Meravigliosa Esperienza - Santa Marherita Wine Paired Dinner at Villa Danieli
Words by Lisa Mangelsdorf
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
An unforgettable dining experience is never just about the food. There must be the perfect combination of the ambiance of the room, quality of the meal and service, and the presence of something unique that you haven’t tried before. Villa Danieli is all of that! This traditional Italian restaurant, complete with painted ceilings, heavy comfortable furniture and an authentic wood-fired pizza oven sets the perfect stage for a specially created “Santa Margherita Wine Dinner”- not to be missed during the month of April!
|Wood Fired Oven|
Although you and I may know the pairing of the right wine to the right food will always enhance our meal, most of us are unlikely to order a different vintage with each course. Perhaps we aren’t sure what to order, or maybe it just isn’t economical. The wines for this special promotion have been hand picked by the Sheraton’s sommelier to allow diners the opportunity to not only enjoy an amazing meal and great wine, but to learn more about the importance of pairing the two properly.
Founded in 1935, by Count Gaetano Marzotto Jr, Santa Margherita is located in the Veneto wine region of Italy. Originally running a textile company, this entrepreneur set out to create something more than just wine. He turned marshlands into vineyards, refined cultivating techniques and improved working conditions for his employees. The tradition of making great wine has been passed down through the family over the years. The Count’s Grandson, who shares his name, currently runs the vineyard, which sells wine in over 70 countries.
Keeping wine in mind, the set menu for this unique dining experience was created by the very experienced Executive Sous Chef of the Sheraton, Chef Kamaruddin Adnin. Dishes featured distinct flavors, textures and sensations that invited a wide variety of wines to be selected to accompany them. Each vintage either cleansed the palate, or balanced and enhanced the flavors of every course. Our evening was hosted and enhanced by the very knowledgeable Reuben Arthur of The Sommelier Association of Malaysia.
|Smoked duck breast with caramelized apple, mint and berries coulisse|
|Santa Margherita Brut Valdobiadene DOCG|
We started the evening with a delightful glass of Santa Margherita Brut Valdobiadene DOCG, whose light bubbles perfectly complimented the heavy smoky duck breast served with a fruity coulis. The glass of bubbly brought out the flavors in the fruit while its slight sweetness balanced the strong flavor of the full-bodied duck. I could have just had more of this course and been quite satisfied!
Next we enjoyed two different antipasti, each very different from the other, yet paired with the same glass of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio D.O.C. The bright, but not overwhelming flavor of this white wine beautifully accentuated the flavors and textures of the encrusted button mushrooms filled with a salty mascarpone, while the higher acidity was just what you needed to cut the fattiness and offset the spicy kick of the ox tongue timbale. This starter definitely awakened our palates!
|Gorgonzola Stuffed Mushrooms and Ox Tongue|
|Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio D.O.C.G|
Moving into the pasta course I was expecting a to be served a chardonnay, especially since fish was to be the filling. To our surprise and delight, this unique homemade agnaloti filled with fresh creamy Parmesan and cod, and topped with crispy shimeji mushrooms, was accompanied by a gorgeous red - Santa Margherita Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. The complex and rich flavors of the food were strong enough to hold up to this full-bodied, but very smooth, Chianti.
|Squid ink agnaloti stuffed with cream cod in Parmesan sauce and crispy shimeji|
|Ca’del Bosco Carmenero|
For your main course, there is one problem… How are you going to choose? Crispy skinned salmon with spinach, chickpea, glazed Belgium endive and orange reduction or honey lamb ribs with gorgonzola mashed potato, roasted vegetable and natural jus? I know! Bring a friend who likes to share and order one of each! The sommelier appropriately selected Ca’del Bosco Carmenero, a heavier, spicier wine that balanced the sweetness of these two dishes. I personally loved the bite of the Belgium endive that lingered after the salmon. But, like I said – you have to try both!
|Honey lamb ribs with gorgonzola mashed potato, roasted vegetable and natural jus|
|Crispy skinned salmon with spinach, chickpea, glazed Belgium endive and orange reduction|
|Santa Margherita Chianti Classico D.O.C.G|
By dessert time you will likely be full but you must not leave without the delightful Lemon Crème Chiboust (and yes I Googled “Chiboust”). Named for its creator Chef M. Chiboust, this pastry cream is lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites. Chef flavored this with lemon and topped it with an aromatic sable crumble and tangy strawberry sauce. This light and tangy dessert is perfectly matched to a glass of Illyquore, which combined a sweet creaminess to the bitey flavor of coffee and subtle chocolate undertones. Heavenly!
|Lemon crème chiboust with sable crumble and strawberry sauce|
|Illyquore Coffee Liquor|
The Santa Margherita Wine Dinner is available until April 30th only. The meal alone is RM180++ per person without wine; add on RM150++ to enjoy the wine pairings (a must!).
Reasons to visit: atmosphere; knowledgeable and helpful staff; unique food and wine experience.
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact no: +603 2717 9900
Lunch ~ 12PM – 2.30PM (Monday to Friday)
Dinner ~ 6.30PM – 10.30PM (Monday to Saturday)
Closed on Sunday & Public Holiday