A food and wine pairing made in heaven

Piccolo-Mondo-Smoked-duck

An amuse bouche to start the Michaelangelo food and wine pairing.

Traveling for business can be tedious, especially once you’ve had your umpteenth room service meal and tried to wash it down with the small selection of wine in the mini-bar. But why should you have to compromise on quality dining just because you’re on a business trip? At the Michaelangelo Hotel in Sandton, not only will you have access to an impressive range of South African and international wines but you can also cater to your inner-foodie and indulge in the hotel’s exceptional food and wine pairing.

While most food and wine pairings start with the dish and then move on to the wine, the Michaelangelo’s Piccolo Mondo restaurant decided to turn the concept entirely on its head and instead started by tasting the wine.

‘Our food and wine pairing menu grew out of the gourmet dinners that we have at the restaurant,’ explains Heinrich Oberholzer, food and beverage manager at the Michaelangelo. ‘We taste the wines three times before serving them, so we have a really good idea of what wine might pair well with which dish.’

Piccolo-Mondo-First-Course-pairing

The first course of beetroot terrine, crème fraiche, caramelised walnuts and horseradish cream, served with Newton Johnson Felicite Pinot Noir.

Piccolo Mondo’s pairings are particularly interesting. The evening starts with an amuse bouche of smoked duck and glass noodles which excites the palate. A three-course meal with the option of an added cheese course follows. To start there are dishes like beetroot terrine with horseradish cream and crème fraiche paired with a Newton Johnson Felicite Pinot Noir or beef stroganoff paired with a Laborie Cabernet Sauvignon. A palate cleanser of cucumber and mint, served after the first course, is zesty and fresh. The second course is a truly wintry meal with choices like chicken potpie or eisbein open ravioli, but the braised lamb shank served with an Ondine merlot is particularly warming. The third course is where things get really interesting since the crème brûlée is a true showstopper, served in a cauldron of dry ice mist, but the spiced chocolate pudding served with a Beyerskloof pinotage is a treat for anyone who enjoys full-bodied, spicy flavours. If you don’t have a sweet tooth there is also an option of a cheese course with either an artisanal cheese board or goats’ milk cheesecake with rhubarb ice-cream, fig and cashew terrine and a berry salsa– this is paired perfectly with a La Motte Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Michaelangelo-Hotel-palate-cleanser

A palate cleanser of cucumber and mint.

 

Michaelangelo-Hotel-lamb-shank

Braised deboned lamb shank, red wine and mint jelly, souse vide Madagascar peppercorn pearl onion, roasted baby beetroot and minted pomme puree, served with an Ondine Merlot.

The food and wine pairing costs:

  • R395 per person for a two-course meal
  • R575 per person for a three-course meal
  • And an extra R145 to add on the cheese course

Oberholzer explains, ‘We want our diners to have an experience. We want to take them back to the true fine dining experience where every taste, texture, flavour and pairing involved in their meal is sublime. It’s not just about putting a good plate of food in front of a person. It’s about creating the right atmosphere, providing the best service and, of course, good food.’

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