As this was my very first visit to Piccolo Mondo, I could not help but have gotten my hopes up, and last night, as I walked into elegant, well-designed interiors with marble finishings and sophisticated high ceilings, I was impressed.
Once we were seated, I realized that Piccolo Mondo offers a unique (and well-priced) meal selection for dinners which is broken down into:
1. Whether you would like a two course or three course meal combination with a selection of meat, fish, chicken and vegetarian dishes, which change every four weeks and
2. Whether you would like the food only menu or a paired menu (for those of you who like me enjoy their wines but aren't experts). Food and wine pairing has become the latest trend as far as fine dining is concerned so what could be more enjoyable than an expertly paired selection of the perfect wine to go with a gourmet meal? A good pairing also manages to enhance the flavors, both of the meal and the wines that you get to enjoy.
Of course, I opted for the three course paired option (with wine), on this visit and amongst my choices were:
- The lamb to start: Spicy Braised Lamb Neck Tortellini, Spicy Ragout, Vanilla Espuma, Gremolata paired with Warwick First Lady Unoaked Chardonnay. Spicy, yet lots of great flavors and texture. This ragout was absolutely sublime.
- For mains, Norwegian Salmon grilled to perfection, served with a fine herb and citrus salad and a Rustic Salsa Verde paired with Newton Johnson Felicite Pinot Noir. I like the summer freshness of the citrus paired with the salmon and it brought out some unusual flavors for me.
- The dessert needs no introduction as it is one of the signature dishes, and for very good reason. I couldn't resist a taste of the Michelangelo Berry Crème Brûlée: Baked crème brûlée on a mixed berry compote. Perfection!
And of course, my dessert of choice always, cheese. The Artisanal cheese board was actually big enough to feed two people and I loved the generous helpings of cheese, fresh fruit and Walnut bread.
All in all, this menu was not only comprehensive and beautifully presented, but also surprisingly affordable for a dinner out in Sandton. We certainly received some of the most professional service that I have had in a long time.
*Recommendation: Piccolo Mondo have taken gourmet wine pairings to a new level, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal here and will return soon.