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November 1999

Italian nice

Reviews of two Italian restaurants in Munich

Il Fiore Lilienstr. 6 Tel. (089) 48 61 12 Hours: Sun. – Fri. 11–0:30, closed Saturdays Hidden on Lilienstrasse, not all too coincidentally home to Munich Found offices, is a small Italian restaurant, which is modest from the outside and bountiful on the inside. Though Il Fiore has a simple décor, you would be wrong to expect anything short of spectacular from their food department. In fact, proprietor Bitacola Giuseppa, “Maria” to her friends and established clientele, serves some of the most impressive Italian dishes in the city, in an atmosphere that is not in the least snooty despite the gourmet cuisine she and her chefs deliver. You can order either from an extensive à la carte menu, or from a weekly menu, or, if your budget is not too tight, place your culinary desires in Maria’s hands and allow her to prepare a wonderful five or six course meal tailored to your individual tastes. The prix fix meal costs approximately DM 70 per person and, with prosecco, grappa and espresso included, is worth every Pfennig. Antipasta comes beautifully presented on a garnished platter: roasted oyster mushrooms; carpaccio, a very thin, melt-in-your-mouth roast beef sprinkled with a nutty parmesan; tiny buffalo mozzarella balls, bacon-like Italian ham stuffed with melted mozzarella then baked in the oven; and a crisp radicchio leaf filled with marinated squid and octopus. All of the above makes for a surprisingly light appetizer. The pasta course, consisting of tomato-sprinkled white and spinach linguine in a buttery garlic mushroom sauce, is followed by the most elegant catch of the day. An exquisite piece of sea devil, a fish that yields meat similar in taste and texture to lobster tail, is wrapped in zucchini slices and surrounded by a pureed green vegetable sauce. Diners may nibble away at a tossed green salad while awaiting medallions of veal in a smooth masala wine sauce, with herbed roasted potatoes. Ordered separately, pasta dishes range in price from DM 12 to DM 19.50. Meat and fish entrées are pricey, ranging from DM 24 to DM 42, but that is all the more reason to order Maria’s plentiful one-price sampler. A few MF staff favorites, which we order regularly off a now tattered green take-out menu, are the Penne all’ Arabiata (DM 13.50), a devilishly spicy tomato sauce over pasta tubes and slices of garlic, Insalata Nizzarda (DM 12.50), packed to bursting point with egg, artichoke, tuna, onions and crisp lettuce leaves, and any one of Il Fiore’s pizzas (DM 8–15), which taste bellissimo, unlike home delivery’s cardboard versions! Maria’s extensive dessert cart includes pannacotta with crushed fresh raspberry and profiteroles, puff pastry filled with vanilla cream smothered in fluffy milk chocolate sauce. All of the above, together with a comprehensive wine list and very attentive, very friendly service, wins Il Fiore the top marks. Food 10, Service 10, Atmosphere 10. Ristorante Nuovo Mondo Loristr. 14 Tel. (089) 129 55 31 Hours: daily 11 – 23:30 On a quiet corner in Neuhausen, well removed from the hustle and bustle of Rotkreuzplatz, lies the intimate Italian restaurant Nuovo Mondo. This unpretentious establishment lives up to its reputation as a neighborhood favorite, serving a variety of dishes from all regions of Italy to a crowd of loyal patrons. Every meal is preceded by a tasty bruschetta, tomato, garlic and olive oil on toast, compliments of owner and manager Luciano Cordasco. Mouthwatering, succulent steamed mussels, served with either a tomato or a white wine sauce (DM 18.50), are an excellent choice either as an appetizer or as a main course. If you desire something more substantial from the list of primi piatti, or first courses, Nuovo Mondo offers a variety of classic pasta dishes: a delicate version of the multi-layered favorite lasagne al forno, or meat lasagna (DM 10); tagliatelle Emiliana, long, flat noodles with ham and mushrooms smothered in a rich cream sauce (DM 9.50); or, a mouthful both when ordering and when served, spaghetti agilo, ollo e peperoncino, or spaghetti with (not swimming in) olive oil, garlic, and peppers (DM 9). A superb main course, the cotolette Bolognese, or veal cutlet Bologna-style (DM 21), has a velvety texture enhanced by a blanket of delightfully molten ham and cheese. A piece of zuppa romana (DM 5.50), a decadent layered sponge cake, is a satisfying way to round off any Italian meal. It is not unusual to be treated to a fruit schnapps or grappa on the house — a sweet end to a superb evening. Food 8, Service 8, Atmosphere 7. <<<

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