Cooking con brio at the Adagio (4)
In Monaco's little-known rue Biovès the inviting aroma of Italian cuisine signals the opening of the principality's latest restaurant, the Adagio. Chef Sandra Vatteone, who came to Monaco just three months ago, has eighteen years of experience, ten of them in the Italian coastal city of Imperia.
The menu reflects what she does best, casalinga ligure - or home-made cooking from Liguria - but also features a good deal of delicious produce from Piemonte, Campania and Sicily. And of course Vatteone brings her own Italian know-how to the table, selecting typically Italian salamis and cheeses, and turning her versatile hand to her favourite dishes: from soups to spezzatino, and mouth-watering apple, pear and chocolate cakes.
Sandra Vatteone and sous-chef Svetlana
Manager Michele Grimaldi (no relation!) has come up with a winning formula: lunchtime menus priced at a very unMonegasque €15, and for the evening meal a choice of five starters, five pastas, five fish and meats.
Pasta dishes include the macaroni with prosciutto, and gorganzola and ricotta ravioli. Meat dishes are expertly prepared, and so simple: thin slices of rare beef with thyme and rosemary jus accompanied by green beans and sauteed potatoes. On our visit, we enjoyed a great steak tartar - forget the egg and other seasonings - simply served with a little oil. The wide selection of regional French and Italian wines sets off these meals beautifully.
But the place really come into its own with the great Italian desserts: cassatina siciliana, cannoli siciliani, pannacotta, and pastiera napoletana, made the traditional way with wheat and ricotta.
For further information on this wonderful addition to the Monaco eating scene, visit our directory.