Art restaurant has a new captain at the helm – and with it, a new menu. Joining the ranks in 2020 as iLido’s group executive chef is Daniele Sperindio, who has experience in places like Alinea, Atlas, and Tippling Club.
With Sperindio’s presence comes a new level of refinement to Art’s signature Neo-italian cuisine, where many of the chef’s personal memories are interpreted with a dash of cheekiness. A plate of starting snacks, for example, recreates Italy’s national pastime, aperitivo hour, in a series of fun bites. There’s a one-bite mille feuille that recreates the flavours of peanuts, olives, and potato chips; as well as breadless mortadella panino, a mini pecorino cheesecake, and a chianti-flavoured gummy to wash it all down.
Another take on the Italian experience is a nod to the scarpetta, the act of swiping a piece of bread through a plate of finished pasta to mop up the raining sauce. Here, Sperindio turns pastas like puttanesca and ragu into intensely-flavoured dipping sauces for the DOP, durum wheat Altamura bread.
Beyond these, there are produced-focused creations as well. We’re fond of a well-balanced creation of mild, flaky steamed corvina with a sweet pepper veil – which comes with an excellent fumet-based sauce perfumed with riesling. Just as memorable is a delightful, soft-on-soft combination of silky liver pate, uni custard, and oscietra caviar that hits all the right notes of briny, mineral, and rich.
There’s also culurgiones pasta, here served in a brodo that packs astounding amounts of corn flavour into an innocuously clear broth.
One item from Art’s previous iteration remains: a rich, egg-laden, housemade taglierini with an intense crustacean sauce – this time done with prized red prawns from Santa Margherita in Liguria.
Dessert, too, showcases distinctively Italian flavours: sponge cake soaked in Alchermes, a crimson-coloured spiced liqueur; pistachio creme, and espresso gelato all come together on a plate.
Don’t forget to give the drinks list a whirl too – besides the usual wines, there’s a selection of signature cocktails (we like the rounded flavours of the Fig n’ Rum) as well as a range of single-varietal grappa distilled with grapes like merlot or Chardonnay; and even appellation-specific grappas like Brunello or Barolo.
1 St Andrew’s Road, 06-02 National Gallery. Tel: 6866-1977