was on my list since long. We often passed Bergamo on our way to or back from Lago di Garda, Abano Terme, Venezia, or Trieste but never had the time to stop by.
I reserved relatively short term and was lucky to get a Monday lunch reservation. Da Vittorio is part of a bigger family-managed high-class resort. The last kilometer of the drive leads through a residential area first, then a small one-lane road, and ends in front of a metal gate that opens if you ring the bell.
After a short walk from the parking lot through a marvelous park setting, one enters the main entrance hall of the hotel and is guided to the right into the restaurant, which consists of two big rooms. I had a very nice table at the window in the rear room, which is overall a little darker than the first room.
Study of the menu available on the internet shows four different menus and an à la carte selection consisting of starters, first courses, and a fish and meat section. Besides a long 16-course menu, vegetarian, meat, and fish and seafood menus are offered, each eight courses long. All menus are surprise menus without details about the courses.
In the restaurant, a German menu was given to me and I was informed that it also possible to combine menus meaning half seafood half meat including the famous paccheri. This was the way to go for me. Two three glasses of wine should accompany the menu, decided individually during the menu.
Appetizers were served.
Carrot and Ricotta
Mussel, Paprika and Anduja sauce
Both were delicately crafted and very tasty in their reduction to the essentials.
Next, a candle was brought and lit, followed by the request to wish for something and to blow out the candle. The wick was removed and it was explained that the rest of the candle was edible. It consisted of foie gras with an icing on it. The icing was not too sweet and harmonized well with the liver filling and the salty Amaretto crumbles on a separate plate.
As the first course of the menu three pieces of amberjack tataki were served with leek, popcorn, and paprika powder. Smoked olive oil was also on the plate. The fish was of very good quality and its companions did not distract from this.
With the courses from the sea, I took a Renitens Resistenti Nicola Biasi, a PIWI white wine cuvee of various grapes from various regions in Italy.
Four different sorts of homemade Grissini were provided (no photo).
Announced as “our tuna spaghetti” was this the first dish that really excited me. It consisted of cold tuna spaghetti, in a lukewarm umami-rich bagnacauda sauce with some grated pistachio. The fish had fantastic quality, the temperatures were just right and in its reduced form and right proportions made of it a great course. Bagnacauda is a traditional receipe from Piedmont with garlic and anchovies as base ingredients. Here it was elevated to a higher level with regard to taste and texture.
And it continued on a consistently high level. The next course was explained as langoustine from Sicily, bean salad and pork broth. Again, only three main ingredients, a main actor of fantastic quality and preparation, the right proportions and an unexpected but fitting combination. The pork broth was the dark transparent liquid on the bottom of the plate. The beige more viscous liquid was a bean based sauce. Very good.
The last course with ingredients from the sea was a real positive surprise for me. Moeke: the famous soft-shell crab from the Venetian lagoon, which is only available in two seasons of the year and in limited quantity. I was looking for this since long but always missed the season. Now I got it unexpectedly as part of the menu. It was served as fried finger food. You eat the whole thing. I asked for a spoon for the fantastic sauce.
Brioche, croissant, tomato bread
Very good bread quality
A glass of 2018 Azzardo Franchini red was served for the meat courses.
This risotto was a true umami bomb and I also told it to the executive chef Bobo which caused loud laughing at him. The risotto could not have been better: creamy rice of the right bite, umami from the parmesan, meat and its glaze and a little bitterness from the chestnuts. Simply a delicious combination.
Important events were announced non-verbally. Spoon and a fork of golden touch were placed on the table. A side table with young parmesan and three oils of increasing spiciness was pushed toward the main table. On a sudden one had a bib around the neck.
Young parmesan, spicy oils mild, medium, hot
A closed pan was brought, the lid uncovered, and the content shown. Eccolo: pasta with tomato sauce – the famous Paccheri pasta Vittorio style, which has been on the menu for about 50 years. Pasta with tomato sauce is a little bit disrespectful. It is so much more. The preparation, including finishing at the table, is quite laborious. For example, three different varieties of tomatoes are used.
And how did it taste? Very well. Three pieces Paccheri pasta of firm bite, basil leaves, and pieces of tomatoes were in a tomato sauce finished with young parmesan. The sauce is the star, and extra bread is offered so that no drop of it finds its way back into the kitchen. Where at other locations, one maybe wrinkles the nose, here it is even asked to take the rest of the sauce with bread.
The main course was composed of a veal cheek slow cooked in Port, fendant onion, and mustard puree. The meat was so tender that a knife was not needed. The jus was very intense. The puree had only a mild taste of mustard and did fit well with the other ingredients.
The cheese lorry with Italian cheeses was presented, but this time I did not order cheese.
With the sweet part of the menu I had two half glasses of sweet wine:
2016 Recioto di Soave Rocco lo Grassi
2019 Essenzia Pojer e Sandri
Banana and chocolate is a good combination but not very exciting. Remarkable here was the density of the mousse. The taste was good.
Now, a parade of mignardises, pralines, and petits fours started, which to this extend, I know only from one other place and this is the Restaurant Bareiss in black forest.
First, a mini Ferris wheel was brought to the table with mignardises in six of the gondolas.
Then, a carousel, which turned and was illuminated, was presented. A cornet with vanilla cream and hazelnut was prepared, and a piece of Columba, a traditional Italian cake of the easter season, was cut and given on a separate plate.
Cornet with vanilla cream
The next act was a box with pralines of 15 different tastes.
Pralinés, bottom, left to right: pistacchio, passion fruit, tiramisu
From the Ferris wheel:
Salami bread: raspberry
All pralines were very pure in their taste. The mignardises looked like salty mini dishes but were all sweet.
The final cut was the sweets lorry: I could only take one of the Limonchello balls, top left, because I had enough. The service was so kind and prepared a bag with everything out of chocolate for take at home.
My high expectations were fulfilled. I like the reduction, which is principle here. I am convinced that if I return and order a different menu what I will get will be as excellent as it was during this visit. The service was very friendly and attentive. With every fingerfood, and there was a lot of, a mini towel was provided for cleaning the hands.
Website of the restaurant: Brusaporto Restaurant