Kitchen’s memorable brunch

Lopriore has just reopened his restaurant in Como with a charming Sunday lunch offer

16-02-2015
Rice and duck entrails, one of the most intense mo

Rice and duck entrails, one of the most intense moments during the brunch designed by Paolo Lopriore, chef-patron at Kitchen, his restaurant inside the Grand Hotel di Como’s park, which has just reopened after the winter break

Paolo Lopriore reopened last Saturday, on Valentine’s Day. I waited for lovebirds to calm down and yesterday, on Sunday 15th, there I was, on the banks of the Lario, still part of Como though right before Cernobbio. Finding Kitchen is easy, you just need to look for Gran Hotel di Como and half of a white building in the garden, well separated from the hotel, is taken by Paolo (the other belongs to Kincho, a South American grill, still closed, just like the hotel).

Open at lunchtime and in the evening, from Tuesdays to Saturdays, it is closed on Sunday nights and the entire day on Mondays, tel. +39.031.516465, e-mail info@k-como.com. Therefore on Sunday it is only open at lunchtime and offers a brunch – no menu – which has literally touched all those at my table.

Putting aside the fields and the hills lightly covered in snow and the drizzle inviting everyone to stay cuddled at the table, I was impressed by how the chef from Appiano Gentile (Como), presented brunch. First of all, there is no buffet recalling tourist resorts and the like. You are served by regular and precise waiters while at the centre of the table you immediately find hot sliced bread (home sliced, made with whole wheat), two different types of Thun honey and home made plum jam, as well as Maldon cooking salt and butter.

You nibble a little, look outside, start to feel at ease in this place and suddenly you are handed a card on which what you will receive and what you have to choose personally is listed. There are three different moments. The first is called Alzata and is a hymn to the sweet side of the meal. Then there’s the savoury one which, contrary to the previous one is developed horizontally and is justly called Al tavolo. Finally there’s the choice of the forte, the savoury dish. Three offers: Omelette, lard and bitto; Duck breast with its gravy (I had to dip some bread in the small jug – a unique experience); Lake char, Hollandaise sauce and baby spinach. Before the coffee, a fior di latte ice cream with traditional balsamic vinegar.

We all felt as if we were in Toyland. On the footed serving plate there were Apricot croissant, Girella with cream, a spicy pound cake, Toast with fish lake roe (a strong savoury point in an ocean of sweetness), Bread with salted butter and raspberry, Identità Golose’s symbol in 2012, Sciatt with powdered green tea and a chocolate biscuit with cream and a cherry in syrup. One each, no risk of discussion as when things are not exactly as many as the guests.

The footed serving plate is then removed and other delicacies arrive, starting from the Rice boiled with pan fried duck entrails which brought me back to at least forty years ago, to Nonna Giulia, born in Milan but adopted by Como, who loved rice in broth with liver and parsley. And then salami, zuppa pavese, late radicchio with mosto cotto, toasted bread with salted butter, fruit juice up to the forte. The set menu is 39 euros, in the glasses there was Sgarzon, 2011 Teroldego by Foradori, chosen from a very small, essential wine list with a dozen labels altogether.

In a way, Paolo’s brunch recalls his first breakfasts at Canto della Certosa di Maggiano in Siena, but then there’s the final hot dish which fully recalls the food served on the other days. It’s like a bait, it tries to hook the guests so they will return for a full dinner. Lopriore wins, there’s no doubt.


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