The intricacy and tradition ofItalian regional cooking mean that there has never really been much need tolook to experimental molecular gastronomy, the likes of which is being guzzleddown by patrons in Spain and the UK. But the combination of the two was always going to be spectacular, and there’s a little monastic enclavein northern Italy where it is now possible to sample a new age of Italian food.Here, Massimo Bottura – a disciple of Ferran Adrià – has said, “Impossible isnothing”.
On New Year’s Eve, there is still availability at Bottura’s intimate Osteria Francescana – the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Modenathat currently sits in fifth position on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.He is the chef that brought five ages and textures of Parmesan cheese into onefamous dish, so expect the kind of seven-course menu that might require anapkin draped across the lap during the flight over for thoseslavering feverishly in anticipation.
Delicacies on the €250 menu includeSardinian shrimp, smoked caviar, risotto mare nostrum, langoustines, scallops,razor clams, mussels, calamari, roasted blue Breton lobster, a foie grasterrine and a dish of bue di Carrù – ox raised for a minimum of fouryears and dry aged for two months. Bottura says: “This exceptional cut of meatwith purple undertones will be served with a pure velvet concentration of bonemarrow and the elegant Tuscan Sassicaia ’99, and finished with black trufflesfrom the hills of Bologna – both in the creamy potato and shaved on top of themeat.”
A midnight surprise sees a bite-sizedversion of traditional Modenese cotechino pork and lentils served with champagne.Come to eat and smile.