New water in Cadore

AGA, the restaurant of young chef Oliver Piras, is named in the local Ladin language

14-07-2014
Oliver Piras and Alessandra Del Favero are partner

Oliver Piras and Alessandra Del Favero are partners in life and in business. They met in the three-starred restaurant Da Vittorio in Brusaporto, while were working for the Cerea brothers. A few weeks ago they moved to San Vito di Cadore, where inside Hotel Villa Trieste, owned by Alessandra’s family, they opened AGA (tel. +39.0436.890134)

From Casoncelli to Casunziei, one could say, as Oliver Piras moved from the hills of Bergamo, where he worked at restaurant Da Vittorio owned by the Cerea brothers, to the mountains in Cadore. Here, a few days ago, he opened together with his partner, Alessandra Del Favero, also a chef whom he met in the very Brusaporto, restaurant AGA (the Ladin word for water) inside Hotel Villa Trieste, owned by Alessandra’s family.

Quite a big bet for the young (28 years old) chef from Cagliari and the even younger partner (25) who have first created a bistro seating some forty people, dedicated mostly to classic local cuisine and created to meet the needs of the hotel’s clients (canederli, casunziei and other mountain dishes are compulsory…), and then opened, a few days later, a fine dining restaurant, with only four tables seating a total of sixteen people.

The vegetable garden behind the hotel is a precious source of raw materials for Oliver’s dishes

The vegetable garden behind the hotel is a precious source of raw materials for Oliver’s dishes

A small room with light wood, very intimate and elegant, that in some way shows the previous experience of the couple and most of all their deep passion for Nordic cuisine. Not the Scandinavian one, that is, but the one from Italy’s North-East. This is how a series of very natural and vegetal dishes, even essential ones, were created, built following the rhythm of the seasons and looking at the best production of local producers, as well as products from the vegetable garden, fully using the tiny plot of land behind the hotel for vegetables and herbs.

In some way the opening of AGA represents a turning point in the rather static panorama of Codore’s cuisine. Over here it is hard to find dynamic kitchens, distant from tradition. Oliver and Alessandra, instead, like to experiment with judgement, in a difficult, mostly seasonal market, which finally opens the horizon for those who are used to visit, at least over here, Val Badia. At least if they want some satisfaction when dining out.

The beautiful Oscar’s Quail, named after the producer (whose family name is Colussi) who supplies the main ingredient

The beautiful Oscar’s Quail, named after the producer (whose family name is Colussi) who supplies the main ingredient

The passion and initiative of the young couple is somehow contagious and the dishes that arrive in the dining room are a nice concentrate of Alpine flavours matched with decisively modern techniques and aesthetic combinations. Take, for instance, the Al-pine artic char, paired with dashi, the crispy Pork head with tomato, mustard and honey, the Aubergine risotto with ricotta and shabu shabu made with river crawfish, Oscar’s quails (a trusted producer from the valley) with red onion and barbecued cabbage and the refreshing Fresh cheese cloud with wild sage and cherries.

At AGA, following a trend in the North, you cannot choose from the menu: there’s only one tasting menu that changes almost daily. And those who do not feel like taking the entire tasting journey, can pick some dishes of their choice from this small menu. There are few, well chosen wines to be matched, from a cellar that is constantly evolving.

AGA Ristorante
Via Trieste, 6
San Vito di Cadore
+39.0436.890134
info@agaristorante.it
Closed the whole day on Wednesdays, always open in August
Average prices à la carte: starters 13 first course 16 main courses 20 euros
Tasting menu: 67 euros


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