Mario i Sentieri
The Most Fulfilling Restaurant Experience of My Life So Far
This restaurant's name "Mario i Sentieri" means "Mario's Paths" in English, as chef Mario says he wants his patrons to see their time at his restaurant as an experience, and it was clearly the best restaurant dining experience of my life so far.
The lighting is dim enough to be relaxing and romantic, but just well-lit enough to observe your company and your meal in all their splendor.
Red is a nearly monochromatic theme in the decor, and it's a delightful "Valentine's Day" red, that invokes the passion of romance as well as the passion that chef Mario Frittoli and his team infuse into their cuisine.
A strikingly red Milano-style bar lines the far left wall, and then the color is used sparingly and tastefully throughout the rest of the premises.
The ambience being impeccably set, one is comfortably set up to focus on the food, which is breathtaking from the first mouthful.
A simple menu featuring three different course options, in an ascending price scale, allows you to avoid the stress of too many choices; as each of the options look amazing.
We started our meal with home-made limoncello, and "chococello". Although both were heavenly, if you have to choose, I would go for the limoncello, simply to see to what amazing heights it can ascend. Being a fan of the beverage already, and having recently returned from a trip to Italy, I was happily blown away by how being homemade by a chef could bring this heavenly beverage to an even higher level of satisfaction.
The prosciutto was, of course, first rate, but what made it exceptional was the presentation alongside burrata cheese on top of half of a delicately-heated fruit tomato. Complimenting each other's flavors, it was completely stunning.
The risotto, presented with decorations of green pea sauce and slices of various root vegetables - carefully oven-dehydrated over many hours - was simply astounding.
My absolute favorite course was the lobster and pappardelle in tomato sauce; the sauce being unbelievably invigorating and savory - just spicy enough - and the pappardelle being al dente to a precision that only a chef of Mario Frittoli's caliber could accomplish.
Our dessert was no less stunning; gelato adorned with genuine gold flakes, and tiramisu on a splash of raspberry sauce.
By the time we savored the last bites of our meal, my wife and I concluded that we will be back many times, with friends and clients alike, and that we will tell everyone we can about this stellar dining experience.