I had intended for this week’s Tasty Tuesday to centre on the epicurean delights we encountered in Cologne while we were at Gamescom. A bit of a food diary. Truth is, beyond the beer and the occasionally excellent brezel, the food there is rather bland, uninteresting and awful. You can only eat so many currywurst or bratwurst before you start wanting to eat your own arms. And then it all changed.
We were invited one evening to a birthday dinner by one of the publishers, and frankly jumped at the chance to have a meal that didn’t cost us the earth. It was, frankly, a fantastic decision. We ended up at a little family-owned restaurant in Cologne called Ristorante Etrusca and the entire experience was akin to having angels orgasm in one’s mouth.
We didn’t even get a look at the menus, with the manager instead asking us what sort of things we’d like to eat. When he started rattling off the starters, my ears focused on scallops – a perpetual favourite of mine – and i was unable to even hear anything else he had to say.
Lightly grilled scallops, on a bed of beluga lentils, with light cream sauce, to be more precise. It was, frankly, magnificent. The scallops had a light outside crust, but were buttery soft on the inside, offering my knife zero resistance. Conversation came to halt, replaced instead by an echo of ooohs, ahhs and mmmms from the around the table. Everyone else was apparently enjoying their entrees as much as I was.
Before the main course arrived, we were treated to an amuse bouche; a small sample of a freshly made egg pasta in a garlic parmesan sauce, dusted with shaved truffles. What made this beyond magical is that it was prepared tableside, with the parmesan coming from a lightly hollowed wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Hot pasta and cream met in the concave indentation, slowly infusing them with the cheese’s unrepentant umami flavour. It was, frankly, heavenly – and one of the nicest things that I’ve ever put in my mouth. Given the option, I’d spend the remainder of my days gorging on the stuff, eating my way to an early grave. I’d not regret a thing.
My main course was a lightly crusted rack of lamb, lovingly nestled in a bed of wilted spinach, and accompanied by a rosemary infused jus. Perfectly rosé, succulent and juicy – with the rosemary never overpowering. It was perfect.
Though already stuffed, in situations such as these you have to try the dessert – which we all did, of course. I couldn’t decide between the panna cotta, or the crème brulee; two of my very favourite desserts. Luckily, I didn’t have to choose, with NAG’s Miklos and I opting to share, like a cosy set of lovebirds. Each was exquisite. The panna cotta was wibbly and wobbly, as it should be; subtly flavoured and speckled with vanilla. What stood out most about it though was how rich and flavourful the cream that went it to it was.
The brulee, likewise was delightful. A problem I often have with them is that the layer caramel a top the dessert is too thick, but that wasn’t a problem here. I wafer thin layer of burnt sugar topped a light custard base that could make angels sing. It made up for every other middling meal we had – and was, quite probably, the highlight of my entire Gamescom trip.
What was it we were talking about? Oh yes. Here’s the new we didn’t post today because goddamit I’m now starving.
In Other News: Ubisoft abandons Wii U’s mature audience (all two of them), Project Cars gets screened, Hotline Miami’s getting a bit leaky, and Gang Beasts are Double fine.
Double Fine is publishing multiplayer brawler Gang Beasts
New Project Cars screens want to take you for a ride
Don’t expect to see Assassin’s Creed on PS3 and Xbox 360 next year
Rollercoaster Tycoon screaming onto PC in 2015
Samus gets a new outfit in Super Smash Bros and oh boy
Ubisoft CEO says that Wii U owners don’t buy Assassin’s Creed
Take to the skies with the latest GTA Online update
Hotline Miami 2 footage leaks
What’s on at The Movies
Sharlto Copley and Michelle Forbes to leas the cast of Powers
You can’t get rid of this trailer for the Babadook
Animated short Henchmen to become a feature film
Director Patrick Hughes talks The Raid remake
Don’t expect Dr Strange to be an origin story
This trailer for Open Windows will do anything you ask
We Review Sex Tape – A “Raunchy Comedy” that skimps on the raunchiness and comedy
Header: Matthew’s mouth-watering mozzarella
Last Updated: August 19, 2014