Grandma's cooking inspires comforting dishes at PerBacco

SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) Italian restaurant PerBacco has had a new chef and menu since late last year, and now, its focus is on the food of northern Italy.

Chef Marco Fregnan, who was born in Treviso, has another inspiration - his grandmother. The flavours of the food evoke memories of her.

I like that PerBacco is unpretentious and the service is friendly. It's a great lunchtime hideaway when you need some comfort. It will also be comforting on your wallet because the set lunches are under $30.

Northern Italian cuisine is richer and you cannot miss out on the risotto and polenta dishes. You should not be on any sort of diet when you're here. Just enjoy the food, the environment and the service.

Green pea risotto ($20).

I usually avoid vegetarian options on menus because I'm afraid I'll go hungry. But the green pea risotto ($20) is both filling and satisfying. The hint of mint is especially enticing.

Stewed veal cheek ($34). 

The stewed veal cheek ($34) is tender (marinated overnight in red wine, then slow-cooked), tasty and filling, and sometimes, that's all you want from a dish.

Gnocchi ($26) stuffed with Gorgonzola and topped with walnuts.

Any Italian restaurant worth its olive oil should be able to do a good gnocchi ($26). PerBacco's is fluffy and stuffed with Gorgonzola, and topped with walnuts. The cheese can overwhelm but the walnuts keep it interesting.

Baccala' alla Vicentina ($32). 

The Baccala' alla Vicentina ($32) is dried cod slow-cooked in milk for 90 minutes and served with grilled polenta. It may be an acquired taste but I like it tremendously.

Chef's signature hazelnut panna cotta ($12). PHOTOS: THE NEW PAPER

End the meal with the chef's signature hazelnut panna cotta ($12). It's wobbly as required with the added crunch of the nuts.

WHAT PerBacco

WHERE 20, Craig Road, Craig Place #01-03

WHEN Mondays to Saturdays, noon to 2.30pm, 6pm to 11.30pm

CALL 6635-7130

This article was first published on February 17, 2016.
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