New jewels in Città Alta

Relais San Lorenzo’s Hostaria in Bergamo and the promising talent of Antonio Cuomo

12-01-2014

The dining room and the archaeological setting of Relais San Lorenzo Hostaria, opened last summer between the Venetian walls of Bergamo Alta, tel. +39.035.237383. The chef is Antonio Cuomo, originally from Naples

Something is changing in Bergamo, after famous chefs as Ezio Gritti of Osteria di Via Solata (who took a flight to Bali) and Fabrizio Ferrari (previously at the Roof Garden) left the market during 2013. To balance these defections there’s a new entry by a young and promising chef who is now at the helm of the restaurant inside Relais San Lorenzo, the new luxury hotel in Città Alta.

Among the Venetian walls, restaurant Hostaria has been standing out since its opening last summer. It is incredibly built among the Medieval and Romanic ruins of the old city, with tables next to archaeological findings and a setting that has similarities only with Arrop, Ricard Camarena antique restaurant in Valencia, also located among the ruins of old Valencia, in the basement of a hotel. The kitchen of the Hostaria, a small jewel seating 35 people, is guided by passionate and self-trained chef Antonio Cuomo, 33 year-old, with a father who worked on cruise ships and a recent past at Settecento in Presezzo, also in the province of Bergamo, where over the years he stood out because of his strong personality as well as his sensitivity and eagerness to learn.

Zander trilogy from classic to modern

Zander trilogy from classic to modern

Of unmistakable Neapolitan origins, but professionally trained up North, while remaining in close contact especially with the world of pastry and bread making (with courses with Fusto, Scabin e Berton), Antonio Cuomo has broadened his horizons moving deftly and with sagacity around the kitchen, committing himself with a gourmet menu. He’s been doing so with very personal choices, the right attention for design inside a dish, a few small extreme choices in taste that need to be softened, a preference for fish ( “I like it because it gives me more flexibility in its preparation”, he says), but also a love for fruit and spices.

Not to mention his giving value to local produce, something the chef enjoys re-interpreting in a less traditional key. How about his dishes? Start with a (powdered) Broad been granita with bacon and walnuts, but then move right on with more structured dishes such as Fresh egg pasta fagottelli with squid ink filled with salted codfish with a soft pea cream, confit tomatoes and anchovy chips, the Umbrine fillet in oil-cooking with mussels, broccoli and corn, the Zander trilogy from classic to modern (that is to say, with potato sauce with lemon aroma, creamed with black polenta with summer truffle, steamed with sprouts, mint and pine apple).

Antonio Cuomo, 33 years old

Antonio Cuomo, 33 years old

Or the Risotto with valley gorgonzola, powdered pistachios and Valcalepio rosso wine reduction, on top of a personal interpretation of Bergamo’s traditional Casoncelli, which he prepares with butter, sage and crispy pancetta. Among the desserts, you can direct your attention to the Pineapple semifreddo with maraschino transparency and oranges on a mango coulis, or the Cheesecake made with creamcheese, lemon, raspberry geleé, Noto almond biscuits and cinnamon.

Hostaria del Relais San Lorenzo
piazza Mascheroni, 9a
24129 Bergamo (BG)
+39.035.237383
Average prices: starters 18, first courses 15, main courses 26, desserts 10 euro
Closed on Mondays. Open at lunchtime only from Fridays to Sundays


Sections

Spotti e mangiati

The establishments, tastes and cooking personalities in Europe, as seen by Gualtero Spotti