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Massimo Alajmo La Montecchia

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Massimo Alajmo La Montecchia

allende | Mar 8, 2011 08:23 AM

We went to Alajmo’s restaurant La Montecchia and had high expectations that he could handle two restaurants which, unlike France, is not a common thing (that is, not many great chefs own two restaurants). What an unbelievable disappointment. It is mediocre at best and the prices are very high for the quality (and in one case, the quantity) of the food. We would never think of going back, nor ever recommending the restaurant.

It is situated in a “suburb” of Padova, in a second floor room of The La Montecchia Golf Club. It is a beautiful very large room, seating perhaps 100 people. Lots of old wood paneling, a high ceiling, very good lighting… a lovely lovely venue even if a bit overly large.

On Saturday evening it was perhaps three- quarters filled, mostly couples, with many arriving around 9:45 PM. A number of patrons ate fairly quickly and left. As far as we could see, we were the only non Italians. Alajmo’s father was there and in charge. He is a presence that shows little warmth. A good maitre d and, in general, pleasing service.

The menu is a combination of traditional and non traditional dishes. There was some chicanery in the combinations, but not overwhelmingly so. For the most part, the food was bland and/ or tasteless. Started with Baccala Montegnato, a puree of dried cod and smoked polenta. On a plate of perhaps 3 inches in diameter, comes a sformato of baccala (good) topped with a hard piece, perhaps an inch thick, of grey smoked polenta. That’s it. On a very small plate. Just sitting there. No garnish, no color, terrible plating. It reminded us of something from a cafeteria, and the smoked polenta could have been from there as well.

I had seven, count them, seven tortelli… tortelli d’anitra con salsa balsamella. And they were small. And the filling had no taste. Did I say the filling had no taste? Seven tortelli for 20 Euros. Oh, did I mention that the pasta was twice as thick as it should be? Really thick. A “three star Michelin chef” that made pasta that was no better than a mediocre trattoria. What is going on?

One main course was much better; the coscia d’oca croccante with potato puree. Very flavorful. My maiolino arrostito with aceto lamponi was a bad joke. Almost no taste and whatever there was was spoiled by the aceto. What was Alajmo thinking?

A torta and semifreddo allo zabaione for dessert. A 2001 Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore.

Check was 250 Euros, which is very reasonable, IF THE FOOD WERE GOOD.

Go at your own risk.

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