When Massimo Mele came to Bucci

When Bucci invited Massimo Mele to cook and host a 6 course dinner, this was something we were not going to miss out on. We arrived to Bucci in true Italian fashion to a glass of prosecco with the crowd buzzing with chatter. As the night got into it all, the restaurant was soon swamped by herds of people.

In true Italian form, conversation formed an important part of the evening, with everyone at the tables getting to know each other. It didn’t take long before we were all friends. Seated as we were, it really was a great way to interact with everybody. And then the man himself, Signor Massiom welcomed us to the event, describing the different dishes on the menu. There were points where I had to grab my napkin and wipe the drool from my mouth; not so much due to Massiom’s appearance, than the food (of course). Tales of his childhood growing up in Italy followed the inspiration behind each course. The sound of everyone’s stomach rumbling got the evening started for one gluttonous night.

We could say at this point that the food was good.

And then we could go on to say that the atmosphere was getting….

But we would be joking!

The food was outstanding with an array starting in Northern Italy and working its way down to the far south with wines to match. Bucci’s Sommelier nailed each and every wine to each course perfectly. One particular menu highlight was the Rabbit Panzeotti. We really have not enjoyed panzeotti like this before. Our previous experiences were of a light fluffy filo type of pastry; but these were dense, made from what appeared to be semolina which added a beautiful crunch to the texture. Mamma Mia!! The rabbit was encased in parcels slowly braised with a rich tomato sauce. Oh and let’s not get started on the dipping sauce (though of course we have to). Molto nice and spicy, just the way we like our Italian men. Oops. Food!

The night really was fantastic. Live music with stunning food, and for a Thursday night, Bucci was indeed the life of James Street. The night was far from over when you could smell each dish leaving the kitchen: Gnocchi alla Genoese, or potato dumpling with pesto haha! Such a dish! If this doesn’t make it onto Bucci’s menu, we’re going on a hunger strike until it does. That one will be hard for us, but if we have to, we will.

The gnocchi were like little pillows of Italian love where every bite inspired you to kiss the person next to you. It was heaven in a plate with the perfect amount. The lamb dish was the Mona Lisa dish of the night. The lamb had been cooked across two days but still moist and super tender with a truffle polenta on the side. Beautifully presented, smelling amazing and, just like the painting, you couldn’t be too sure it you were allowed to touch it – though it didn’t take long to! We actually inhaled this dish.

And then, dessert. The tiramisu was served in a bright red coffee cup, suiting the event nicely: rich, dense sponge with thick, creamy mascarpone topped with cocoa powder and a teaspoon. When you closed your eyes, all that you seemed to need was The Notebook a snuggle buddy and a 2 litre tub of ice cream. But we would open our eyes and find ourselves at Bucci. Still a perfect place to be!

The night ended with some celebratory shots to celebrate Massimo’s birthday. Many flashes from the cameras and sore throats from talking too much later, and we stumbled out. Pop us down on the waiting list for the next Bucci Italian Degustation please! Grazie Bucci!

Oh, and when you’re at Bucci, don’t forget to sample the new Bucci Pronto sandwich bar.

Ciao for now!

 

Blog by Jake and Elle

 

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