Carnevino by Mario Batali – Big Night

| September 23, 2013 | 2 Comments

A restaurant named Carnevino – [Carne] quality steaks [vino] remarkable wines, is celebrating its first birthday. Quickly following into the footsteps of its renowned sibling in Las Vegas, already Carnevino Hong Kong is making a name for itself as a preferred destination where guests come to enjoy a big night. 

Carnevino The Entrance

Carnevino The Entrance

Master Chef and entrepreneur Mario Batali, together with partner Joe Bastianich conceived Carnevino around a simple yet compelling idea – to apply quality to every aspect of the dining experience. Although branded as a steakhouse, Carnevino is full of nuances that resemble the passion and perfections of Primo and Secondo who mesmerised their guests by pouring heart and soul in every dish, extending lavishing care and great expertise into each aspect of the dining experience. These are the images of guests how are indulging in exquisite food, wine, company and a sense of partaking in the fabulous celebration of a big night.  

Carnevine The Bar

Carnevine The Bar

With great anticipation, guests entering Carnevino are immediately drawn to the quality that is esthetically captured in timbers, wood trimmings, marble, metals, glass and mod-stimulating lighting – like entering into the hall of a luxurious European mansion. Lingering for a brief moment in the arched entrance and feeling surrounded by an extensive collection of fine wines displayed in climate-controlled cabinets – a sense of occasion begins to unfold. Eyes wide open and browsing over inspiring design clues – an antique butcher block provides a subtle cue for Carnevino’s main culinary theme. Wondering thoughts are momentarily intermittent, as restaurant manager Alessandro Ciraso welcomes guests. Like Secondo, he is an empathetic host who understands the subtleties of taking guests on an indulging and fulfilling gastronomic journey.

Carnevino by Mario Batali – The Restaurant

Carnevino by Mario Batali – The Restaurant

Immersed in Carnevino’s emotive environment, arched portals leading guests along a corridor toward the white marbled bar – the first stop in this intriguing journey. Alessandro and his team are quite aware of the importance of transformation – whereby guests are enticed to temporarily let go of Hong Kong’s otherwise busy existence. Seated on leather-bound bar chairs, guests can unwind and allow skilled bar tenders to mix cocktails that are fitting of the occasion. Quality – once again on display with intriguing over counter light fittings, and authentic memorabilia cleverly magnified by lenses that reveal vintage wine labels and other fine details housed in purposeful glass vitrines. 

Carnevino - Chef Eli Anderson

Carnevino – Chef Eli Anderson

Upon entering Carnevino’s main dining area, an abundance of space surrounding each table and dining booth emit further cues of its quality endeavors: comfortably seated, perfectly balanced lighting and exquisite table ware compliment the journey that now begins to center of Carnevino’s expertise in Italian cooking. Host Alessandro Ciraso – recently brought to Hong Kong after helping to establish Carnevino’s much larger sister property in Las Vegas, processes well-honed skills that help guests in selecting the perfect composition of flavors, textures and tastes – among Carnevino’s extensive menu of signature dishes and curated list of Italian wines. 

Carnevino - Carne Cruda alla Piedmontese

Carnevino – Carne Cruda alla Piedmontese

In the spirit of experiencing a big night, the center piece of this culinary journey is focused on Carnevino’s dry-aged steak creations; a process that begins with the procurement of high-quality beef from Australia’s Gippsland, aged to perfection and served as either Dry-Aged Ribeye (for two) or as a New-York Dry-Aged 18oz Strip cut. Here, Chef Eli Anderson is – like Primo, Carnevino’s Master of Italian cooking and expert in the process of dry-aged meats. Building up the anticipation toward this master steak creation, are Carnevino’s diverse assemblies of enticing appetizers. Of particular note is the Tuna Tartare, which blends citrus flavors from the Yuzu fruit with soy and spring onion – resulting in a refreshing composition. An Italian classic – the Carne Cruda alla Piedmontese – is a steak tartar wrapped with mushrooms and a hint of extra virgin olive oil. Thanks to Alessandro’s guidance, the discovery of one of Mario Batali’s personal favorite creations – is the Octopus with Limoncello and Chile; braised and seared – this dish is a delight of tender texture and spicy flavours.

Carnevino - New York Dry-Aged Strip

Carnevino – New York Dry-Aged Strip

All senses heightened, the New York Dry-Aged Strip takes center stage – grilled to perfection, seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and rubbed with fresh rosemary. The slightly charred crust of the steak gives it the juiciness – thereby eliminating the need for otherwise overpowering batters or sauces. To compliment these rich flavors, Chef Eli Anderson recommends a selection of side dishes like the Creamed Corn with Lime Salt, the Farrotto – which are grains of wheat species in whole form mixed with Pecorino Romano cheese and lemon thyme, and the quite intriguing combination of Guanciale Mashed Potatoes – with pork jowl and a poached duck egg; all where exquisite selections that compliment the steak dining experience. 

Carnevino - Guanciale Mashed Potatoes

Carnevino – Guanciale Mashed Potatoes

In-between courses and conversations, a captivating look at the finishes of the nearby décor – more resembling the quality craftsmanship of a Bentley interior; a unique sense of balance is felt between the restaurant’s luxurious esthetics, the entertaining atmosphere, and the flow of service quality that – rounded up with Profiteroles, Vanilla Ice Cream and Warm Chocolate Sauce (and one’s favorite digestif), made this evening at Carnevino certainly a big night to remember. Buon appetito and Happy Birthday Carnevino! 

CARNEVINO 5/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queens Road, Central, Hong Kong. Telephone 2352 7700

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Category: Dining Experiences, Food & Wine, restaurants

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PhD in Consumer Engagement - the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or a brand. The initiative for engagement can be either consumer- or company-led and the medium of engagement can be on or offline. With a strong focus on fostering consumer experience innovation, I seek out brands, product, service and experience providers that thrive to define the art of customer engagement.

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