Cracco is a small 2 star Michelin place that offers a quiet and elegant dining experience. The main dining room has about 8 tables and there are also a several tables on an upstairs level that opens on to the main dining room and another squeezed into a small nook. Service is very friendly and attentive but while the lighting in the room makes picture taking easier I might have preferred a slightly dimmer room. They offer a tasting menu as well as a la carte options and the night we were there was truffle season so they also had a menu of truffle courses that could be added to a tasting or your a la carte order. Be forewarned ladies, your menu will not have prices, a real throw back on gentility.
We ordered the tasting menu as well as adding one order of truffle pasta to split. While pondering your choices and the wine list you are served multiple options for snacking. There are fried rice, corn and banana crisps and leafy tempura, a box of dried crispy vegetables (in a box suitable to take with you), breads (olive oil and ciabatta rolls) and breadsticks. Then they bring a tray of small bites which looked pretty but I didn’t get down the content of any of them.
The 12 course tasting starts with a signature dish of Caramelized Russian salad. It has a gooey, mayo like inside and a crispy, sweet exterior. It is hand food and outstanding! It packs flavor and texture into each bite. Double Yum!
The creme brulee and bonito follow. The bonito is served on a wilted lettuce and the brulee had something to give it a hint of spiciness. It was mild but mixed really well with the strong tasting fish. It worked really well as a combination.
The bread and tomato was made with the pulp of the tomato mixed with basil. It had a good tomato taste with a nice accent of olive oil and basil flavors. Served on a crispy piece of bread it was hand food. Very good.
The raw meat was beef served with caper flowers and codfish cream. The lean beef had great beef taste and was super tender. It was an interesting and winning mix of tastes and textures even though it was not the most attractive.
The prawns were accented with dots of Worcestershire and parmesan crisps, which unfortunately had lost their crisp. The shrimp are served raw but a slight heating might have better brought out their taste. The various dots all offered different flavors to mix in which was fun but overall this one wasn’t as good as the previous 2.
The grilled baccala was served with wild asparagus as part of the broth. There was a crispy piece of buckwheat that had a really nice grilled taste in the bowl with the fish. It was a mildly flavored light dish that was pretty interesting.
The smoked egg was served with zucchini strips and cream. I couldn’t taste the smoke on the egg but it was perfectly cooked. The zucchini strips added a textural contrast and the cream was very tasty. In parts or mixed together it was a real winner and not surprisingly has been on the menu since the restaurant opened.
Our truffle pasta was next and talk about buttery and creamy – it was great! The truffle taste was mild as they had been grated in the kitchen instead of at the table. It was a perfect amount to split to give each of us a nice portion of this classic dish that was well worth the extra money.
The risotto was topped with a white chocolate circle that was quite sweet. Bergamot adds a sweet, citrusy taste. The sweet part was great to mix with the seaweed taste of the perfectly cooked risotto. A good course.
The Guinea fowl was served with lemon, green asparagus, baby carrots and carrot cream. Guinea is dry meat but a nice fat cap was wrapped onto the white portion to make the dryness disappear. The carrot cream was quite tasty but the barely cooked other vegetables didn’t really add to the dish other than appearance. A nice, tasty course.
The bone marrow was served with green peas, yogurt and licorice – which added a sweetness. The yogurt was served in small crisp pieces. The bone marrow had excellent richness without the usual greasiness. This was terrific! Great tastes and textures!
For pre-dessert there was almond sorbet with pineapple chunks and toasted olives along with a sprig of dill. It was an interesting mix of flavors and I liked this one a lot!
The first dessert was yogurt ice cream with wild cherry, spices and chocolate custard and crumbles. The bowl was coated with cherry juice and one solid cherry. This was REALLY GOOD!
The last dessert was accompanied by numerous other treats, just as the meal had begun. The custardy dish was Medlar fruit, with amaretto and coriander with a touch of pepper. It didn’t stand out in the array of treats to chose from. There were sugar coated almonds, chocolate coated hazelnuts, dried crispy fuits and a tray with passionfruit macaroons, peach jelly (really good), kumquat tarts, apple bar (which was fairly gooey) and a hazelnut truffle. We washed all this down with some wonderful pear brandy which the chef sent more of after our kitchen tour. What a nice ending for a lovely, fun meal.