Pasta Mia Restaurant and pasta maker was the venue hosting an evening of culinary experience with Accademia Italiana della Cucina – The Italian Academy of Cuisine – the Israeli chapter. The Academy is an international body, with branches in over 70 countries and over 200 chapters in Italy alone. We found out that new members can join the Accademia through a personal acquaintance, but with a restriction on restaurateurs and other dining purveyors, to avoid conflict of interest. The candidate fills an application form and submits it with a curriculum vitae. More about the Accademia is on its website (English version):
As you turn the corner onto Wilson Street in Tel Aviv, the well-lit front of Pasta Mia restaurant, with its large Italian and Israeli flags, comes into full view. Riccardo Hoffman, the public relations manager greeted us with a cordial handshake and a tri-lingual “Good Evening, Buona sera, Shalom”. As you walk in, the unassuming entrance with a showcase display of a marvelous variety of home-made pasta made on site turns into an elegant yet home-style, cozy room. The fifteen seats or so, around festive tables, fit well in the friendly, inviting room, decorated in an all-Italian style, with Italian music playing gently in the background. There are some more tables in the front patio, for open-air less formal dining.
As we sat down, we were graciously welcomed by Dr. Cinzia Klein, Academy Delegate of the Israeli chapter. Also attended Vice-Delegate Sabrina Fadlun as well as businesswoman Mrs. Giordana di Castro, artist Photographer Mrs. Deborah Sinai, business counselor Dr. Claudio Grego with his wife Luisa, architect Arie Sonnino with his wife Ruli, style influencer Mrs. Giustina Rachmanoff, writer and journalist Dr. Nessia Laniado, dietologist Dr. Francesca Torrini, marketing councilor Dr. Joelle Inowlocki and ex-consul of Dominican Republic Mrs. Aliza Radian.
After the short speech, the multi-course dinner was on its way, with remarkably generous portions.
The Antipasti were delicious, as the freshly baked, gently spiced focaccia was followed by fiori di zucca rapieni (pumpkin flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese). An off-menu delectable treat consisted of thin puff pastry (pasta sfoglia) shell “cigars” filled with artichoke. A generous traditional platter of eggplant and red pepper stripes cooked and flavored tastefully was supplemented with the less-traditional sweet-potato and roasted cauliflower. The thick slices of eggplant parmigiana, layered with tomato slices, melted in the mouth.
The Primo (main first) dishes started with gnocchi stuffed with truffle paste, so sumptuous, that we had to limit consumption, so we could enjoy the rest of the meal. The Tricolore ravioli al radicchio filled with pecorino cheese was properly al dente. The penne tasted wonderful, cooked quite al dente, concealed quite well their gluten-free makeup.
The Secondo (main second) dishes were fish and meat. The veal with artichoke heart was sliced thinly, Italian style. The tuna steak was generously portioned and properly underdone.
The Dolce (deserts) were excellent, not overly sweet, and nice on the tongue. The pear pie had a thin crust, letting us enjoy the fruit itself. The cheesecake filling was fluffy, aromatic – not too sweet, delivered on top of an ultra-thin crust.
Throughout the meal, we were pampered with Italian Cavit red and white wines, cabernet sauvignon and pinot grigio. Franelle sparkling water and a lemon-mint sorbet with a touch of proecco cleansed the pallet between courses.
The final toast with prosecco Monetto concluded the meal, as we all cheered and praised chef Ilan Moses and the outstandingly professional and efficient staff.
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Photos Silvia G. Golan