Posted September 26, 2012 by renospiteri in Uncategorized

Ristorante Marenna- Sorbo Serpico, Avellino, Italy.

Lunch at the Michelin Star – Marenna Restaurant, at Sorbo Serpico, Avellino, Italy on the 21st of September, 2012.

The Marenna Restaurant in Sorbo Serpico, Avellino, is part of the Feudi di San Gregorio Winery. It has been awarded a Michelin Star, and is working endlessly to obtain their second star, but this of course is the sole jurisdiction of the Michelin inspectors to decide if and when. Our group consisted of twenty-four persons, and we were booked at this venue weeks before. Needless to say we were all looking forward to this dining experience, and the planned menu that was presented to us contained the Chef’s recommendations including a variety of wines that were each paired with the dish and course that was served at any one time.

The kitchen, glass enclosed
but can be viewed from the
The Kitchen: 

Here you can see that the kitchen is nice and large.  Being the kitchen of a huge winery,  I think the budget part isn’t really that important here, because they have all the best of the best you can get in this place.  From Robot Coupe to Paco Jet, to a huge Cryovac machine, to a very fast blast chiller, they had it all. One thing was missing – the flames-   No, not in this restaurant.   All the heat is induction – including the induction wok and salamander.  The pastry area has an awesome bread oven too.  These details were explained to me by one of the Chefs, and it was an education in itself. I admit, I did go slightly prepared to ask the right questions, but these people are fantastic, so competent and professional, and yet, so humble and welcoming.

The kitchen is manned by three cooks, including the Executive Chef, and two pastry cooks.  Cleanliness, ease of operation all created a nice flow in profound silence. No shouting or screaming as we are apt to see in some (Michelin starred) restaurants on some TV programmes.

The Cuisine  

Preparation and presentation was excellent in all respects, with supreme quality of fresh ingredients, cooking and preparation and in final presentation of this exclusive six course lunch.
Amuse Bouche – dried cod
and potato.
Zeppola di bacala, verdure in
carpione e germogli.

Pasta e patate…al fumo.
Risotto con provola e essenza
di porcini.

Filetto di vitello con scarola
e olive.
Soffiato di nocciole con ghiaccia
di ricotta e pere al pralinato.

Feudi di San Gregorio
Wines from the winery

 Feudi di San Gregorio wines were paired with each dish and consisted of: DUBL Rosato-Metodo Classico sparkling wine on arrival; Pinot Grigio 2011; Refrosco 2010 DOC; Serpico 2008 Irpinia Aglianico DOC; Piano Di Montevergine 2007 Taurasi Riserva DOCG; and finally a magnificent dessert wine the Privilegio 2010, Irpinia Fiano Passito DOC.

Marenna –  rare and mature
cheese selections.

Don’t ask me because I do not know exactly. The cost of this lunch with wines all inclusive, was included in our tour booking price, but as is normal in this kind of restaurant, prices are quite expensive as these establishments do not normally have a too high concern for costs, as long as the look and the quality is there. But as far as value is concerned, this lunch was worth ever euro paid for it.

My final comment is, that the cuisine presented was exceptional in flavours and quality, and where the adage “less is more” never had so much meaning. The whole dining experience was superb in all respects, quality cuisine, service, ambience, etc.

I do realise that this review does not involve a restaurant in Malta, but is featured here for comparison purposes with local establishments and as an educational publication.