Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Most Expensive Meal of My Life

After more than ten years living in the Eternal City and several months researching food in Rome, I finally had a chance to try out Rome's famous Michelin starred restaurant, La Pergola. La Pergola is located on the top floor of the Hilton Cavalieri Hotel. Getting to the Hilton Cavalieri from Rome is not easy, as it is located high in the hills of Monte Mario, outside of the city centre.

From the moment we entered the service was impeccable. The ratio of staff to guests seemed to be 10 to 2. One gentleman takes the coats, another pushes in your seat, another unfolds your napkin, still another brings a water menu (there is a 300 Euro bottle of water on it!), same guy brings the water though. One man brings the wine list, another brings the bread basket (at least 12 times).
At a loss for what to order on the menu, we decided to try the gourmet tasting menu for a mere 190 Euro per person. As the courses began arriving, each was intricately put together and pleasing to the palate. The braised scallops were better than I have had anywhere in Europe.

This broth was not my favourite, but fellow diners did appreciate it. I guess when it came down to it, the dish that won me over was this interesting twist on a traditional Roman favourite:

These fagottini are filled with a purée of Carbonara (egg, pecorino, and pork jowel). These were melt in your mouth delicious and quickly rose to the top of my favourites for the evening. But not for long.

The fillet of beef with pistachio crust and chestnut purée will indeed hold a special place in my heart from now until eternity.

 As will this cheese cart. I nearly tried to roll it right into the elevator to take it home with me.

Oh, and the desserts were not too shabby either. Chocolate soufflé was light and just chocolatey enough to be sinful but not overbearing.

Complimenti chef Heinz Beck! The experience wouldn't look out of place alongside our Exclusive VIP Tours of Rome! I can't wait to return one day, after I save up for about 8 more years to be able to afford it.

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