Ranch & Coast Magazine

February 2023

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Page 52 of 91

Moving on, flavors of grapefruit, green apple, dill, and gentian powder combined with a swig of white vermouth make for an exotic palate cleanser. Perhaps sensing that a taste of something basic and familiar would keep the meal from sailing astray, Chef next serves a simple plate of al dente linguine dressed with two- year-old Parmigiano Reggiano lightened by fried mint leaves and fresh threads of that bright herb. Straightforward cookery carries over to the piatto principale, a fruit-meets-fowl duo consisting of a "street food" skewer of confited duck leg meat that is breaded, fried, and served with an orange sauce, paired with a skin-on slice of breast meat in a fruity Chianti reduction. e meal ends with a quartet of one- and two-bite dessert treats — orange-almond tuile, chocolate-coconut truffle, apple custard encased in a tea biscuit-like shell — served on a three-tiered pedestal, but the setup man is the true closer. Caviale e Cioccolato translates to "caviar and chocolate" and that's just what it is, plus a lot more, namely a granita of mandarin orange, moscato gelatin, Champagne grapes, black olives, and amaretto. Even with all that, the revelation of this painter's palette of a dish is how harmoniously salty, briny reserve Osetra sturgeon roe marries with a thimble of smooth, sweet white chocolate. Skepticism is justified — expected, even — but this is something special. In addition to its dual tasting menus, Ambrogio offers a pair of Grandi Piatti dinner options — "e Butcher's Feast" (meat) and "Secrets of a Fish Monger" (seafood) — including an appetizer, shared entrée, and dessert ($250 for two people). Wine pairings from a cellar stocked with bianco, rosso, rosé, orange, and dessert offerings from boutique Italian operations, many of which are only served at Ambrogio and its sister restaurants, can be had for an additional $129. Ambrogio recently won a Best Contemporary Wine List award from Italian guide Gambero Rosso. e next guide Salmoiraghi and company have in their sights is Michelin. ey wear that ambition on their sleeve and submit their qualifications nightly on a series of smart and surprising plates. ambrogiobyacquerello.com Service: Timeliness: Ambience: Culinary Innovation: Food Quality: Wine List: Value: Golden Forks LEFT In partnership with San Diego's Milano Five restaurant group, Acquerello's chef-owners have opened Ambrogio by Acquerello in La Jolla BELOW Parmigiano e Menta: Linguine, Parmigiano 24M, Mint @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2023 53

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