10 April, 2008

Pietrasanta - The Italian Restaurant

A quaint, tranquil neighbourhood nestled in the course of lush greenery off Portsdown Road, Wessex Estate is a colonial-style residential area with charming black-and-white houses.

As a unique heritage area in one-north, Wessex Estate is slated for development into a creative enclave in the years to come while preserving a haven of old world charm.

And it is at the converted ex-Judo Federation Clubhouse at Wessex Village Square that you will find Pietrasanta, The Italian Restaurant – named after a town on the coast of northern Tuscany in Italy.

Opened by Jennifer Tan and her husband, Loris Massimini, an experience Italian chef who honed his skills in Italy and Singapore, this restaurant will be officially opened on Saturday, 12th April. One of the things I like about this place is the simplicity of the décor and furnishing. Diners have a choice of sitting in the spacious dinning area inside or dine al fresco outside the courtyard.

For a start, we were given Home-made Breads and Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinaigrette to dip with. The bread was well flavoured with herbs though I preferred them to come hot instead of served cold.

For appetisers, we started off with the Carpaccio Di Manzo Con Grana Padano E Ruccola, or Thinly Sliced Beer Tenderloin with Rocket Salad and Shaved Parmesan with Lemon and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dressing. I mentioned here before that I am a huge fan of rocket salad and shaved Parmesan (not powder, or thin strips but SHAVED!), but even with biasness aside; this is one of the best rendition I have ever tried. The beef was very fresh and the lemon and olive oil dressing harmonise with a refreshing sensation to this dish. Serving was also generous at $15.90.

The other appetiser we had that evening was the Saute Di Cozzae Al Pomodoro Fresco, or Black Mussels in White Wine and Fresh Tomatoes ($18.00). This is another dish I find it irresistible – in fact I preferred this version much better to the tomatoes-based Chilli Mussels one finds in Perth. The mussels were fully infused with the wine, thus enhancing the sweetness of the meat, and the tomatoes add a lovely sourness touch to it. However either due to overcooking or me taking my time to capture the perfect shot, some meat from the mussels actually shrunk to a pathetic size – nevertheless, the serving was still ample for the both of us.

Risotto Ai Porcini, or Italian Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms ($19.90) was my choice for main and was it excellent! The risotto was satisfactorily done al dente and the grains came fully flavoured of the mushrooms that produce a pleasant nutty taste with a smooth and not too overbearing aftertaste. Somehow, I also like the texture of the onions in the dish, which produces a delightful crunch with every bite.

My friend picked the Gnocchi Di Patate Con Salsa Al Gorgonzola, or Home-made Potato Gnocchi tossed with Blue Cheese Sauce ($18.90). I am not a big fan of gnocchi to be honest, what’s more one mixed with potato, as I often find them too filling for consumption but I have to comment that the sauce is pungently brilliant! One would either love it or hate it – and as for me, I simply love it.

For desserts, we felt we have to order the Tiramisu ($8.90), since no restaurant will dare to proclaim themselves as an Italiano Ristorante if their tiramisu isn’t any good. The classic dessert was good, though not the best I have tried, with the cream well whipped and the biscuit soaked in just the right amount of liquor.

The Semifreddo Cioccolato Bianco e Muscato, or White Chocolate and Muscato Wine Parfait ($8.90) though was disappointing. The only blemish of the night the frozen custard was icy and difficult to scoop – my guess is that it was over-chilled. We also couldn’t make known of the wine in this dessert and the almonds sprinkled over was too overbearing for this light dessert. The only thing I like about this is that it wasn’t too sweet.

Overall this meal was truly satisfying and I will definitely be back for their Home-made Ravioli and their meat dishes. Also know it from here that given time, I foresee this place to be a hit in town – so make your way down before it gets too crowded.

Food: 4/5 (Appetisers and Mains were very good)
Service: 5/5 (Jen and Loris makes it a point to go around every table to ensure that everything is ok. Staff were attentive and tops up water every now and then)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Simple, relaxing yet classy)
Price: 4/5 (Affordable for such high standard of food)
Total: 17.5/20
5B Portsdown Road
01-03, Wessex Estate
Singapore 139311
Open for lunch and dinner, closed on Tuesday
Call 6479 9521 for reservation!

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The Bimbo said...

Wow. sounds really good. *giving it serious tot* Thanks Kalos

Camemberu said...

Nice review of a hidden find! Thanks!

His Food Blog said...

Bobo: It is, and given time once they settle down, I reckon this place will have potential.

Camemberu: Hey there! Nice of you to pop by. Thanks for the accolades!

JOjo said...

Wow! It's gg to be opened tomorrow~
I wanna go, after my exam... *laughing at myself*

His Food Blog said...

Hi jojo!

Yep. It it will be officially launched by JTC tmr.

When is your exam gonna be done? I am pretty sure the crowd will start streaming in once the news gets out.

I honestly wish it weren't turn out to be another Dempsey cos I really love the ambience now.

Chef Jeena said...

You have a fabulous food blog. :-)

His Food Blog said...

Hi Jeena,

Thanks for the compliments!

Anonymous said...

hi i stumble upon ur review and tried it for my bdae dinner.

i tried the sausage with cheese raviolli. it was really nice!

but you should try the lamb racks. it was soooo soft, and tho medium well, it doesnt have any smell. it literally melts in my mouth.

thanks again for the lovely review. to me personally, this italian place really works for me. =)

His Food Blog said...

Hi inyk,

Firstly I just wanna wish you a happy belated bd - I am glad you enjoyed yourself at Pietrasanta.

I have since been back during mother's day and I have tried both the ravioli and lamb racks. I fell absolutely in love with the ravioli, and as for the lamb racks, they are good but tend to be slightly more on the salty side.

Having said that, I will be organising a dinner there with my fellow foodies on the 30th May (Friday) and if you are interested, you are welcome to join us. :)

Anonymous said...

e food seemed really gd cuz is always full house there..i worked part time there but yet to try e food..next time shall try it out..whaha

Cindy said...

If it's proper tiramisu, it should be all marscapone cheese and zero cream. They only use cream coz..it's cheaper. Bleah.

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