Saturday 2 December 2006

Ciao Ristorante - Gourmet Trattoria

We decided to plan to go out for dinner tonight. So we planned it one hour in advance instead of our usual 40 minutes in advance. :) Fortunately, Ciao even had a table available (although Orbit didn't).

In a nutshell - divine! Simon decided that this was one of his top two dining experiences this year!

The atmosphere, as always, was great; service and attention to detail - flawless; presentation and taste - to die for. Oh my word, to die for and then some.

We started with a gorgeous tomato, mozarella and basil salad (see pic below) - the tomatoes and cheese are both imported from Italy for this dish.

Next, Simon had the Ciao Qua Qua - orange duck, and it was delicious, and a work of art! I had the Agnello - rack of lamb. This was heaven. The mash was creamy and full of flavour - full of fresh thyme. The lamb itself, and I pride myself on doing a great rack of lamb, was one of the best I've had. It was packed full of flavour, very tender and very lean.

To accompany, we both had Italian wines. Simon had a Sicilian Merlot (2001!) and I had a Cabernet, Sangiovese (2004) from who knows where! We both went on the waitresses recommenddations, so I didn't actually catch the label of either of these. They were both very dry wines, but absolutely beautiful, and a splendid match with our meals.

Instead of finishing with dessert, we each had an affogato - and they were lovely.

So yes, a splendid meal, 10 out of 10 - as I expect from Ciao, although tonight it even exceeded my expectations. Oh - and I am delighted to see that they have extended their 'requires 3 days notice' menu. Yay! We will have to get organised some time and plan days ahead and partake of hare or pheasant or one of their other very special dishes.

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