Autumn delicacies at Space Hotels
The arrival of autumn is announced by intense colours and aromas. Italian seasonal cuisine includes such ingredients as strong meats, salt cod, wild mushrooms, truffles, squashes, chestnuts and wines.
The restaurants of Space Hotels' affiliates throughout Italy have created magnificent seasonal menus to celebrate autumn. Rooms at Space Hotels affiliates can be reserved directly online (www.spacehotels.it) choosing from options available across Italy, many of which have gourmet restaurants and/or wellness centres. All affiliated hotels always include breakfast, bottled water and internet access in their room rates!
A great autumn treat found from Lake Como to Mount Etna: porcini mushrooms
The arrival of autumn is always heralded by the appearance of wild mushrooms in woods throughout Italy, especially the most fragrant and prestigious porcini mushroom.
The Hotel Metropole Suisse au Lac in Como (Region: Lombardia) has many special autumn delicacies highlighted by porcini mushroom specialities. Chef Cristian Tota serves his dishes in the elegant and famous "Imbarcadero" restaurant". They include polenta flan with porcini mushrooms and taleggio cheese, wild game terrine with pear compote, porcini mushroom risotto, venison medallions with red wine and juniper berries, and beef filet with porcini mushrooms.
Chef Silvano Urban of the "La Caravella" restaurant in the Hotel Saturnia & International in Venice (Region: Veneto) proposes a beef filet served with sautéed porcini mushrooms, potatoes and spinach torte.
Chef Luigi Cavaliere of the "Piazza dei Miracoli" restaurant in the Grand Hotel Duomo in Pisa (Region: Toscana) presents sumptuous beef strips with porcini mushrooms.
Chef Michele Marinelli of the "Le Logge" restaurant in the Hotel Tiferno in Città di Castello (Region: Umbria) has created an entire tasting menu based on porcini mushrooms.
Chef Claudio Lo Stocco of the "Le Zagare" restaurant in the Excelsior Grand Hotel in Catania (Region: Sicilia) has created a zero-kilometre, porcini mushroom risotto using mushrooms from Mt. Etna. As well, the hotel has started serving Sunday brunch.
The king of autumn dressed in black or white: truffles
Truffles, which are one of this year's candidates for the UNESCO Intangible Cultural heritage List, are the ultimate gourmet autumnal food.
Chef Michele Marinelli of the "Le Logge" restaurant in the Hotel Tiferno in Città di Castello (Region: Umbria) offers a first course of tagliatelle with white truffles.
Chef Luca Malacrida of the "Les Étoiles" restaurant in the Hotel Atlante Star in Rome (Region: Lazio) offers this grand autumnal first course: paccheri from Gragnano (in the province of Napoli) with porcini mushrooms, black truffles from Norcia (in the province of Perugia) and speck (smoked prosciutto) from the Alps.
Chef Matteo Del Bianco of the "Ariston Blue Dream" restaurant in the Hotel Savoy in Pesaro (Region: Marche) has created a sumptuous dish of beef filet with black truffles and foie gras entitled "Tournedos Rossini", which is dedicated to the famous Italian composer.
Sweet and colourful: squash
Chef Vincenzo Scaraglia of the "Il Vignola" restaurant in the Hotel Villa Vecchia in Frascati (Region: Lazio) has dedicated an entire menu to this autumn gourd. The aperitif is squash sticks with arugula, baked half-moons with squash, vol-au-vent with squash and buffalo-milk mozzarella and country-style fried squash. The antipasto is a three-coloured squash torte. The first courses are a squash and brie risotto and paccheri with creamed squash and porcini mushrooms. The second course is pork with cognac served with creamed squash and sautéed vegetables. Finally, dessert is a squash muffin served with custard sauce.
The sweet and delicate tasting squash goes well with everything, even wild mushrooms
Chef Francini Martin Da Silva of the restaurant in the Hotel dei Cavalieri in Milan has created an exquisite risotto with squash and chanterelle mushrooms.
Chestnuts, which are always reminiscent of walks in the woods and evenings by the fireplace, are an excellent ingredient not just for sweets and desserts but also for first and second courses.
Chef Giuseppe Vitiello of the "Le Fonti" restaurant in the Silva Hotel Splendid Congress & Spa in Fiuggi (Region: Lazio) has created a unique chestnut soup with thyme, porcini mushrooms and ravioli stuffed with mozzarella cheese.
Autumn is grape harvest season and the arrival of cooler weather calls for wine to be used as an ingredient in many local specialities.
Chef Graziano of the "Ristorantino Italia" restaurant in the Hotel Italia in Verona (Region: Veneto) prepares his risotto with Valpolicella, one of the area's most famous red wines.
Many other restaurants located in Space Hotels' affiliates have created menus to celebrate the season and its special products.
The Hotel Forum in Rome (Region: Lazio) has a restaurant with a spectacular view of the Imperial Forum, the "Roof Garden Roma", which is open all year round. Its chef, Giorgio Corda, has created this autumnal menu: risotto with saffron and porcini mushrooms; vegetable and chestnut soup; a duet of beef filets with porcini mushrooms and white truffles; cactus pear parfait.
The cool weather also inspires the preparation of roasted and stewed meats.
Chef Ruggero Rolando of the "Carignano" restaurant in the Grand Hotel Sitea in Turin (Region: Piemonte) proposes: homemade agnolotti stuffed with braised meat and dressed with gravy; Piemontese beef stewed in Barbera wine served with mashed potatoes, cappers and glazed carrots.
The Hotel Excelsior San Marco in Bergamo has a restaurant on the eighth floor, the "Roof Garden Restaurant", with a view of the upper city. Its executive chef, Fabrizio Ferrari, has created this autumn menu: "The Best Dressed Porcini Mushroom" (sautéed porcini mushrooms served with potatoes dressed with olive oil and marjoram) and "Three Differently Cooked Intriguing Cuts of Beef" (flank steak slow-cooked in Taglio Bordolese wine, pig cheek stewed with herbs, and a revisitation of the "priest's hat", aka beef shoulder).
Chef Daniele Galletti of the restaurant in the Hotel Accademia in Verona (Region: Veneto) has created two classic autumnal dishes: braised beef cheek in Amarone wine served with polenta or mashed potato and squash and "Baccalà alla Vicentina", which is salt cod in a white sauce.
Space Hotels, the Italian branch of the Supranational Hotels group, has 86 three to five star hotels in over 50 cities throughout the country. The entire Supranational chain offers more than 1,000 hotels in 75 nations and over 500 cities, which can be reached through 21 reservation offices, the GDS (code SX), the Internet at www.spacehotels.it or their tollfree number 800-813-013. The Space Hotels offer includes: business or leisure stays with interesting special rates; organisation of meetings and conferences; fine cuisine by some of the best Italian chefs; relaxation, massages and saunas in elegant spas and wellness centres.
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