In mood for Italian food

For a small country, we have a lot of food events. This is a testament to how much Singaporeans love to eat. There are two on the horizon.

Gusto Italiano, which started on Monday, is a month-long celebration of Italian food.

Judging from the amount of good Italian food available across the island, it is a popular cuisine. So it is not unexpected that a lot of the seats for Gusto Italiano have been snapped up.

There are some events that you can - fingers crossed! - still get tickets for, but you'll have to make your bookings quickly.

One of the highlights at Gusto Italiano is the Gifts of the Forest menu offered by chef Beppe de Vito at ilLido.

On the menu are dishes such as homemade pasta with wild boar (with 2003 Fontodi, "Case Via" Syrah) and goose liver with vine snails, figs and almonds (served with 2007 Fontodi, "Case Via" Pinot Nero).

This is available next Wednesday at 7pm at $66.40 (if you pay by HSBC) and $208 for everyone else.

On Sept 19, il Cielo at Hilton Singapore is presenting an ultra luxe menu called A Caviar and Franciacorta Dinner.

There will be four varieties of Calvisius caviar served in dishes created by chef Omar Bernardi, who previously cooked at the two-star Michelin restaurant, San Domenico Ristorante in Imola, Italy.

The price tag may scare some - $254.40 (payment by HSBC) and $318 for others - but the menu is delightful.

Highlights include Acquerello Risotto with oyster, homemade warm angel hair with truffle (paired with 2006 La Valle, "Regium" Brut DOCG) and cod done three ways.

Other events

Other events to check out under Gusto Italiano include Truffles and Barolo at OSO Ristorante next Tuesday, Forlino's The Flavours of Sardegna with the wines of Agriolas on Sept 17, and Campari Twist, featuring Italian canapes and Campari, at The Landing Point (Fullerton Bay Hotel) on Sept 24.

For more information on the various events and to make your reservations, you can call 6319-4038.

Another food festival to look out for is Singapore Restaurant Week.

It runs from Oct 7 to Oct 31, but bookings for American Express card members begin today. It's open to the public from next Wednesday.

The way Singapore Restaurant Week works is simple: Participating restaurants offer a three-course menu for lunch ($25) and dinner ($35).

Some restaurants have a surcharge.

The 7th edition of this immensely popular food event has added a few newbies.

The top names this year include the acclaimed Bar-roque Grill, Forham & Grand, Bacchanalia and &made. At Latteria Mozarella at Duxton Hill, the Restaurant Week menu includes homemade gnocchi with wild mushroom ragu and grilled halibut with saffron potato and lobster bisque sauce.

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