Thursday, 6 October 2016

Relais Blu

As soon as you walk down the driveway you know that Relais Blu is going to be something special.

Perched on a cliff top overlooking Capri, this boutique hotel is a 30 minute drive from Sorrento but a world apart from those busy streets. 
The fresh white decor with hints of blue is instantly soothing.
The dining room benefits from floor to ceiling glass, enabling a panoramic view of the scenery whilst enjoying your meal.

The head waiter who led us to our table had the perfect mix of professionalism & friendliness, which was replicated by all the staff that we met in the dining room & hotel.
As we took our seats we were reminded of Rob Brydon & Steve Coogan in 'The Trip' which features Relais Blu in an episode.

We enjoyed a glass of chilled Franciacorta whilst perusing the menu
As both couples were celebrating belated wedding anniversaries we chose  the Mount San Costanzo Tasting option with wine pairings.

An interesting bread selection was bought to the table along with Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the hotel's own olive grove.

The Welcome Entree was an octopus carpaccio served with house punch (very lemony) in a cute mini jar.

Lamb carpaccio marinated with soy sauce and served with Cetara anchovies and a parmesan crisp followed. The wine to accompany this course, Dubl Brut, Feudi di San Gregorio, is a sparkling wine, made by the champenoise method and contains Falanghina grapes which were grown in ancient Roman times. It is also a local wine, produced in Campania.

Spaghetti alla Nerano is a local dish, first created at Marina del Cantone on the Sorrento peninsula in the 1950's. It contained courgettes & 24 months aged parmesan.
The wine pairing with this dish was a Pinot Grigio from the Fruili region in north-east Italy.

My favourite dish followed - Ziti pasta filled with Robiola cheese, guinea fowl ragout & coffee. The pasta was silky smooth & the ragu tasted divine.

The wine with this course, Greco di Tufo, is another local Campania wine & is made from grapes introduced to the area by the ancient Greeks, grown on volcanic soil.

Soft veal medallions came next with celeriac puree and porcini mushrooms.

The wine pairing, a Valpolicella Ripasso from the Veneto was a lovely velvety wine, tasting of red berry fruits.
The pre-dessert, raspberry & campari sorbet, was another highlight. This was served with a flute of Moscato d'Asti from the Piedmont region,

Dessert itself was coffee parfait with licorice biscuit, hazelnut milk and Sambuca ice cream - simply stunning.

We weren't finished yet as coffee was served with a selection of mini sweet treats.

In conclusion, if you take Michelin star cooking, combine it with a stunning setting & lovely staff, and then, most importantly, add a generous amount of long term friendship, you will have the recipe for the perfect lunch.

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