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 Dilia Restaurant

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sfcarole



Messages : 10
Date d'inscription : 26/09/2015

MessageSujet: Dilia Restaurant   Dim 4 Oct - 0:04

Yesterday I posted on CH a short summary of a dinner we had at Dilia last Tuesday. My post was in response to JT saying he didn't want to try out Dilia until "I get a personal as opposed to a reviewer's report", I wrote:

Okay...we had dinner at Dilia Tuesday night (9/29) and I would certainly not call it Italian, or even very 'Italianate', except for maybe one course of pasta with bottarga. We went for the 6-course menu which was perhaps madness since our res was at 9:30pm. But we left fat and happy - make that ecstatic - three hours later. The entire meal was beyond our expectations, which were already pretty high. They started us with an amuse of bonita that was meltingly tender - what do the French say - nacré et fondant - with some crushed raspberries on top. The two entrées were a small fillet of rascasse and then the spaghetti with bottarga. Mains were a pigeon breast and leg (both cooked perfectly) with cèpes and a purée of celery root, followed by a kebab of duck hearts and bulots on a bed of girolles; desserts were a tiny pain perdu with grapes and lemon verbena whipped cream plus a small lime custard dish. Everything amazing. The total evening a mixture of flavors, conviviality and surprise. Our server disarmingly charming.
I subsequently amended the above to add another entrée I had forgotten, namely beet gnocchi, huîtres et raifort.
Anyway, as I've said, it was great. But it started Bob and I thinking about what makes something Italian vs. French. We've had gnocchi at Pirouette and pasta any number of places. For me, perhaps the most memorable was squid ink fettuccine served with a white fish at Bernadin in 1983/84. I never would have dreamed of calling this cuisine Italian. But in the case of Dilia, the chef, Michele Farnesi, is Italian which complicates things. On the other hand, he's been minding the stoves at Saturne, Rino, Thoumieux and Heimat, before starting his own place at the auspicious Roseval location. He says all the Italian buzz phrases, like taking carefully sourced ingredients and doing with them as little as possible. But in fact he does a great deal more. And he appears to use a lot of French technique in creating sauces and flavor combinations. Anyway, I'd be curious to know what you all think.
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Messages : 64
Date d'inscription : 26/09/2015

MessageSujet: Re: Dilia Restaurant   Dim 4 Oct - 1:46

Thanks for this report Carole. 
I had enjoyed Michele Farnesi's cooking at Heimat some months ago.

Contemporary cooking sure has a way of taking the "national" aspect out of cooking. It has become so international that it's not easy to deconstruct it in search of what's Italian, or French, or Japanese. In this very case, what really complicates things is that French and Italian cooking never were radically different from each other in terms of techniques. A bit more in terms of ingredients.
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T. Tilash

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Messages : 18
Date d'inscription : 27/09/2015
Localisation : Paris, France

MessageSujet: Re: Dilia Restaurant   Dim 4 Oct - 16:27

It's the whole debate of tradition vs. contemporary, or authentic vs. fusion... I think it's nice that some dishes are deeply ingrained in the DNA of a country, it allows us to travel through food which is often cheaper than hopping on a plane. But I also think that there is no such thing as "respect of tradition", if the food is good, it's good, and I may not travel in another country when I eat it, but emotions don't have to make sense on a map.

By the way, pure coincidence, today for lunch I made Linguine Carbonara Korean-style ! I sauteed some very good smoked lardons, deglazed the pan with Marsala wine, let the liquid evaporate, added a couple tablespoons of chopped kimchi, stirred well, added some cream (which is sacrilegious in a Carbonara, but what the hell), some chopped perilla leaves, and some grated Parmigiano. Tossed in the linguine, some black pepper, and some more Parmigiano.
Ok, there was no egg, so technically this has nothing to do with Carbonara, but boy was it great ! The kimchi didn't come through but added an incredible depth, and the dish still tasted Italian to me not asian, nor fusion...

Thankfully I don't have to describe my "cooking style" on a menu !

P.S.: Dilia sounds great, I'd love to try the place, thanks for the review.

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JakeD

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Messages : 13
Date d'inscription : 26/09/2015

MessageSujet: Re: Dilia Restaurant   Dim 4 Oct - 16:31

Thanks, Carole, for this report. We loved Roseval at this prior location, and are looking forward to trying this new incarnation, in addition to following Roseval (or whatever becomes of it) to wherever it ends up. Anyway, Dilia is on our list for our next visit.
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Date d'inscription : 26/09/2015

MessageSujet: Re: Dilia Restaurant   Dim 4 Oct - 16:57

I don't think there is a debate in this case; there's traditional food with an infinite variety of styles and there's today's trendy restaurant food which is "off soil", and there's little point in searching whether that sort of cooking is Italian, or French, etc., even if it may borrow some traditional features from time to time.
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