I love pop up restaurants and am a big fan of fine dining so when Harrods invited me to their Stelle di Stelle event I was delighted. Featuring five of Italy’s best restaurants with 13 Michelin stars between them, it’s a foodie’s paradise! Each chef hosted for one month each, and the line-up has included Annie Féolde and Giorgio Pinchiorri, Carlo Cracco, Gennaro Esposito and Enrico and Roberto Cerea.
We were here to taste the 3 Michelin starred cuisine of Italian chef Enrico Crippa Piazza Duomo. His restaurant in Alba, Piazza Duomo, is ranked 39th on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Before heading to the lower ground floor, we had a look around the famed department store. There’s been a £200 million renovation and it shows – the new Super Brands section houses the likes of Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Valentino and Ralph and Russo.
I also love the new Tom Dixon cafe that’s pictured on the left above, he’s one of my favourite British designers.
Heading down the Egyptian staircase and with our appetite whetted from a look around the legendary foodhall, we arrived at Stelle di Stelle and were warmly greeted by the maitre d. I liked the interior, it feels light and airy and the banquette seat was very comfy. We were served an aperitivo of prosciutto and Grana Padano flakes – one of Italy’s most popular cheeses and it tasted delicious. I’d definitely recommend choosing the wine pairing – our glass of Ferrari (no relation to the cars) Maximum Brut Trento DOC accompanied the aperitivo beautifully. It’s a sparkling Chardonnay wine with notes of apple and biscuit.
Next up was a complimentary salad of pea-shoots, edible flowers and herbs. It almost seemed a pity to eat such a pretty dish!
Following on was vitello tonnato, a classic Italian recipe. Combining veal poached in wine with tuna mayonnaise, it was a wonderfully delicate dish. This was served with a Birra Morretti La Rossa, a strong dark lager that was a surprising but perfect accompaniment.
We then sampled a wonderful cream of potato soup with quail’s egg and lapsang souchong tea. Enrico Crippa created a special truffle menu for his Alba restaurant as that area is famed for white truffles. The shaved truffles gave the dish a fantastic aroma and this was my favourite dish. We tasted a sparkling Ferrari Rosé Trento DOC with this course, which we really enjoyed.
Our succulent “agnolotti del plin” also had a generous serving of white truffles, and was stuffed with three roasts and served with the roast meat juices. Agnolotti are small pasta pieces, a speciality of the Piedmont region of Italy and “plin” means a pinch as the pasta packets are closed with a pinch of the thumb. This dish was served with a fabulous glass of Ceretto Barbaresco DOCG 2011.
After this, came a hearty fassona beef braised in Barolo wine, served with slow-milled polenta. I am not really a fan of polenta but it actually worked very well with the beef, as did the Ceretto Barolo Brunate DOCG 2011 wine.
Incidentally, did you know how many restaurants there are in Harrods? I would never have guessed that there are 25 in all, and I hope to return to try out some of the others. Here are some details about Stelle di Stelle, hurry and visit before it finishes at the end of January!
• Timings: Lunch 12:30pm/1:00pm – one sitting. Dinner 6:00pm & 8:30pm – two sittings
• Reservations can be made by emailing email@example.com or by calling 020 7893 8700
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL