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Ristorante Quadri by chef Massimiliano Alajmo from La Calandre Padua

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divinecomedie Jun 22, 2011 07:30 AM

What about the new Ristorante Quadri?
Since June 2 the restaurant's chef Massimiliano Alajmo from La Calandre in Padua writes the menu of Ristorante Quadri that chef Silvio Giavedoni executes !
Does that mean that Venice have now a three-star restaurant?

"In early 2011, Massimiliano and his family took over Venice’s historic Gran Caffè & Ristorante Quadri. After four months of renovation, Ristorante Quadri reopened in St. Mark’s Square on June 2, 2011 with a new look and a new menu"

An article on this subject :
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/75825ce0-96...

The menus http://www.caffequadri.it/pdf/menu_ri...

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  1. d
    divinecomedie RE: divinecomedie Jun 22, 2011 07:34 AM

    The good link
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/75825c...

    1 Reply
    1. re: divinecomedie
      a
      allende RE: divinecomedie Jun 22, 2011 08:55 AM

      A very overrated chef who may be able to run one restaurant but not two based on our experience.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/770756

      I've read Nick Lander for many years in the FT. Have not seen a food writer for a major publication be so unknowledgeable about Italian food in Italian restaurants. On the other hand his wife Jancis Robinson really understands Italian wine.

    2. PBSF RE: divinecomedie Jun 22, 2011 04:20 PM

      I love Le Calandre but I don't have high hope for Ristorante Quadri. From what I read from the link to the FT article, it sounds like the Alajmo is getting a consulting fee for their work and not actively cooking there. These arrangement rarely worked. "Does that mean that Venice have now a three-star restaurant?", I don't think so. Massimliano Alajmo, however talented he is, will not be the first Italian chef to have manage two Michelin 3-star restaurants.

      -----
      Le Calandre
      strada statale 11, località Sarmeola, via Liguria,1, Rubano (PD), Veneto 35030, IT

      1. minchilli RE: divinecomedie Jun 23, 2011 01:17 AM

        I'm headed there next month, and very much looking forward to it. I will certainly report back.
        But to chime in, I do like and read Nick Lander. He's not based in Italy, and so has a slightly different take on things here than we would, but I respect his knowledge of food.
        And Alajmo is not just a 'consultant', but very much involved in Quadri. Many chefs branch out, run and mange different restaurants at different levels of involvement. I don't know why you wouldn't have 'high hopes' without yet going there and checking it out.
        -----
        www.elizabethminchilli.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: minchilli
          a
          allende RE: minchilli Jun 23, 2011 03:41 AM

          I'll comment on Nick Lander since I brought it up. Lander doesn't have a slightly different take, he just doesn't know very much about Italian food and restaurants. I've come to this conclusion after reading him for many years.

          PBSF brought up the lack of high hopes for Quadri. Based on my experience at Alajmo's second restaurant, La Montecchia, which was mediocre at best, Alajmo shouldn't be opening a third, whether as a consultant or owner (he owns La Montecchia).

          I'm not aware of many Italian chefs, with one highly ranked restaurant, running and managing different restaurants. Of the 24 restaurants rated 90 and above in Gambero Rosso, I only see one that has a second place. Which ones were you referring to?

          -----
          La Montecchia
          via Montecchia 12, Selvazzano Dentro, Padova, Veneto 35030, IT

          1. re: minchilli
            PBSF RE: minchilli Jun 23, 2011 07:40 PM

            You are absolutely correct that my opinion is based on not having checking it out. It is mainly based on my many years of working at restaurants, I know how difficult it is to run an excellent high-end establishment. I have also eaten at many named chef restaurants, their clones, their simpler offsprings, etc. From my experience, the success rate is not high and rarely is a second one as good as their flagship place. In the beginning, there might be great improvement in the food and the service. It might create some buzz and breathe new life to a dying establishment. In the case of Ristorante Quadri, it needs both. The prices at Quadri is on par with The Met, da Fiore, Harry's Bar and their Le Calandre, therefore, they are not running a simple trattoria. The FT article did not go into much detail on the arrangement with the Alajmo family but I serious doubt that Raffaele will be a permanent fixture there when he has both le Calandre and Le Calandrino, plus La Montecchia to manage. It might be that the Alajmo family has enough well trained people to pull it off. The above is really my thoughts and opinions because I spend so much time in Venice. I am very much looking forward to reading about your next months experience.

            -----
            Le Calandre
            strada statale 11, località Sarmeola, via Liguria,1, Rubano (PD), Veneto 35030, IT

            La Montecchia
            via Montecchia 12, Selvazzano Dentro, Padova, Veneto 35030, IT

          2. livingvenice RE: divinecomedie Aug 6, 2011 09:24 AM

            I had lunch at the Quadri just recently and so enjoyed it. I'm delighted to see new life being breathed into this Grand Dame -- just enough to revitalize it but not to much to make it silly or take it over the top. I found the service gracious and elegant, but not at all stuffy; the panorama of the piazza, even at lunchtime, even with construction around the campanile, even for a Venice local, is unique and added that much more to the whole experience.

            We were served the Beinnale inspired tasting menu (Lucefluida): it was multifaceted (an understatement), well-executed and just plain good food, and being a bit of a vine girl and I enjoyed the sometimes adventurous but well-chosen wine pairings as well.

            I am not a food critic (and never will be), but I do love to eat well, and also enjoy when talented folks realize their visions and I get to enjoy the result. I am all for the fratelli Alajmo and Quadri and wish everyone there the best. I think an evening meal would be quite an experience -- I look forward to hearing what others have to say.

            (You'd think it would come natural to compare Calandre and the Quadri -- but I find them so distinctive that it doesn't seem warranted somehow...)

            -----
            Ristorante Quadri
            Piazza San Marco, 121, Venice, Veneto 30124, IT

            1 Reply
            1. re: livingvenice
              PBSF RE: livingvenice Aug 6, 2011 12:51 PM

              Thank you for the report. Glad that the Alajmo and Quadri is off to a great start. Given the difference in the ambience and clientele, it would be difficult to compare the two. For us, what makes a great restaurant has always been the warmth and generosity of the people who runs it. The Alajmo has always been that at Le Calandre. We'll have to give it a try when generous visitors come to stay with us.

              -----
              Le Calandre
              strada statale 11, località Sarmeola, via Liguria,1, Rubano (PD), Veneto 35030, IT

            2. Smilinglion RE: divinecomedie Oct 9, 2011 09:00 AM

              Had dinner there last night. Interior and views were stunning, service very professional and friendly (if not a bit stiff - but it's that kind of place anyway). Alajmo influence very strong, from the decor (Max's hand drawings on the wall) to the glassware (asymmetrical water and wine glasses), lighting concept (room very dark but tables well lit, very much like La Calandre - one thing which I like very much) and to the menu, especially with the suckling pig which was excellent. A few other less than spectacular dishes but generally very good

              Not 3 stars yet but could get 2 pretty fast especially if compared with The Met (where we dined the previous night and didn't like as much).

              12 Replies
              1. re: Smilinglion
                jen kalb RE: Smilinglion Oct 9, 2011 07:37 PM

                Its great to have a report! - Can you say a little more about these meals?

                1. re: jen kalb
                  Smilinglion RE: jen kalb Oct 10, 2011 12:04 AM

                  The location of Quadri is unbeatable, try to get a window table if possible but we were told that it takes weeks of prior reservations to get the right to dine overlooking St Mark's Square. That said, the next row of tables give you some view as well so it's a good consolation if you fail to get a window table. The interior is also beautiful.

                  There are fixed price menus and ala carte, for the fixed price, I believe there was one for Eur190 and the other, which has the same courses but some you chose either-or (hence 2 dishes less) was Eur160. I think you can get the menus on their website. Not cheap but not out of this world either considering what similarly located restaurants in Paris, Milan or Rome charge. Food was expertly executed with some memorable dishes like the seafood risotto, the suckling pig (a La Calandre specialty) and the deep fried cream dessert.

                  Wine list was decent and I was surprised to still be able to pick out a few Supertuscans for under Eur100 a bottle. Markups for 'famous' wines were ridiculous as expected but reasonable for everything else.

                  I wouldn't go specially to Venice to eat there but if I was in Venice and wanted a romantic/classy dinner and wasn't on a budget, then it would be a good choice.

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                  Ristorante Quadri
                  Piazza San Marco, 121, Venice, Veneto 30124, IT

                  1. re: Smilinglion
                    a
                    allende RE: Smilinglion Oct 10, 2011 09:56 AM

                    A few "Supertuscans" for under 100 Euros a bottle, have to be off (way off !) years.

