In gourmet restaurant ADAGIO , inside ALMARANTO Boutique Hotel and Relais, the new season brings an intriguing challenge. Chef Mario Maniscalco has experimented with a menu composed for the first time entirely of tastings, each an interweaving of stories and reflections. Six tastings that challenge, dare and play with the senses, celebrating the land and its fall and winter ingredients.
A menu full of color and spectacle for the eyes and palate, which always maintains respect for the raw material and Piedmontese slow food philosophy as well as the chef’s roots between Sicily, Piedmont and London.
Chef Mario Maniscalco, art and cooking
“When I had to decide my life path, I was forced to make a choice between art and cooking. In the end I chose both,” explains Mario, born in 1993 and head chef of ADAGIO since 2022. “We are experimenting with ADAGIO’s identity, learning, growing and never stopping, excited to see how the project will evolve,” he continues. “The new menu is undoubtedly a fun challenge, the result of months of study and testing that pushed me outside my comfort zone and reflects the young and spontaneous spirit of my team.”
The six tastings on the new menu tell a journey of stories and thoughts. There is MEETINGS, the first menu created for ADAGIO, a Intimate journey through Mario’s life encounters., from childhood in Sicily to adolescence in Piedmont and coming of age in London, where he also ingredients meet, such as Mazara shrimp and Ca’ Bianca tower cheese in the cuttlefish ravioli by GAMBERO e TORRE.
There is no shortage of a tasting dedicated to the star of the season, TRIFULA BIANCA, a 5-course menu that aims to elevate truffles from appetizer to dessert, breaking the mold with unique dishes such as FOLIAGE, with reserve carnaroli rice, almond butter, persimmon, chestnuts, and pecorino cheese.
Reflective menus and Piedmontese tastings
Two thoughtful yet playful menus follow, consisting of five courses that challenge and in some cases deceive expectations: REASSOMINATIONS, which reminds diners that not everything is as it appears to the eyes, with spring dishes with autumn flavors, and REFLECTIONS IN THE MATTER, where sweet becomes savory and vice versa.
Finally, two tastings show that playful Mario can also masterfully follow the rules: TERRENITY, an entirely vegetarian menu with 4 seasonal (and sometimes vegan) dishes, and the traditional DISNE’ with 3 classic Piedmontese dishes including TAJARIN, LINGUA and TAGLIATA.
A nuanced menu that invites exploration and discussion, a reflection of the fine dining philosophy that is generating conversations across regional boundaries, ADAGIO was recently awarded the title “Radiant Cuisine” at Golosaria 2023 in Milan. An affirmation of the ambition of ALMARANTO, a project of German chef and entrepreneur Alexa Schulte, to infuse new vitality into Monferrato and contribute to the value of the local community.
Upcoming initiatives at the relais include a New Year’s Eve party with old-world charm, featuring a 5-course gourmet gala dinner accompanied by live jazz music. The evening will reach its climax with spectacular fireworks and a DJ set.