Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ristorante Gianni

We consider this Italian restaurant to be one of the finest in Bangkok. There is no scarcity of Italian restaurants in town, but this is one that is consistently delicious. Ristorante Gianni is owned by of course, Gianni. A man who has been living & cooking in Thailand for about 20 years (I think). He is also a very nice & friendly person. He has a huge following, and we are part of that group.

The first dish was red tuna tartar. Very fresh tuna hand minced and mixed with fresh herbs, shallots and extra virgin Italian olive oil. A simple dish but always flavourful.

The next dish was home made ravioli filled with goat cheese & pistachio paste with mortadella cream. An amazing dish. The ravioli skin was thin, the sauce was rich & intense but not too creamy which I do not like. The filling of fresh goat cheese and pistachio paste was a new one for me and I really liked the combination.

The first wine we had to accompany our starters was an Alain Chabanon Trelan 2oo4. It was drinking amazingly well. This has got to be one of the most unique white wines of the Languedoc. It is a blend of 54% Vermentino (an Italian grade by origin) and 46% Chenin blanc. It is complex yet astonishingly fresh. It has flavours of ripe white fruit, almonds and walnuts. It is a very polarizing wine. People either love it or hate it. We are on the side of loving it.

The next dish was lamb shank braised in red wine, topped with fresh vegetables and matched with grilled polenta. A rich and filling dish. Very delicious. The lamb shank was cooked perfectly. It fell off the bone and you could cut into it like butter. The grilled polenta was the perfect company to soak up the rich red wine sauce which gave the polenta that extra wonderful flavour.

The next dish was grilled beef tenderloin carved on a bed of mushroom sauce. Spinach and creamed potatoes on the side. The beef was cooked as ordered and it was a tender piece. The sauce was light which was correct because the sauce should not over whelm the meat taste. The only thing that was not needed and was not good was the single onion ring. It was over fried and crumbled to pieces when I bit into it. However, it is a very very minor critic which did not ruin the dish at all.

The next dish was hand twisted fresh pasta with lamb ragout fragranced with rosemary. This is one of my favourite dishes at Gianni's. It is what I consider a comfort food. Easy, tasty and filling. The fresh pasta is light, the lamb ragout is rich with a hint of lemon and rosemary.

The second wine we had to accompany the main courses was an Alain Chabanon Le Merle Aux Alouettes, 2004. The wine had a red ruby colour. The wine had the nose of ripe red fruit, spice & wood. It was well balanced, good acidity, nice oak, smooth tannins , and had a long finish. Le Merle is unfiltered and is a blend of 70 % Merlot, 15% Carignan, & 15% Syrah. Aged 30 months. A fantastic wine with our meal.

Overall, Gianni's is a great place to eat. The dining room is decorated for fine dining but you always feel comfortable and welcomed. The staff is amazingly efficient, professional and friendly. Highly recommended.

34/1 soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road; 02 252 1619

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