GIORGIO Di Maria from Sydney's Vini, Berta and 121 BC visited Hobart two weeks ago to present fabulous Italian wines from his native Piedmont while Luke Burgess threw together a 6 course Piemontese truffle lunch at Garagistes using Peter Cooper's Tasmanian truffles. It was by far the best and most generous lunch I have ever eaten. Once again Pauline Mak was there with her camera to capture the event.
No sooner had we finished nibbling on Luke's house made salumi than I received a tweet from Bell's Stefano Manfredi who confessed that Giorgio's passion for Italian wine was an inspiration to him. Giorgio stopped pouring the baccabianca to check it out.
Meanwhile Luke was busy plating up the truffle laden raw vegetables for the bagna calda.
First course was a bagna calda accompanied by a baccabianca 2006, tenuta grillo.
The colour of the baccabianca was the first surprise, the taste was out of this world.
Next came scraped wagyu fillet covered in truffles and coupled with a salty caramel like egg yolk.
The wagyu was teamed with a nebbiolo 2009 giuseppe rinaldi
Then came a wild rabbit agnolotti sprinkled with crumbled house made amaretti. A sensation.
Accompanied by a boca 1990, campo delle piane. This North Piemonte wine had rested in large botte from 1990 until 1999 when it was bottled. It was truly amazing.
As if this wasn't enough - a smoked tongue risotto with bone marrow and more truffles, house baked bread and truffle butter.
The last savoury course was waygu rib eye cooked over the restaurant's wood grill and served with a crema di cipollle al forno and fritto misto alla piemontese.
This time the wine was a barolo vecchie vigne 1998, giuliano corino.
The dessert created by Luke was a pannacotta, better than any I have ever tasted. The dish was made in Giorgio's regional traditional method incorporating egg white and was served with a truffle and mandarino chocolate sauce. The dish pannacotta tradizionale, gianduja, tartufo e mandarion was a triumph.