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Image 1: In 1993, Chef Marchesi, the father of modern Italian gastronomy, has moved outside Milan to open up this restaurant in a charming Relais & Châteaux L'Albereta.
Image 2: Chef Marchesi became the first Michelin 3-star chef in Italy in 1984. Many top Italian chefs had training under this legendary chef. In 2008, he decided to return his Michelin stars as he didn't want to be treated as a student anymore at the age of 80.
Image 3: www.gualtieromarchesi.it Chef: Gualtiero Marchesi
Menu Degustazione: €180
Closed for Sunday dinner, Monday, and a few weeks in January.
Image 6: It was a very quiet Sunday lunch.
Image 7: Garden view from our table.
Image 9: These colourful brushstrokes symbolise Marchesi's cooking. They appear throughout his books and website.
Image 10: I was surprised to see him there. At the age of 80, he even stayed for the whole service, going in and out of the kitchen! What an admirable chef who truely dedicate his life to cooking!
Image 11: Alright, let's talk about our meal. Amuse bouche of sweetbread croquette with a touch of ginger mayo, cheese focaccia, and mini veal cheese burger.
Image 12: An elegant egg-holder set...
Image 13: ... with a pair of egg sabayon topped with salmon roe.
Image 14: Preparation for our wine pairing.
Image 15: A very "home-made looking" salad with seared scallops and pickled ginger. Well, I am sure some of you can make better salad at home, in terms of both look and taste! Also, a basic technical issue here - how could some scallops be much browner than others?!
Image 16: This course is better, much better! A beautiful black-yellow-gold contrasting colour plate is one of his signature dishes - a thin disk of creamy Saffron risotto with gold leaf square center.
Image 17: The simplicity allowed us to focus on the texture of each grain of rice! This was by far the best dish of the meal, al-dente rice with perfectly balanced flavour.
Image 19: It's obvious that Chef Marchesi doesn't like complicating dishes. A cuttlefish with a black sauce made from its ink.
Image 20: Then an Asian influenced dish, tempura with sweet and sour sauce made with white wine vinegar and sugar!
Image 21: Very ordinary deep fried scampi and vegetable to be honest.
Image 22: A refresher before the main meat.
Image 23: Green apple sorbet
Image 24: Gualtiero Marchesi's fillet of veal Rossini - seared foie gras sitting on a veal fillet topped with a shave of truffle.
Image 25: The meat was tender and the foie did its job of giving some fattiness to such a lean cut.
Image 26: Came with spinach on the side.
Image 27: Cheese course
Image 28: Another choice instead of the cheese was a crêpe soufflé but it wasn't good at all. It was more like a sweet omelette with a fruity sauce. Terrible!
Image 29: The main dessert was a simple vanilla crème brûlée with raspberry sauce.
Image 30: The word indicated the meal is now finished which is kind of pointless!
Image 31: Time for tea
Image 32: Petits-fours and that was it for our meal.
Image 33: Quite a disappointing meal... Our feeling is that the restaurant has way passed its time!