                    1. re: allende
                      Smilinglion RE: allende Oct 10, 2011 02:57 PM

                      Granted they were 'lesser' Supertuscans and also the younger vintages, but I recall correctly, I spotted the Cepparello, I Sodi di San Niccolo and Fontalloro for under Eur100 or thereabouts and these weren't the 2002 or 2003 either. I had the 2000 Fontalloro for Eur77. Don't go anywhere the Tignanello, Sassicaia, Ornellaia or Masseto of course unless you want to spend at least Eur3000 for a decent vintage.

                      1. re: Smilinglion
                        Smilinglion RE: Smilinglion Oct 10, 2011 10:54 PM

                        I meant Eur 300...

                      2. re: allende
                        livingvenice RE: allende Oct 10, 2011 11:35 PM

                        Just an FYI, Quadri has a rich and varied wine collection and the servers will be more than happy to offer suggestions for wines that will pair excellently with dishes created from mostly regional elements.

                        SuperTuscans are inordinately popular but hardly a wine for all seasons -- there's always a danger of overwhelming all but the most robust dishes. Just in case someone might be considering a more adventurous or curious choice in wine, you'll find many fine ones, and at much less of a "collector's" price.

                    2. re: jen kalb
                      Smilinglion RE: jen kalb Oct 10, 2011 12:20 AM

                      The only 2 star restaurant in Venice and hence our very high expectations when we dined there last week (plus we had just come from Osteria Francescana the previous day so the bar was set high). Dining room was beautiful with a fireplace and elegant light fixtures. The hotel is famous for it's antiques collection and there were some pieces displayed in the restaurant too. Try to get a table on the raised platform near the fireplace, it's more intimate and private there.

                      We went for the 1992 menu (it's supposed to be a collection of his signature dishes dating back to when he started cooking) which was Eur115 I think without wine pairing and Eur150 with wines) and had the accompanying pairing, so did not choose from the wine list, hence cant comment on it. Despite some really innovative dishes (the fish with foam and sauce which tasted like Thai curry, the squid carbonara with squid sliced to look like tagliotelle and the cigar and rum dessert which gave the same aftertaste of smoking a cigar) which were top class, the dinner was let down by the main courses where the the dishes were so confused with so many different ingredients which all didn't complement each other. In addition, these dishes were unnecessary complicated by flashy show-off cooking techniques (like balsamic meringue and all sorts of foams) which really weren't necessary to complement what would be otherwise perfectly cooked veal and pigeon.

                      Wine pairing was value for money as they were generous with the alcohol (I don't say wine as we were also served beer and rum as part of the dinner). Didn't like the service here though, felt like they were a quite stuck-up and brusque which was surprising for a 2 star restaurant.

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                      Osteria Francescana
                      Via Stella 22, Modena, Emilia-Romagna , IT

                      Met
                      Riva degli Schiavoni, 4149, 30122 Venezia, Italy, Venice, Veneto , IT

                      1. re: Smilinglion
                        livingvenice RE: Smilinglion Oct 10, 2011 02:09 AM

                        I know that chef Corrado Fasolato was leaving the Met by Oct 1 or Nov 1 -- at the time I spoke to his wife they weren't sure what was next (sounded like they were up for some time off). We will have to see what happens from there, with him, and with the Met.

                        1. re: livingvenice
                          Smilinglion RE: livingvenice Oct 10, 2011 02:50 PM

                          That could explain a lot...

                          1. re: livingvenice
                            z
                            zerlina RE: livingvenice Oct 13, 2011 11:59 AM

                            According to Corriere del Veneto, Fasolato is at the Met until December 31:

                            http://corrieredelveneto.corriere.it/...

                            You can try Google Translate, but it comes out pretty garbled.

                            He's taking some time off and then opening a small restaurant of his own about a year from now outside Schio in his native province of Vicenza.

                          2. re: Smilinglion
                            jen kalb RE: Smilinglion Oct 10, 2011 06:26 AM

                            great to have the more detailed reviews, Smilinglion! - are we going to hear more about Osteria Francescana too? I dont think we have had a real report on Chowhouind recently. thanks too for clicking the "this is a review" button since I think these restaurant pages with your review will now index on google.

                            -----
                            Osteria Francescana
                            Via Stella 22, Modena, Emilia-Romagna , IT

                            1. re: jen kalb
                              Smilinglion RE: jen kalb Oct 11, 2011 12:38 AM

                              Happy to and have done so, though on another thread so as not to divert from the topic in discussion here..

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