There are just a few days left until Valentine’s Day, the most romantic holiday of the year a day dedicated to all lovers, established back in 496 in honour of Saint Valentine of and now celebrated all over the world. Even restaurants are preparing to open their doors to love with menus designed ad hoc by chefs to make the evening of 14th February special and unforgettable for all their guests. Read along to discover some of Italy’s most special places to toast your love this year.
Berton Restaurant – Milan
For all lovers, the renowned Andrea Berton offers a special tasting menu at his restaurant for Valentine’s, paired with Laurent Perrier champagne with dishes ranging from Cardo gobbo with bagna cauda and trout roe to lobster aspic with pistachio and orange, and continuing on to Ravioli with beef tail and Guinea fowl with cabbage and chestnuts.
Daniel Canzian Restaurant – Milan
Chef Daniel Canzian presents two special seafood menus at his restaurant, one to be enjoyed at the restaurant and the other available for home service. The star dishes include the carpaccio of scallops and winter vegetables with sea urchin guazzetto and the mezzelune of mountain potatoes with beetroot, caviar and prosecco. The “DanielCanzian at home” version is just as rich in flavours and includes the Venetian sushi box “Carnevale di Venezia” and pumpkin gnocchi with scampi, hazelnuts and shellfish emulsion.
Cocciuto – Milan
Cocciuto‘s focus is on romance with an explosion of red balloons with messages of love that will invade the brand’s three restaurant locations. The stars at the table will be the pizza special Valentina Cocciuta, stuffed with a mix of prized tomatoes, and the Cocciutelli, crispy fried doughnuts offered for the occasion in an even “hotter” version with three appetising combinations: raspberry and chilli sauce, passion fruit and vanilla cream or white chocolate and salted pistachio.
Desco – Milan
Roberto Godi, Desco‘s resident restaurant chef, aims to amaze his guests with dishes featuring refined and aphrodisiac ingredients: from Scampo Saor, served with foie gras royale, chilli chutney and dark chocolate, to Oyster Risotto served with rocket gel and candied ginger with local honey. It ends with the iconic Love Cake Balloon with a personalised dedication engraved on it. For those who wish, a vegan proposal will also be available.
Moma – Rome
Moma, the Michelin star restaurant owned by the brothers Gastone and Franco Pierini located just a few steps from the enchanting Via Veneto, inspired by the great architects of the last century and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is the ideal place for those looking for an unforgettable evening of haute cuisine and art, in the name of contemporaneity yet with an eye towards tradition. Chef Andrea Pasqualucci‘s avant-garde cuisine, based on simple and genuine ingredients from a short and controlled supply chain, enhanced by the skilful use of herbs and spices, will take centre stage. The menu will open with coastal prawns with yoghurt and helichrysum. This will be followed by two great dishes that will surprise in every mouthful by the play of contrasts and taste assonances: Rossa, sour cream, caviar and parsley and Crudo di tonno, pecorino cheese and rocket pesto. Mandarin gnocchi with smoked lobster and nduja will give the right note of spiciness to the evening, along with red turnip risotto with black garlic, blue cheese and walnut grass. The evening will conclude with two desserts: the first in the shape of a dove served in two ways with coffee, or sour cherries, and the Dark Chocolate Tart with chilli and raspberries.
Idylio by Apreda – Rome
Chef Francesco Apreda‘s Michelin star restaurant Idylio by Apreda, housed at the Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel, offers the Sapidità Essenziali (Essential Flavours) menu: starting with Tapas and Caviar, continuing with Terra e Iodio (Earth and Iodine) and Tartare di Seppia, Limone e Rape (Cuttlefish, Lemon and Turnip). The menu continues with Ricciola all’Ischitana, Verza e Fagioli and Tagliatelle alla Cipolla Rossa, Foie Gras e Nocciole, Merluzzetto e Alghe, Lumachine e Tartufo Nero and, finally, Sorbetto al Bergamotto, Meringa e Capperi and Caprese di Zucca Spziata e Gelato al Caffè.
Acquolina Restaurant – Rome
A Valentine’s Day with refined flavours also for the the Michelin Star Acquolina restaurant. The menu opens with the entrée Triglia mandarino e lentisco and topinambur come un carciofo. There are two sophisticated first courses, namely risotto with buffalo and red prawns, and tortello di cortile castagne, fine black truffle and lavender, while the second course is Lobster pumpkin and almond. The dessert course ends with raspberry hibiscus and dark chocolate.
Giulia Restaurant – Rome
Among the timeless beauties of Rome is the Giulia Restaurant. This year owner Carlo Maddalena and his staff, are preparing to open their doors to love with a special menu, created for the occasion by chef Alessandro Borgo, that is a balance between sea and land, enriched by the aphrodisiac notes of chilli, oysters, passion fruit and pomegranate. The menu opens with raw fish with oyster, lemon and parsley, followed by a duck sandwich with carrots and passion fruit. The Lamb dumplings with almonds, currants and grilled chicory will then give way to the Baccalà con nduja, mozzarella di bufala e lattughino. Dulcis in fundo the dessert-starter and is followed by a main sweet made with Hazelnut, Raspberry and Chilli. The dessert tasting ends with the Petit Four.
Aria – Naples
At Aria Restaurant, the Michelin star restaurant in Naples, the menu devised by chef Paolo Barrale to celebrate Valentine’s Day promises to be a unique experience to savour exclusive dishes.
Aria’s Valentine’s Day menu is a journey dedicated to the five senses, which surprises and seduces with its enveloping and colourful dishes. Starting with the Raspberry and Rose Scampo, which opens the lovers’ evening. It continues with the delicate mullet, fennel and saffron emincé, followed by the first course: celery buttons, hazelnut broth and black truffle. Rice, porcini mushrooms, smoked chestnuts and Marsala wine, on the other hand, conquers the palate with its creaminess and bold flavors, while Turnip and Potatoes pays homage to the vegetable, making it the protagonist of a balanced dish of great impact. Guinea fowl, scorzonera, sorbets and coffee combines the delicacy of the bird’s fine meat with the acidic touch of red berries and the smokiness of coffee, in a dish of great complexity. Finally, Valentine’s Day closes with absolute gluttony and the Dolce Tartufo, followed by the opulent small pastries created by Paolo Barrale and his brigade.