This post was written by Chad Merchant
THE UNMISTAKABLE AROMA of fresh bread, among the list of things in this life which are truly and wholly good, wafted from Pietro’s kitchen, setting us into frenzied anticipation before the first morsel of food had arrived. And when the warm, crusty bread, interwoven with tangy bits of sun-dried tomato, hit our table with a dish of olive oil, I could have made that complimentary starter my entire meal. Happily, however, it was just a precursor to the delectable menu from which Pietro’s head Chef Ell chose our dishes.
When faced with a menu as stunning as Pietro’s, it’s rarely a bad idea to leave the choice to the chef, so that’s what we did. As we sat at in the comfortable and contemporary dining room, we were treated to a procession of culinary delights, starting with a freshly made Italian cheese called Burrata, crafted from mozzarella and cream, lending this cheese a uniquely soft, buttery texture. Pietro’s Burrata is properly served with fresh cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and a shower of coarse sea salt and cracked pepper.
Another winning starter was the Zuppa di Porcini, a robust, earthy mushroom soup infused with truffle oil and cream. Moving on to the mains, it was a great delight to see that Pietro recognises that good Italian cuisine is about much more than pasta and pizza (though, to be fair, they offer an excellent selection of both). Italy fuses continental Europe with the Mediterranean region, and this is reflected in the variety of food there. Perusing the menu showed encouraging dishes such as stewed (or grilled) barramundi, roasted cod, and prawns – all reminding us that Italy is indeed on the sea.
For lovers of the land, such dishes as Costolette d’Agnello (a gorgeous rack of lamb) and a particularly flavorful Filetto di Manzo (Angus beef filet) will tantalise. If that’s not enough, Pietro even leaves Italy for a moment and offers a stunning Chateaubriand – a classic French beef dish particularly favoured by Napoleon – that weighs in at a hefty 650 grams.
Pietro has a better-than-average wine list that highlights the marvellous wines of Italy, of course, but also has some nice selections from France, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand, as well.The single-malt Scotch selection also tempts, and reflects the owner’s affinity for the good stuff. In a welcome change of pace, Pietro doesn’t employ a huge mark-up on their Scotches, either, which makes selecting that special 15- or 20-year-old offering just that much easier.
The well-appointed restaurant is equally adept at hosting an intimate couples’ dinner or a themed corporate event. Private rooms, an upstairs dining area, and even a large events room ensure that a diner’s needs will be well-served. And oh, that food! Chef Ell and management assure me they don’t consider Pietro to be “fine dining,” in its strictest sense, and perhaps they’re right. But as a friendly neighbourhood Italian restaurant, they’re just polished and upscale enough to hit all the right notes and ensure you leave satisfied and very well-fed. By Chad Merchant
Fact File :
Pietro Ristorante Italiano
Ground Floor, Bangunan ECM Libra
8 Jalan Damansara Endah
Damansara Heights, 50490 KL
Tel: 03.2093 6433
Most appetizers/pastas – RM15-38++
Most entrées – RM36-72++
Most desserts – RM12-20++
Set Lunch (Mon-Fri, 12pm- 2.30)
RM43++/53++ for two/three courses, including coffee/tea
For more restaurant reviews visit: www.DineMalaysia.com
Source: The Expat December 2012
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