Casa Perbellini s. zeno Verona, Verona, 4/14/17

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Entance

Casa Perbellini is a small elegant restaurant in Verona, about an hour and a half train ride from Venice.  It is worth the trip!  They have been in this location for 2 1/2 years moving in from a country location where they had been over 20 years.  There is a smaller second dining room but the main room has a large open kitchen filling the long side of it.  We arrived just as they opened and since they weren’t quite ready we had a glass of champagne on their front patio and then they brought out a tasty cup of parmesan foam topped with tomato and basil to go with it.  Nice touches like this continue throughout the meal.  (Another example: The plating counter is covered with a heavy cloth that dampens all the plate noise on a hard counter).

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Mozzarella foam with tomato
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inside

Waitstaff all wear jackets, jeans and tennis shoes and the kitchen staff wear hats giving a comfortable feel.  Inside tables are set with a beautiful enameled circle object that later turns into a serving display for desserts.  They offer a set tasting menu or you can chose 2 ingredients around which your menu will be crafted.  We chose the set tasting menu. Portion sizing is near perfect.  Napkins are brought out after you arrive and then the amuse bouche start arriving – all amazing bites of great flavors.

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open kitchen
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other end
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interior with Erik Zonin
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interior with Stefano Zandarin, Barbara Manoni and Marco Matta
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menu cover
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lunch menu
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Frankie liked the table decoration

 

The Campari and aioli ball is really one bite and it explodes in your mouth with liquid flavor. Crispy seaweed was stuffed with guacamole and wasabi.  It was great, crisp and tasty.  The polenta tart was topped with gorgonzola foam.  It was properly gritty and another great hit of flavor.  The anchovy chip with lemon was a terrific mix of flavors.  The pomme (potato) souffle was topped with pizza flavor and it tasted just like that – such fun.  The gougere was filled with smoked ricotta and was another wonderful tidbit.

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amuse bouche (Campari ball on right)
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polenta tart with gorgonzola; crispy seaweed with guacamole
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anchovy chip with lemon
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potoato souffle with pizza topping; gougere

 

Bread is not a throwaway here – the pieces of foccacia were wonderfully tender and topped with olive oil to yield a really yummy bread that stands on its own.   They also serve a pipping hot loaf of bread with butter.  The crust is crisp and the crumb is dense, chewy and terrific.   I loved it with butter and without.  For one more choice there is also a supply of breadsticks made of seaweed flour.  They are nicely crisp, a good size and another tasty offering.

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foccacia
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fresh hot bread
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butter
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seaweed flour breadsticks

 

The last amuse is frozen zabaione and smoked caviar – a really nice intense bite.

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frozen zabaione and smoked caviar
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Frankie liked the breadstick container
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white wine front
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white wine back
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red wine

 

The sesame wafer is amazingly thin and filled with nice mild sea bass tartare mixed with chive goat cheese. They bring a bowl of licorice sauce and dip a spoon into the thick viscous liquid.  A good amount adheres to the spoon and it is recommended that you use this spoon to eat your dish.  It added a wonderful sweetness and tang to the the dish.

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presentation
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Barbara Manoni, manager, dips the spoon in the liquorice sauce
Sesame wafer, sea bass tartare, chive goat cheese with a hint of liquorice
Sesame wafer, sea bass tartare, chive goat cheese with a hint of liquorice
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from the side
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Frankie watched the kitchen action

 

The seafood salad is made of scampi, clams, squid, and vegetables.  It is served warm and all seafoods are cooked to perfection.  Mildly flavored it is wonderful.

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“Printemps” sea-food salad
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closer

 

Barely cooked sea-bream is served with artichokes.  Bottarga (cured mulled roe in this case) bits and  mint mayonaise dot the salad and add to the flavor.  The fish is moist and melts in your mouth.  A wonderful combination of flavors.

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Warm sea-bream, artichokes, mint mayonnese and bottarga
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closer
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another angle
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lots of staff
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Sommelier Marco Matta and Frankie

 

Mantis shrimps are served with crispy vegetables(carrots, salsify), vinegar and laurel jelly and  parsley emulsion.  All the jellies, sauces and vegetables worked together as one to make this an excellent dish.

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Mantis shrimps vinegar and laurel jelly, parsley emulsion and crispy vegetables
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closer
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detail
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detail
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inside shrimp
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Frankie had a rest

 

Midolline pasta was like baby orzo and was served with chopped baby sea snails – both about the same size.  Great chewy texture, this was a wow dish and demanded that you use some of that bread to get every last bit.

Midolline pasta and little sea snails
Midolline pasta and little sea snails
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closer

 

Lamb was served nicely rare with pecorino foam and garlic oil.  The sauce was reduced to a wonderfully sticky consistency.  Totally yummy.

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Lamb, fava beans, pecorino cheese and wild garlic
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closer
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even closer

 

Suckling pig is plated with truffle spiked mashed potatoes,  sweet and sour chicory, and white dots of goat cheese.  It is wonderfully moist and blends perfectly with the potatoes and rich sauce.

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Suckling pig, mush potatoes with black truffle and sweet and sour chicory
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closer
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Frankie admired the turquoise toilet seat

 

The palate cleanser is a mix of green apple, green apple sorbet and parmesan.  It is refreshing and a nice tidbit.

Green apple sorbet with parmesan
Green apple sorbet with parmesan
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from the side

 

Desserts started with a mass of cotton candy hiding a drink of coconut and pineapple.  The cotton candy is accented with lemon and is really fun and tasty.  The juice in the edible glass must be consumed first and is fun, functional and really good.

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cotton candy with lemon
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from the top
another angle
another angle
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coconut and pineapple drink inside

 

A crispy white chocolate  and rhubarb layered bar is accompanied by vanilla ice cream.  The texture of the ice cream is superb and the layered bar is good too.

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white chocolate and rhubarb
from the top
from the top
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other side
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closer

 

The Mille-feuille is rich vanilla cream with buttery layers of crispness.  This was yum x3 – a totally lick the plate sweet, butter indulgence.

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Mille-feuille
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from the top
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Frankie looked it over

 

The final treats included an orange and tangerine drink that was okay,  a lime bonbon that was really nice,  passion fruit and strawberry custards that were runny and really good, a creme brulee that was very nice, a square of peanut butter and chocolate with hazelnuts that was outstanding.  A nice, intense sweet way to close a fine meal.

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Casa Perbellini’s sweetness

 

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orange and tangerine
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lime bon bon
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strawberry and pineapple custards
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inside
chocolate and raspberry tart;  creme brulée
chocolate and raspberry tart; creme brulée
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Frankie offered to finish the custard
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peanut butter and hazelnut chocolate
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Frankie climbed the tower
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kitchen staff
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Chef Giancarlo Perbellini and Frankie

One thought on “Casa Perbellini s. zeno Verona, Verona, 4/14/17

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