Nardini Grappa in Singapore

Gorgeous GRAPPA!

Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet

The intrepid Travelling Gourmet hosts a dinner with Italy’s oldest Grappa maker…

MOST people have heard of Ernest Hemingway, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His favourite Grappa was Nardini, and his book, “A Farewell to Arms” was set in Bassano del Grappa where the Grappa is made. Recently, the 7th Generation owner, Il Padrino di Grappa (Godfather of Grappa) Antonio Nardini was in Singapore, and so I organised a special dinner. I invented a cocktail called ‘Goldfinger’ as an aperitivo and working with my friend, Chef Salvatore, created a menu where Grappa was in EVERY dish!

In 1779, Bortolo Nardini bought the "Osteria sul ponte" at the entrance of the famous Palladian Bridge over the River Brenta. He started making Grappa with the pomace left over from wine making and a few copper vats. Now Nardini has two distilleries plus a modern bottling center. I must also mention ‘Le Bolle’, their space age laboratory which always makes me feel I have been transported to a distant solar system when I visit.
The dinner began when I did my signature "Sciabola" and sliced the top off a bottle of Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ‘Crede’!
The sparkling Prosecco married well with aromatic green pear poached in Nardini Grappa wrapped in 20 month old Proscuitto ham. Next, a traditional Tuscan tomato soup poached a tender Grappa marinated scallop inside. The Salvia (sage) leaves used in the dishes had been specially air flown back by myself. I had been sent to Italy to be a Wine Judge just before the dinner.
An appetising pasta was incredibly tasty Grappa Gnocchi caressed with crabmeat & Arugula leaves on a bell pepper salsa.
What a cheek!
My main course of ‘Brasato di guancale di manzo’ starred beef cheek marinated in Grappa, Juniper berries & spices for 5 hours…then slow braised for 4 hours! Amazingly delicious as the lingering flavours of the Grappa danced delightedly on my palate. It went well with a round and fleshy 2005 Chianti Classico Riserva. Another goodie was Line-caught Wild Sea Bass with Asparagus Spears & Grappa Salsa.
Grappa and dessert go together like coffee & cream, and traditional Semifreddo with Grappa & Espresso coffee glaze plus a  Budino di Polenta (corn pudding) smothered with a Grappa compote of forest berries were absolutely fabulous!
With Espresso it was time for more Grappa as a ‘digestivo’ and my good friend, Antonio, one of the nicest people you could ever meet, explained with a mischievious grin, "This is Ruta, and it is an aphrodisiac like Viagra!" Inside the bottle, you can see a Rue plant branch and the Grappa has a greenish hue. I like too the Riserva which is aged for 15 years! Gorgeous Grappa does great things to you…
Salute! (Italian toast) {:-)

Prego

The Fairmont

80 Bras Basah Road

Singapore 189560

Tel: 6431 5156

Hours: Daily Lunch 11.30am  to 2.30pm

Dinner 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Supper 10.30pm to 1am

 

Ambience  ****                   Cuisine  4.5*              Service ****

 

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About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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