Restaurant review

Magic of Mimesi at Dimora Palanca: restaurant review

FOOD + WINE

Magic of Mimesi

Helene farrell

October 22, 2021 – 10:48 AM

A month ago, I was about to throw in the towel on the September issue. It’s not really an excuse, but a bathtub kept me captive in the grandiose hotel that has just opened Dimora Palanca. Luckily for the readers (and my resume), the release, renewal, and assurance that the edition would be put to bed (on a Blessed Simmons mattress, no less) came from the bold cuisine of the hotel restaurant. , Mimesi.

On-site restaurant, Mimesi, at the luxury hotel Dimora Palanca in Florence

Subdued lighting, neutral tones, leather armchairs and fine linens welcome guests to the old Pietra Serena kitchen in the basement, now the gourmet restaurant, in the 19th century palace. Principally italian wines line up a nifty side space, all handpicked by experienced restaurant manager and sommelier Paolo Manoni (Borgo Santo Pietro and La Bottega del Buon Caffè): think of the yeast bubbles of Tuscan Chardonnay, the succulent whites by Lake Lugana and the juicy Rosso di Montalcino micro-vineyard. First of all, a amuse bouche quartet is served on marble slabs of all shapes and sizes: a crispy tangy rice, a creamy quail egg and a chocolate ceviche make the taste buds quiver and the brain cells swirl. Glancing in the kitchen, I see the chef Giovanni Cerroni, fresh from his first managerial position in Puglia, focused on the upcoming Maillard reaction explosion: an onion balanced in a frothy duo of pecorino and red wine butter. And then a dazzling surprise: open the fake olive and the liquid salad of marinated sardines explodes with a powerful vinegar that has nothing to do with the balsamic variety and everything to do with pickling. The crunch of the fried capers is a touch of magic from the chef.

Cerroni’s magic wand is waved again for the pasta class: a trick of table cunning in the form of red tagliatelle and Calvisius caviar, whose “wine” accord consists of a sublimely smoked Armagnac consomme. But it is the risotto that is equally puzzling and intriguing; it exceeds my British powers of perception to the point that the ingredient shiso warrants a quick Google search during dinner (apparently it’s an herb with a flavor of citrus, mint, licorice, a real chameleon) and a conversation with the chef around a perfect egg Benedict breakfast. “I wanted to take a classic Italian dish like risotto, raise it with smoked oysters and add the Japanese influences that I find inspiring.” Bright and original, like it or not, this burst of creativity reveals the chef’s emboldened cuisine, a talisman of his evolving culinary destiny.

Risotto with smoked oysters and shiso

Without wanting to put myself in hot water (to have possibly extracted myself from the bubbles in the bath before dinner), I would bet on this establishment which is rapidly gaining culinary ground, infinitely faster than my race the next day in the Cascine.

Honey, caramel and almond

The tasting menus start at 100 euros; wine flights from 45 euro



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