Reale – Dinner

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  • Visit Date: 22nd October 2022
  • Restaurant: Reale
  • Address:  Contrada Piana, Santa Liberata, 67031 Castel di Sangro AQ, Italy

From an already amazing lunch, I headed into dinner, where we could finally get some protein, although lunch was just so very good, I honestly didn’t miss it.  Niko just fed us, so the dishes kept on coming. Some really sterling ones. I absolutely loved the Pigeon with Pistachio dish, it was really tasty, and the pistachio emulsion, made with 100% pistachios. I also really enjoyed the Pink Pepper and Red Prawns Fettuccelle. So much flavour from the prawn heads used in the sauce. I also loved the lamb and finally the truffle dish, I haven’t ever tasted anything like it before, salty and sweet flavours. Just so good. Niko is so clever with flavours and super creative. Barely any fat, which is where you would expect the flavours to come from, he removes the fat and introduces it back, in other ways, such as the pistachio which the pigeon. Just full focus into the ingredients, and extracting as much flavour from them. 

Carrot dish, sweetness of carrot, all the extraction from the carrot and a puree, carrot with carrot. Very good.

Aubergine, it looked like tuna, but it wasn’t.. and fooled us all visually. Roasted white aubergine cube cooked in the oven, glazed with a black aubergine reduction, the texture really changed and was almost like meat, with a rosemary extraction and tomato sauce.

Signature onion reduction, Parmigiano buttons, toasted saffron. No water added, only the juices extracted from the onion, the Parmigiano, 26 months aged. Beautiful, delicate and delicious. 

Eel, garlic and chilli pepper. Brined to remove fat. Very tasty. 

Pigeon with pistachio. The only fat on the plate was from the pistachio emulsion, 100% pistachio. Just wonderful. 

Ravioli with sheep ricotta cheese. No sauce with it, just a water aromatised with black pepper and mint. This was nice and light, very very subtle flavours coming through, could barely taste the mint or black pepper. 

Trout, cooked in oven and compressed, which changed the usual texture of the fish, with an extraction of bay leaf which I found quite strong but still still good, and then the addition of tarragon and almond.

Pink pepper and red prawns, the sauce made from the heads of the prawns, with fettuccelle- really loved this, so much flavour.

Lamb with mustard cream and anise extraction and lamb broth. Yum. Just delicious and what’s more to say other than a whole plate of lamb to devour was just everything. 

Truffle – WOWWWWW – veal gel, black truffle, porcini mushroom, almonds, liquorice, rosemary, thyme, and some smokiness from a black tea. A play with salty and sweet flavours. This was out of this world, like nothing I have ever tasted in my life. It was just incredible. This dish has made it to one of my Top 10 dishes of 2022.

Dessert would have been served at lunch, but Niko wanted to save it for the end of this meal, it was it’s first time on the menu that day. The clementine and walnut, with a bay leaf extraction and skin of clementine. And a whole lot of love. Just perfect.

The final ending is the same as at lunch, the winter melon, grapes and chocolate. 

Just exceptional. What a meal. So very different to lunch, which was stand alone in it’s own right. The team here are also so lovely and funny too. What a fantastic evening. Loved it all, fully deserved of the three Michelin stars it holds, what a special place. Breakfast up next.

Such a special place.

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