Ilario Vinciguerra

Ilario Vinciguerra
Pays: Italia
Localité: 21013 Gallarate-Varese (Malpensa)
Adresse: Via Roma, 1
(+39) 0331791597
Jours de fermeture: Sunday nights and Mondays
Prix à la carte: 50/100 €
Prix menu de dégustation: 35 / 80 / 90 €

 Ilario Vinciguerra, winner of the V International Award for Extra Virgin Olive Oil Recipes “Jaén, paraíso interior”, is a chef with both professional dedication and natural gifts. Though he resides in northern Italy and his wife, Marika (with whom he works side by side), is from the Piedmont region, a southern Italian feeling is expressed with passion in his cuisine thanks to his Neapolitan origins (he is really fond of Naples). His constructions, always filled with talent and reflection, combine temperament with refinement–intense flavours with sapid purity. It is astonishing to see how well he maintains that difficult equilibrium, captured time and again in his dishes, independent of the quantity of ingredients that he uses in any given formula. The exquisiteness and generosity are always distinguished here. The historical memory is always venerated, especially through a specific ingredient: the tomato, omnipresent, which is treated as nowhere else in the world. Passionate, intuitive … This is the Vinciguerra we like, more than the one who creates compositions stuffed with intellectual and artistic delirium which, despite of being very good and praiseworthy, don’t really reflect the chef’s personality and natural talent.
With the new location of the restaurant, 2011 represented an incredible leap forward in Ilario’s career regarding both atmosphere –this place is a real palace– and concepts. His amazing intellectual maturity is expressed in the way he conceives and builds his dishes as well as in the flavours he offers, always elegant and harmonious. This is a velvety, very elaborated cuisine. Except the desserts, all are new proposals. Let’s say it clearly: Vinciguerra has become one of the very best chefs in Italy. This is why he definitely deserves this 9/10.
First flash: cherries stuffed with foie gras and a hint of their juice. To keep up with the same spirit, the cook proposes a half raw scallop, slightly cooked, immaculate, garnished with a few simple vegetables that act as translucent and colourful lingerie over the charming meat of the seafood. What a delicacy! What a tenderness! What an authenticity! The oyster with iced cucumber, acid and crunchy cream of Lombard ham is a double somersault focused on the freshness from the sea and from the vegetable garden. A child’s prank executed in the Ferran Adrià’s line: “The island that isn’t an island”. A play in the form of edible candy floss whose shades and flavours remind a pizza, a fantastic pizza made of oil, tomato, herbs, peanuts, vinegar, etc. garnished with candy floss. And what can we say about the glorious handmade spaghetti with anchovy juice and slightly smoked endive: al dente, pure, with the genuine taste of pasta and a personality that is synonymous with great pleasure, like all the rest. Let’s repeat it over and over again: pasta reaches really high peaks, here. Like the gourmand pork raviolis. Or the fascinating, sublime and unavoidable tortello filled with goat cheese, covered with caviar and lain over some roasted carrot juice. The version of Caprese salad is really brilliant: rehydrated tomatoes with mozzarella foam and herbs salad. The risotto with garlic foam, parsley oil and hot pepper powder is really brilliant regarding doneness, sapid counterpoints and seasoning techniques; an extremely amazing way to reinvent ancestral flavours. Ilario is a real master of cod (maybe because of his frequent trips to Spain). After a meticulous selection of the product, he treats it in a subtle way that allows him to enhance its iridescence, taste and consistency. Here, the cod is perfumed with basil oil and set in the middle of a modern garden whose vegetables display all their delights and sweet-and-sour flavours. The main “problem” about the meat proposals is to choose between the veal cheek with aubergine and melting chocolate or the suckling pig, crunchy and buttery, accompanied with a slice of goose foie gras and lemon. One thing is sure: in this restaurant, even the greediest guests eat their fill. And as dessert, don’t miss the Gold of Naples, a kind of golden yolk that tastes like a delicate and ethereal pastiera napolitana. The rum baba, utter spongy, also deserves an excellent mark.