Review of The House of Peroni 2015

The House of Peroni brings Vita Al Fresco to Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor This Spring

House  of Peroni is back for it’s 3rd year in a row, this time popping up at the Fifth Floor restaurant at London’s prestigious Harvey Nichols.  It’s Vita al Fresco terrace has been transformed into a colourful and sensuous haven of Italian life and culture.  A gorgeous lilac wildflowers canopy, potted plants and emerald turf is the perfect setting for a  Spring / Summer al fresco affair with a Peroni twist.

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 The food menu offers an array of irresistible Italian sharing plates, each dish is a celebration of authentic fresh ingredients taking inspiration from classic Italian street food from Capri to Napoli.

 Mixologist Simone Caporale has created an artisan cocktail menu, drinks are infused with Peroni Nastro Azzurro  but also using fragrant and unusual ingredients such as bergamot and juniper as well as an abundance of fresh citrus fruits, berries and superfoods. Each bespoke cocktail has been carefully  produced to complement and enhance the flavours of each aperitivio.

 Food

CAPRESINA

A reinvention of the classic Caprese salad; Skinless tomato and buffalo mozzarella terrine, fresh basil, olive oil, pepper and salt. Served with an intense balsamic vinegar reduction and a garlic and rosemary crostini. Plump fleshy fruity  sweet tomatoes layered on top of a thick slice of milky mozzarella,  refreshingly light but satisfying. The vinegar reduction is a triumph!  it’s gooey depth sweetened flavour is of a marmite texture and taste most excellent!

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PARANZA POPCORN

Small  prawns, squid ringlets and firm white fish are cut into bite size pieces, dipped in a light pastella and deep-fried. Resembling popcorn these light seafood nuggets are lightly bronzed with a crunchy batter. Accompanied with a tar coloured squid ink and an pearled oyster mayonnaise both perfect condiments and a classier touch rather than a garlic mayo.

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LECCA-LECCA

Deep-fried oxtail lollipops, covered with chocolate crumble, served with a reduction of tomato sauce and edible flowers. Mini but mighty! Rich and tender meat slow cooked for that moreish melting texture. The cocoa crumb intensifies the meat flavour paired with a sweet slightly citrus ruby sauce was divine. Inspired by the famous food and flower market  Piazza Campo de’Fiori  the pretty flower décor added a touch of vibrancy and life to the dish.

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‘MARE E MONTI’ SLIDERS

Two beautiful versions of a tartare: raw beef ‘Chianina’ fillet seasoned with shallots and black olives, served with cherry tomato cream; and raw sea bass with red onion, fresh chilli, fresh lemon and lime juice, served with salmon roe mayonnaise. The seabass was a seasoned and served in a ceviche style; citrusly sour, fresh, delicate flakes of fish. The beef was coarsely chopped for texture with the added shallots for soft sweetness and salty olives for contrast.  Definitely my favourite dish off the menu.

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ISLAND ROLLS

Red mullet mini rolls filled with citrus breadcrumbs, Taggiasche olives and capers, served with an aubergine cream. I was looking forward to this the most but let down by the lack of seasoning. Beautifully presented and the mullet was cooked perfectly however the aubergine cream was bland,  the saltiness from the capers and olives did not come through. 

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Drinks

BACCA PRIMAVERA

This refreshing, fruity long drink is a mixture of vodka, Tio Pepe sherry and blueberry, shaken together with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, fresh lemon and Peychaud’s bitters.  A gorgeous magenta colour adorned with a delicate wildflower and glitter, a very feminine chic cocktail berry sweet with a bitter twang.

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MELA SOUR

An Italian lemonade / apple sour made from a fragrant gin shaken together with bergamot purée, fresh apple juice, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, agave nectar and Peychaud’s bitters. A fruity honeysuckle cocktail with  a touch of tart grapefruit zest and juniper finishes the mela sour off with a citrus tarty aftertaste.

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RABARBARO SPRITZ

A great appretif the Rabarbaro Spritz cocktail fuses Italian Vermouth with Campari, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, rhubarb bitters and fresh orange juice. The earthy herbed vermouth blended with the Campari gives a dry spiced almost medicinal flavour to the drink. A very manly drink to compete with an Old Fashioned, a cocktail to awaken the taste buds and wet your appetite.

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RIGALIMONI

My favourite cocktail off the menu, a summer orchid drink with apricot brandy, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and dry gin. The scent of apricot perfumed the glass for a honeyed syrup flavour with the added lemon and bitters for a refreshing drink.

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House of Peroni have once again created an imaginative oasis and creative menu balancing the tradition with the modernism of Italian cuisine. Exquisite presentation and well executed dishes  Vita Al Fresco is the perfect start to london’s summertime.

The terrace will be open every day from Friday 27th March until Sunday 24th May.

www.thehouseofperoni.com