After the Christmas break, we decided to have a reunion with my girlfriends and arrange a fancy dinner in town to celebrate New Year and couple of other various personal achievements.
We booked at “Essenza“, the Italian restaurant upstairs Apoteca bar, in the very city center: I had always been extremely satisfied of all my dinners there, but recently I was missing from the place since my bacherolette party in 2014. Good timing for a come back 🙂
We got to the restaurant slightly in delay compared to the reserved time, after having advised, due to the crazy traffic and icy roads. Once arrived, we waited good ten minutes at the entrance, as nobody was in the reception area. We decided then to check upstairs and the waitress welcomed us to our table.
We started with an aperitif while waiting for the crew to be completed and we decided then to go for a fish dinner. I had Tuna Carpaccio with Bottarga as starter and Crumbs-Bread Shrimps with Orange as main. Most of my friends went for the mixed carpaccio platter as starter and the tuna tataki as main.
We had a decent Sicilian wine during the dinner and we concluded with some mirto and biscuits offered by the house.
Some pictures of our dinner followed by my feelings about the night.
What I liked about Essenza:
- The location is really fancy – perfect either for a reunion with friends or for a romantic date. The candle lights are giving a very special mood to the rooms.
- Dishes presentation is very appealing, the kind of you say “wow” when the plat arrives at the table.
What I did not like about Essenza:
- Unfortunately, food was not good at all: the presentation was giving a lot of expectations that remained poorly deluded. My carpaccio was extremely watery – you cannot even feel the fish – while the gambas were badly defrozen. Potatoes, vegetables, amuse bouche, everything was missing of taste, like ingredients were only nicely assembled for the presentation and not for the palate. Everybody had the same feeling: dishes were “fine” but not delicious as we remember them to be. Without being arrogant, I would say you can get a better level at home, with supermarket ingredients.
In conclusion: I was really looking forward to come back to Essenza after long time, but my expectations were not satisfied. I remember it to be a very good Italian fish restaurant in town and now I would say it is on the average level, pricey side (we spent 62 euro each). While the location has lots of atmosphere and presentation of dishes was amazing, the food failed to impress us. Hope it was just a bad night for them.