Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tutti Matti

Tutti Matti is a Tuscan restaurant, and the food it serves is excellent.

Sandy, Betty and I ate there last night to celebrate Sandy's birthday, and we had a grand old time!
Accompanied by a Chianti Classico, we started with some fresh bread, served with olive oil and a lovely well-aged basalmic vinegar. The bread was perfectly chewy, with a thin, brittle crust that was a delight to eat.

Over bread and wine we decided on our appetizers:
Prosciutto four ways (with melon, with fig, with peach (and I forget the fourth)
Carpaccio affumaicato: two beautiful displays of carpaccio, one of smoked duck breast, the other, smoked venison
The third had lightly smashed peas on a crostini draped with thin slices of pork (the sign for the restaurant is a wild boar: we had to have some pig!) It was drizzled with a tuna sauce. Tuna sauce! I had never heard of it before, but it was lovely, and I'm going to have to find a recipe for it. It would be excellent drizzled over some white beans, pasta, probably would work with many different things.

I think we were all agreed that the smoked venison carpaccio was one of those things you'll always remember having eaten. We also fell all over the prosciutto-wrapped baked peach. It was sinful. Almost at the foie gras level of sin. It tasted so rich, so flavourful, so balanced -- and the flavour just sort of sneaked up on you half-way through the second chew, and spread. All of them were delicious, and we agreed that we've never found bad food at any of our yummy dinners: we're all willing to try just about anything.

For mains, Betty and I opted for the ravioli stuffed with lobster and ricotta, served in a butter-sage sauce with some amazingly fresh green peas. Sandy had the pappardelle con stracotto. I fell in love with my ravioli. I think there was a little bit of lemon zest in the ravioli which gave it a nice zing to deal with all the richness of the dish. Sandy's pappardelle dish was awesome, rich, flavourful and just the thing for an autumn-feeling evening. Betty regretted having the ravioli and wished she ordered pappardelle as well. The sauce was positively unctuous.

How does one top all those dishes with a dessert? We went for the small cheese plate and the biscotti plate, and an Italian dessert wine that was thick and raisiny and light amber. They completed the meal, and finished it on a high note.

Chef Alida Solomon is to be complimented for her savvy preparations and the freshness of her ingredients.

While talking over dinner, we decided that we'll celebrate Sandy's next birthday in Tuscany. We have a year to plan.

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