Frescobaldoi Wine Dinner @ Villa Danieli
Words by Craig J SelbyPhotos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
With over thirty generations from the same family behind it, this wine had to be something spectacular. Pair this with the awesome Italian cuisine, and you have what Villa Danieli termed “an enchanting indulgence” with Frescobaldi Wines.
If you choose to dine al fresco you’re graced with these viewsVilla Danieli, located on the fifth floor of the Sheraton Imperial, is one of those places that makes you forget. The charming villa, and yes, it is a stand-alone villa on the pool level, has been tastefully decorated to make you feel at home in Italy, and for a few hours, you actually forget you are amidst the hustle and bustle of KL’s golden triangle. Warm, rich colours and textures adorn everything from the floor to the ceiling, and stunning lighting create individual spaces within the restaurant for diners to enjoy their own seclusion. Our table was close to the bar (for obvious reasons), and was a private circular booth – ideal for quiet conversation with friends, and of course, to indulge in the enchantment of the food, wine, and Villa Danieli.
Interior of Villa DanieliThis wine pairing dinner is only available for October, and is definitely worth heading to KL for. As we arrived, a selection of freshly-baked bread was served, giving a selection of focaccia, ciabatta, and charcoal-bread. Accompanied by a tomato tapenade, very rich in tomato flavour, with a great texture for spreading over the bread, this was a superb start to the meal. I only got to try the ciabatta and focaccia – both were great – the charcoal bread was engulfed by my friends first, so I can only imagine how good it was. For me, just layer the tapenade over the focaccia, serve with wine, and I’ll be good for the evening.
Creamed Cod and Cauliflower Mash and Crispy Salted Cod ChipsOur starter was served simultaneously with Rimole Bianco – a delicate golden-hued wine, soft on the palette, and a great starter for what is going to be a great night. The wine was not too heavy, as one would have expected from its colouration, and offered a well-executed balance to the Creamed Cod and Cauliflower Mash – a delightful small bowl of creamy seafood puree. Add in crispy salted cod chips, and they were thinly sliced and super-crispy, and the flavour was taken to the next level with the juxtaposition of creaminess against saltiness. A great start … with a lot more to come.
Rimole BiancoThe Antipasto course was served with two items sharing the plate. On one half was the smoked salmon, the other, raw tuna. I’m a huge salmon fan, so went for that first. Rosemary smoked salmon pieces were light to the taste buds, with a distinctive smokiness about them. Served on beetroot mille foille, thinly sliced pieces of beetroot, enabled the flavour of both to be enhanced. The raw tuna was served salsa style, topped with creamy burrata and Mediterranean vegetables. This element gave for a unique combination of textures as well as flavours.
Rosemary Smoked Salmon, Burrata and Extra Virgin Olive Oil MousseServed with Pomino Bianca (Pinot Bianca), a non-aged white – this was extremely light on the nose. Ideal for seafood dishes, as the wine was tastefully done, but ensured that the distinctive salmon and tuna flavours shone through. This was perhaps my favourite wine of the night; mostly because it is something I could see myself drinking quite regularly.
Pomino BiancaWe now moved onto a red wine, Tenuta Di Castiglioni, a light red with an uncomplicated flavour. Paired with Ravioli, this again was a well thought out dish executed with style. The ravioli were potato and mascarpone, smothered in a light pepper goat cheese fondue, and sprinkled with crispy cured beef ham. The crunch from the beef was evident, and this added a whole new dimension to the silky smooth ravioli. Served with fresh greens on top, the texture balance was very nice.
Tenuta Di CastiglioniPotato and Mascarpone Ravioli with Light Pepper Goat Cheese Fondue and Crispy Cured Beef HamAs we approached the main dish, the game was stepped up a level. Wine was a Brunello, a rather more complex and deep red – delightful to drink, but one that makes you stop and think for a bit too. Unlike the earlier wines which were very easy drinking, the brunello is for someone who truly appreciates good wine and wants to think a little deeper about it. Great viscosity (legs, as they say), the wine is 100% brunello, and clung to the edge of the glass well. A truly delightful wine, and well matched to the pan roasted lamb rump which was the main. A creamy thyme pumpkin puree propped up the lamb, and the citrus glazed lamb jus bought the traditional meat and vegetable dish together. Stunning mouthfuls of perfectly cooked lamb – this dish is a must have. The sautéed asparagus was also delicious.