As another year passes by the standards at Caractere just seem to be getting higher and higher. The food , wine and service is quite simply exceptional. In the kitchen you have chefs Diego and Gaetano producing dishes of the highest quality. Sommelier Marco is very enthusiastic about his wine list and so he should be. It’s full of organic and biodynamic wines that are amazing. Then there’s the front of house led by manager Mattia who make you feel so welcome and who’s service is impeccable.
Now let’s tell you about our latest visit. This started with the usual friendly welcome before being seated at our table. We ordered a cocktail while we looked at the menu. There is now more choices on the menu with the tasting menu , a la carte and the inclusion of a lunch menu. We decided to go for our usual choice of the tasting menu.
While enjoying our cocktails we were presented with a delightful selection of snacks including Fried Pasta , Wasabi Royale and Pollock. Now it was time to discuss wine with sommelier Marco which resulted in an excellent Alois Lageder Mus – XX a light , fruity and elegant sparkling wine.
CURIOUS – This is the first category of six that make up the tasting menu. The two dishes that started our lunch were absolutely stunning. The Red Sicilian Prawn Tartare with daikon , mandarin ponzu and a prawn cracker brought utter delight to my wife’s face. I was also in heaven as I enjoyed an amazing Stuffed Pappardelle with sheep ricotta , smoked eel , cime de rapa and puntarelle.
The next section was SUBTLE. Here we both opted to choose the Acquerello Risotto with brown butter , smoked lardo , black lime and lemon. This dish was delicious and we both agreed that it was easily one of the best versions they’ve done. (sorry about the pic).
DELICATE – This is the fish section that would also be the place of one of my favourite octopus dishes. Firstly my wife had the Steamed Cornish Cod stuffed with scallop and truffle , salsify and a vin jaune. Now on to my Barbecued Galician Octopus with calcot onion , olives , caper leaves and a red wine jus.
Now we moved on to the main course called ROBUST. Here we were treated to two more exceptional dishes. The Roast Squab Pigeon with fried artichoke and rosé harissa as well as the Stuffed Saddle of Lamb with spinach , trompette mushrooms and smoked potato left us both not wanting the dishes to end. These were matched perfectly by two excellent recommendations from Marco. For the pigeon he chose a Avignonesi 2020 DA . DI. and for the lamb a fabulous 2017 Inama Carminium.
Next to come was the additional STRONG which is the cheese course a selection of artisan cheeses with crackers , apple and prune chutney.
Now it was time to finish with GREEDY. This s the dessert section. First was the refreshing pre dessert of Blood Orange with pistachio. This was followed by two absolutely delights. The Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb with caramelised puff pastry , creme anglaise and yoghurt sorbet was light and delicious. The revamped Chocolate and Pecan Tartelette with gavottes and a whiskey jelly was chocolate heaven. This was paired beautifully with a Moussamoussettes Pet Nat.
We finished with coffee and petit fours to bring to an end another fabulous dining experience at Caractere. With every visit this restaurant goes from strength to strength and is an absolute credit to the hospitality industry. I would definitely recommend a visit and I’m looking forward to returning very soon myself.
Thank You Diego , Emily , Marco , Gaetano , Mattia and all the team for a fantastic lunch and look forward to seeing you all again soon.