Free hand Lopriore in Como

Having left Siena, Paolo starts over in the city where he was born, faithful to himself, following the theme of freshwater fish

07-10-2014

Chub... roots, apricots, almonds and bay leaf, a dish from the menu at Kitchen, Paolo Lopriore’s new restaurant in Tavernola, Como, tel. +39.031.516460.

“Who would have thought, I’m in Como. I took back something with me [from Siena] and something new will arrive. For sure, in this menu you will find a “free hand” interpretation of our days. Wishing you a serene moment…”. Signed Paolo Lopriore.

This is how the menu in the new restaurant of the chef from Appiano Gentile, Como, begins. Before that, he was working with Marchesi at L’Albereta, and at Certosa di Maggiano’s Il Canto, in the green countryside of Siena where in the long run the relationship with a city and a clientele that too often didn’t even try to understand him short-circuited. This was until Paolo, in the winter of 2012/13, gave up on his innovative cuisine and later on, on the Certosa itself.

Intingolo, pure poetry. Scooping the sauce with some bread is mandatory

Intingolo, pure poetry. Scooping the sauce with some bread is mandatory

Since six months ago he’s at Grand Hotel di Como, at 41 in Via per Cernobbio, in Tavernola, the outpost of Como on the bank of Lario, before Cernobbio, easy to reach by car, via the motorway, from the last exit before Chiasso.

With a warning: Kitchen, this is the name Lopriore gave to his creature, is located inside an old recently renovated villa, separated by a council road (pay attention to the traffic wardens who can’t wait to fine those who park where it is forbidden) from the modern building of a hotel that was built some twenty years ago. You can easily get to the restaurant without even asking at the reception where it is. In other words, this is not a hotel restaurant, something that in Italy tends to have a bad image, to penalise those who cook there.

This is where Paolo pointed his flag, all seasons, all year, not paying attention to the seasonality of many hospitality activities in the area which, as soon as the sadness of the cold months arrives, after the beauty of the hot ones, close their doors and hole up.

The rice for the perch filets is first boiled in a pressure cooker, and then fried in a pan with some butter. All this with a clear Japanese echo
The rice for the perch filets is first boiled in a pressure cooker, and then fried in a pan with some butter. All this with a clear Japanese echo
A small card, slightly bigger than an A4 sheet, folded on the long side, welcomes to the cellar. As essential as it gets: three aperitifs, then three sparkling wines, three white ones and three red ones, served by the glass or as a bottle. Then there’s the menu itself, called Oggi… with three starters, three first courses and four mains, plus the dish that you would always like to find on lake Como, that is to say Rice and perch. The number of courses you want to choose is up to you: 2, 3 and 5. As for me, I chose 8 but I don’t count.

I’m particularly happy to know that the chef from Como is once again expressing himself by following his philosophy. Except now instead of Tuscany he’s in Lombardy, so expect to find lots of butter, the usual philosophy though muffled, to all appearances, with something new, and no dishes at all taken from his long time at the Certosa, except, probably, the Black cabbage soup which I imagine he will give a new interpretation to since there’s a close connection with local raw materials. And always following the theme of his beloved bitter flavour.

Slightly smoked snails, porcini and green tea. The summary of Lopriore’s philosophy

Slightly smoked snails, porcini and green tea. The summary of Lopriore’s philosophy

Paolo cooks ideas and daily market. You start with a Japanese-Valtellinese sciatt (given the use of powdered green tea which will also appear with the snails with raw porcini), then Marinated lake fish, preserved tomato, liquorish and mayonnaise, and you start to think that in the right hands and with the right brains, even the vituperated fresh water fish can reach new depths. Chub with almonds and bay leaves; perch on riso in cagnoni served as sushi, with the filets scattered on top; pike with Hollandaise sauce, cinnamon and cloves. Not the missoltino, because the warm spaghetti have been changed with butter and parsley. Apple cake for dessert and liquid meat... A genius.

KITCHEN
Via per Cernobbio 41a
22100 Como
Tel. +39.031.516460
Website www.k-como.it
Opening: single course at lunchtime, à la carte in the evening and Sunday brunch.
Prices: five course menu 80, three 55 and two 40 euros


Sections

Cibi Divini

Restaurants from all the world told in Il Giornale by Paolo Marchi from February 1994 to the winter of 2011. And since the spring, for the readers identitagolose.it