A story of love and fine dining

At ConFusion in Verona (and Porto Cervo) Italo Bassi and Tatyana Rozenfeld team up in an original format

05-06-2017

Tatyana Rozenfeld and Italo Bassi: two hearts and two restaurants with ConFusion in Verona and Porto Cervo. Photos by Tanio Liotta

Chef, when are you reopening the restaurant in Porto Cervo? «The first week of June». And when are you closing in Verona, for the summer break? «The first week of June». Logical, but for sure one could have a little ConFusion – just to mention the name of the establishment – in this roaming of Italo Bassi between Veneto and Sardinia, and that of his cuisine between East and West, with a Japanese echo in the setting which has a decor for which, thanks also to wife and interior designer Tatyana Rozenfeld, «some people here in Verona refer to it as of “Lithuanian taste” because they are provincial and they don’t get it» she explains – indeed she has Russian-Lithuanian origins. Tatyana is a really nice character: she only drinks and is passionate about champagne, but she prepares extraordinary cocktails; she’s certainly original, like her style. But she has character: and she’s very friendly.

Mackerel marinated in miso and wrapped in vegetal carbon, cream of peas and wasabi, powder of dehydrated oil

Mackerel marinated in miso and wrapped in vegetal carbon, cream of peas and wasabi, powder of dehydrated oil

Slightly smoked sturgeon wrapped in rice paper with cream of broccoli, pomegranate gelatine and toasted almonds

Slightly smoked sturgeon wrapped in rice paper with cream of broccoli, pomegranate gelatine and toasted almonds

So ConFusion is the right name. Because you wouldn’t explain many things if you didn’t take into account an essential element that appears rarely in these pages and in food journalism in general: love, the irrational force par excellence. They form a strange couple, these two, but they’re very united and have shared choices that might seem bizarre, if they weren’t vivified by their relationship and an approach to challenge that one can date back to the days at the iconic TrigaboloBassi certainly doesn’t regret the steps taken in the recent years («I have beautiful memories of Enoteca Pinchiorri but it was time for a change») and continues a project that he started regardless of the obvious difficulties that one has to face when you’re not looking for a connection with a special local tradition which can be reassuring, even when working in the province.

Goose foie gras terrine cooked in sweet salt from Cervia and marinated in extra virgin olive oil with gelatine of apples with passion fruit

Goose foie gras terrine cooked in sweet salt from Cervia and marinated in extra virgin olive oil with gelatine of apples with passion fruit

Breaded poached egg fried with vegetables and sesame and a fondue of Parmigiano, pearls of truffle

Breaded poached egg fried with vegetables and sesame and a fondue of Parmigiano, pearls of truffle

He can afford it, after all: even now that instead of Pigeon in bread crust he dishes out the fabulous Yin Yang of raw red prawns, quinoa and ginger and avocado with leche de tigre and mango and fresh Siberian caviar, which is on its way to become his signature dish here at ConFusion just like the bird was in Florence. He can afford it thanks to the fame he deserved in the tri-starred and his talent shining as usual.

Fried raviolo filled with squilla mantis and artichokes with marjoram and puntarelle with cream of celeriac

Fried raviolo filled with squilla mantis and artichokes with marjoram and puntarelle with cream of celeriac

Mezzi paccheri with mussels and clams, garlic bread and bottarga di muggine: pure comfort food

Mezzi paccheri with mussels and clams, garlic bread and bottarga di muggine: pure comfort food

We had already included his Yin Yang in our perfect menu for 2016 (see: My perfect menu for 2016) so we tasted it again in one of the latest visits to Via Ponte Nuovo 9, in Verona. But we also tasted other equally convincing and intriguing dishes, which were not affected by some changes in the kitchen (the ex sous chef Ivan Bombieri decided to take on a solo adventure, to give new lymph to historic cafe Dante, also in Verona. And sushi man Masaki Inogouchi is now at Sakeya in Milan): after all there’s Italo who knows how to delight and Tatyana pairs this with creativity and intuition.

Pigeon, perfect, of course

Pigeon, perfect, of course

Sphere of milk chocolate, membrane of dark chocolate, heart of passion fruit, pearls of crispy cereals

Sphere of milk chocolate, membrane of dark chocolate, heart of passion fruit, pearls of crispy cereals

Final cocktails

Final cocktails

The duet works. And presents delicious recipes such as Fried raviolo filled with squilla mantis and artichokes with marjoram with puntarelle and cream of celeriac, which is about Italy but also recalls Bassi’s adventure in the Far East, at Pinchiorri Tokyo. We finish with really excellent cocktails, for us Lost Island (blue curaçao, syrup, aloe juice, fresh rosemary, star anise and cachaça) and Frida (tequila, guava, lime, pink pepper, flakes of black pepper). 
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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