You may have been to a lot of London supper clubs, but you haven’t done it right until you’ve been to dinner at Il Cudega. It took me a few hours at this London Fields dining spot to fall for the cuisine, culture and atmosphere. Here’s a review of their Sant’Ambroeus night.
Sant’Ambroeus is Milan’s patron saint. The Milanese remember him each year on December 7th, getting everyone in the mood for Christmas. Il Cudega followed this tradition and invited its guests to a real Northern Italian dinner. But unlike other, impersonal supper clubs where you just sit and eat your food, Il Cudega’s Sant’Ambroeus night was like a real Italian family dinner: onwers Giovanni Brighi and Luca Gaggioli, together with the restaurant’s chefs and wine experts, explained the history and preparation of each dish, helping us get a truly unforgettable dining experience.
We started out with a great aperitivo made of sparkiling red Lambrusco wine with raspadura, a “younger” version of Grana Padano left to rest for less than its more famous variety. Delicate yet tasty, you can eat raspadura with your hands, curling it up slightly.
Next up was a liver paté on home-made dry figs and raisins butter bread and boretana onion in balsamic apple vinegar. I’m generally not a big fan of paté, but Il Cudega’s version of this dish was so light and heart-warming I enjoyed every bit of it, especially while paired up with sumptuous Cobue white wine.
Famous even in my end of Italy, Il Cudega’s Milanese saffron rice was a perfectly executed classic reminding me of great winter nights in Milan. Paired with a red from Cascina del Bosco, I expected no less than a perfect Primo Piatto – and I wasn’t disappointed!
Il Cudega’s chefs managed the impossible during the Sant’Ambroeus supper club: they cooked about thirty Osso Buco all at once, still managing to make the typical Milanese steak utterly flawless.
The dinner ended in style with Panettone coming directly from Milan’s Pasticceria Martesana and Lodi cream. The bravest of us paired it up with a coffee and zabaione (made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine) despite the late hour.
If you want to eat like the Italians eat, then don’t think twice and pop down to Il Cudega. Buon appetito!
Pictures: Carolina Are, Il Cudega