Discover Italy’s hidden gastronomic gems at Restaurant Basilico
In the very first Prestige passions function, we have partnered with the popular restaurant Basilico de Regent Singapore to bring readers the culinary treasures of the coastal region of southwest Italy.
On March 25, we co-hosted Alicia Thian and Brian Bonde for a sumptuous wine dinner featuring signature Calabrian dishes paired with labels from one of the region’s top producers, Librandi.
During the evening we were joined by wine supplier Mario Zocca, Managing Director of Wine List Asia, and his team. While savoring the five-course menu, which was paired with four wines and one spirit, Zocca also presented a mini-masterclass on little-known ancient wines, endemic grapes, and Calabrian winemaking methods, which date back to the 8th. century BC.
Dinner learned that Calabria, which occupies the boot-shaped “foot” of the Italian peninsula, is one of the most underdeveloped and enigmatic regions of the country. Although separated from the island of Sicily by a narrow sea channel, it has a unique gastronomic heritage unlike that of the Sicilians or its neighboring regions. Calabria’s location at the confluence of cultures (Greek, Arab, Spanish, Roman and Norman) and its importance as a hub of historic trade routes, resulted in simple yet robust and spicy cuisine – and with it, du wine that is made for its food and also goes well with Asian cuisine.
Associated with the first course, the white fish fried with lemon and spicy marinara sauce, was the Cirò Bianco DOC 2019 white soft, fruity and quite refreshing, made entirely from the Greco Bianco grape. A Mediterranean octopus carpaccio served with the Cirò Rosato DOC 2020, a memorable dry rosé made from 100% Gaglioppo grapes and offering much more structure and complexity than its cousins from other production regions, also opened the door to us. ‘appetite.
The pasta dish consisted of fresh Maccheroncini mixed in a traditional and tasty Calabrian pesto, paired with Duca San Felice Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva DOC 2015, medium bodied and vibrant. Val di Neto Rosso IGT 2016, which is a full bodied red wine with a long finish that also accompanied the dish.
For dessert, the red San Felice was baked in a beautiful marmalade for the filling of the Calabresi tart, a traditional cookie that was served with the delicious Tartufo di Pizzo Calabro, a dome of chocolate and hazelnut ice cream. The Venti L-Amaro Italiano closed the evening on a sweet note, an aromatic and strong herbal liqueur blended from 20 plants, each of the 20 regions of Italy.
Speaking of regions, Basilico regularly hosts regional wine dinners. Puglia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Tuscany have been recently featured, although the restaurant has always enthusiastically promoted regional Italian cuisine over the years. If you love the famous wine and food of Piedmont and Sicily, or the unknown delicacies of Campania and Umbria, check out regenthotels.com/regent-singapore for the latest updates. Availability each time is limited to around 40 people.
Basilico, Level 2 Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715, +65 6725 3232.