Nestled in a shady little enclave off Bangkok’s Soi 21/3 Asoke Montri Road, is Rossano’s Italian Cuisine also known as Rossano’s Italian taverna.
Everything in Rossano’s Italian Cuisine from it’s terracotta tile clad floors, to its red brick, rustic plastered walls and the wooden beamed ceilings, the taverna looks like it would be right at home snuggled in a small village in Tuscan countryside.
As you walk in you are greeted by Rossano’s Italian Cuisine signature pig mascots and seemingly as a glowing testament to the cuisine that awaits you, is a wall of award sized and personalised reservation signs for a myriad of regular customers.
This then leads you to a generous wine cellar and a well-stocked bar and there perched on top of the bar a vision of beauty. A perfectly cured leg of Iberico Pata Negra and from that moment I knew we were in for a treat.
As we are seated, we are brought an amuse-bouche of the classic bruschetta. The bread was light and crisp with a delicate hint of garlic. The combination of fresh herbs, ripe tomato and the beautiful richness of the olive oil were exactly what were need to excite the tastebuds for the meal to come.
We spoke with Executive Chef Francesco Brocca, he talked about his background in fine dining and explained his passion for making excellent traditional food that makes people happy, and he sure does it well!
Iberico Pata Negra
As we perused the menu, out came a basket freshly baked bread made in house, along with a pot of butter and the Iberico Pata Negra ham we had of course ordered.
The ham is cut by hand and sliced very thinly then presented on a wooden board. The delicate fat of the pork and the sight saltiness from curing process coat the mouth and the ham almost melts on the tongue. This gives you a wonderful gamey meat flavour which accompanied with the fresh bread (tomato-bread, onion focaccia, baguette and crisp pizza bread) & creamy butter is a slice of heaven. So simple and yet so delicious.
Millefoglie di Melanzane e Bufala alla Parmigiana
Next, Rossano’s Italian Cuisine presented the grilled eggplant and imported Italian buffalo mozzarella tower with tomato & basil is garnished with pesto and olive oil swirls and fried basil leaves makes this a beautiful looking dish.
A fantastic balance of fats from the mozzarella and olive oil, the acidity from the tomatoes, the freshness from the herbs, alongside the delicate charr of the grilled eggplants. This is all brought together so well with the umami of the parmigiana and helps make this such a satisfying appetizer.
Gnocchi di patate con gorgonzola e salsiccia
The gnocchi with sausage in a creamy gorgonzola sauce is the first of two dishes that were available on the special menu, which changes monthly.
Now, let’s get back to the gnocchi.
Pillowy soft potato dumplings are covered in just enough sauce to give them a generous coating but without leaving the gnocchi swimming on the plate. The rich creamy sauce has gorgeous funkiness from the gorgonzola and a subtle meaty pork sausage flavour that really comes through well. The added crunch of the walnuts brings another texture to the dish, whilst the fresh parsley adds some fresh brightness and colour.
Tagliolini Neri con Bisque all’Aragosta
Black ink pasta has long been one of my many favourite Italian dishes. The black squid ink lends a nice earthiness to the pasta, this works especially well with the succulent lobster meat which imparts its own distinct flavour. The tomatoes give a delicate acidity that lifts the whole dish to make it light, fresh and incredibly tasty. The sauce is seasoned with garlic, salt and black pepper (The Holy Trinity) whilst the brandy gives the sauce depth, enhancing the aroma and flavour of the lobster.
The fillet of salmon with a creamed green pea sauce and sautéed baby spinach is the second of the dishes ordered from the monthly special menu.
This is an incredibly vibrant looking dish. Beautiful, flakey salmon that has been perfectly grilled giving it a lovely golden crisp sear on the outside whilst leaving the fish moist and tender. This is complimented by the sweetness of baby carrots, the garden freshness of the pea purée and the well-seasoned baby spinach which is so deliciously soft it’s almost creamy. My favourite part of this dish is the addition of salmon roe which brings texture with a salty and tangy pop of flavour. Crispy salmon skin adds yet another texture to this summery plate of food.
Osso Buco di Vitello
The Veal shank or Osso Buco is as traditional Italian fare as you can get.
This a rustic looking dish of slowly braised (6 – 8 hours) veal shanks, in a red wine and carrot gravy that’s served with green beans and baby tomatoes, sautéed spinach and saffron (Carnaroli rice) risotto.
The gravy has a deep, rich red wine flavour that’s unmistakable and comforting. The veal falls off the bone and melts in the mouth, the delicate aromatic flavour of rosemary and garlic infuses the meat and gravy adding a complexity to the dish. However, I have to say the best bit of the dish is scooping out the roasted bone marrow and here is where the bread you saved earlier comes in handy. You did save some bread, didn’t you? This is Italian comfort food that even your Nonno (grandfather) would be proud of.
To finish off this glorious meal we opted for a new take on an absolute classic, the Tiramisu.
Chef Francesco has put his own spin on this Italian classic with the simple addition of pistachio nuts to the mascarpone which brings a lovely nuttiness to this creamy dessert. The layers of creamy mascarpone and coffee-soaked sponge fingers are topped of with a vibrant strawberry and lemon sauce that really lifts the dessert to a whole new level.
Rossano’s Italian taverna
Rossano’s Italian Cuisine has an extensive menu without being overwhelming. Their menu covers everything you would expect from an Italian restaurant from appetizers, soups, salads, pasta and main courses to pizza, risotto and a good selection of formaggi (cheeses).
As I mentioned they have a special menu which changes monthly as well as having a weekly set lunch menu with a choice of two courses (425 baht ++) or three courses (495 baht ++).
Some of the selections at the week of visiting included; Caesar salad, prosciutto and melon and mozzarella Capresse for starters, Ham and mushroom pizza, pan fried seabass, various pasta dishes and grilled rib-eye as well as a choice of desserts.
If you are looking for great value for money and traditional Italian food Rossano’s Italian Cuisine has be at the top of your list, as this restaurant is defiantly a member of the clean plate club.
Their website – https://www.rossanosbangkok.com/