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Hotels in Shanghai Herald Fine Italian Eateries

updated: 2010-06-10

Shanghai's hotels offer some of the city's best Italian cuisine, with Italian chefs using top-quality imported products to provide authentic regional dishes from the country's rich culinary heritage.

Italians are rightly proud of their food culture, and three hotels that have an Italian chef cooking some of their favorite recipes are The Longemont, Sheraton Honqiao and Gran Melia.

The Gran Melia's Acqua Italian restaurant is a stylish, sleek eatery with views over the Huangpu River.

Featuring an open kitchen, diners can watch head chef Stefano Pace create dishes from across Italy from the freshest ingredients.

"My quest is authenticity and fresh is best," Pace says of his cuisine based on southern Italian Sicilian and Roman styles.

Pace goes for a selection showcasing what he calls as the "earthy simple and fresh" flavors of classic Italian food.

The bruschetteria menu is a good demonstration of this approach: The seared goose liver, with wild Italian organic orange blossom honey and pickled lemon makes a lively starter.

Pace also crafts hand-crafted pastas, or pizzas made with imported buffalo mozzarella cheese, mineral water and pure Molino alimonti Italian flour.

For those looking for hearty mains, the Acqua grill has a selection of offerings including king prawns, a selection of local and Mediterranean fish, veal tenderloin, a 24-hour marinated baby chicken and wagyu beef.

For lovers of classic Italian desserts, Pace's classic tiramisu is a perfect sweet ending to an accomplished meal.

The Sheraton Hongqiao's Giovanni's Italian Restaurant is perched atop of the hotel on the 27th floor.

Chef Simonetta Garelli hails from the northern Italian province of Modena and her gastronomic approach is to offer classic Italian cuisine that is honest and unpretentious but prepared with passion and flair.

Garelli has run her own restaurant in Modena and has worked in London and as a chef in the Relais Chateaux Villa Del Quar, a two-star Michelin restaurant in Verona.

In 2004, she opened her own cooking school in Modena and arrived at Giovanni's in March 2009.

Giovanni's is open daily except for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

At Giovanni's Garelli she has constructed a menu that is driven by the freshest seasonal produce.

Specials change with the seasons.

To celebrate spring, Garelli has prepared a selection of white asparagus-focused dishes to showcase this fresh seasonal vegetable.

Currently in season, asparagus has been used in Mediterranean cuisine since the ancient Greeks and this versatile vegetable will be part of a three-course set menu prepared by Garelli.

The set costs 238 yuan (US$34.85), plus a 15-percent surcharge, and includes a glass of wine.

With new chef Luca Voncini at the helm, the Longemont's Amici Restaurant is showcasing modern Italian dishes as well as classics.

Signature dishes include a beetroot and fine herbs gnocchi flavored with fontina and taleggio cheese and served with a duck confit and wild mushrooms sauce.

A substantial main for meat lovers is the veal fillet served with shaving of smoked duck breast, with a carrot and cardamom mash and served with a tangy mandarin and basil sauce.

"Amici Restaurant has a trendy ambiance and a relaxing atmosphere," says Voncini. "We offer innovative Italian cuisine with classic and modern inspirations that complements an extensive selection of Italian and international wines."

 

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