Σάββατο, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Sale & Pepe, North Italian culinary ambassador


Sale & pepe is the Italian restaurant of sommelier Ivan Ottaviani at the area of kolonaki in the center of Athens. Located by the hills of Lycabetus in a very narrow alley this is certainly a restaurant that you need to search a lot to find it. My first good impression was the beautiful decoration which travels you to south tirol in the borders of Italy and Austria. Wooden walls, chairs and tables with a mix of style between a typical North Italian trattoria and Austrian stuba. Second good impression was the wine list, the biggest I have ever seen! The list had at least 100 pages and it was mainly focused in the old world with prices starting from 25 Euros a bottle and ending to chateau petrus… The Greek vineyard was represented by all regions and there were also options from older vintages. Thumps up also for the amazing wine glasses as they are an important part when you want be a considered a serious wine restaurant.  The only reason not to give a 10 of out 10 in this wine list is the prices which I believe should be reconsidered. I decided to go with an Italian wine as I strongly believe in the regional match of wine and food.  The wine was a 2009 Fattoria Zerbina Ceregio Sagniovese and It was love at first smell! Color was ruby red while the nose was full of wild berry. The tannins were pleasingly dry, as much as I like them to be, despite the young age of the wine and finish was long.
Mr Ottaviani kindly offered us some Pumpkin gnocchi while we waited for the first course which was a fennel soufflé that I enjoyed very much.  My main course was an Arrosto made of Chianina beef. Chianina is an Italian breed of cattle and it is used for the famous bisteca alla fiorentina. The meat was cut and grilled in very thick slices but it was a bit more cooked then I wanted it. The chocolate fondant with orange sorbet was the prefect way to end this dinner.
What I should mention in the first place is that we used a coupon for 50% discount on the dishes which in the end brought a very reasonable amount of the money to pay. The standard menu prices though come from another period of Greece before crisis. I can accept such prices for a restaurant that has something new to offer but sale & pepe is a typical north |Italian trattoria and that’s how they should charge the customers. Mr Ottaviani who is a real gentleman should think twice about the prices if he wants to have more then 3 tables on a Saturday night.

Cuisine: 6/10
Wine List: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 10/10






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