Now That’s Italian
- Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 0:00
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Nonna Marianna di Stephano di Puleo is rightfully dancing the tarantella in heaven. Her grandson, Chef Christian Rossell is the owner/originator of Pecorino, Guatemala City’s successful Italian dining spot.
True to his nonna’s ethics, Chef Christian believes every aspect of his restaurant must satisfy all five of the senses. Along with the aromas and flavors from the kitchen, Pecorino’s ambiance, with a protected patio suggestive of relaxed dining beneath sunny skies in a Tuscan vineyard, has achieved just that.
Customer service is another aspect taken seriously. Staff members, including hosts, waiters, busboys, the twelve chefs, and even parking attendants, are friendly and helpful. You are likely to be greeted by Chef Christian himself or by his mother, Marie, who dines at Pecorino almost daily, reviewing the flowers, table settings, and décor. But don’t expect a right-out-of-The Godfather-type mama, no; Marie is a stylish and charming asset to this family affair.
For wine lovers, Pecorino will not disappoint. Their temperature-controlled wine cellar contains an amazing 830 wines from 11 countries. A visit to the cellar and a mini-course in wines by Chef Christian is informative and encouraged.
The food, of course, is the top priority. Ten specials are offered each day and the menu changes every four months. Every dish is carefully prepared and meets the highest standards of quality, flavor, and presentation.
Antipasti include imported escargot in garlic butter with a hint of white wine, and funghi ripieni, a divine grouping of portobello mushrooms, prosciutto, ricotta, and black truffles. An extensive menu of fresh salads (the insalata Pecorino combines arugula with a sweet and tangy raspberry dressing) and flavorful soups is offered followed by the primi course of tasty pastas. For the secondi course, there is a wide selection of seafood such as basso Aldo, named for Pecorino’s Chef Aldo; it is a filet of robalo in a mouthwatering mushroom and artichoke heart sauce. There are numerous shrimp dishes including gamberi di Zacapa Centenario, grilled shrimp in a cream sauce with the kick of Guatemala’s world-famous rum. Intriguing chicken and beef dishes are also featured; you might try the 2.5 pound Omaha steak, bistecca alla florentina, or the osso bucco. Now, that’s Italian!
From the brick oven come pizzas to die for, but do save room for the dolci! Desserts include such heavenly delights as panna cotta; a Culinary Awards-winning, rich, deep chocolate mousse; and take another spin around the dance floor, Nonna’s exquisite, creamy, ricotta- and chocolate-chip-filled cannoli recipe, which is Pecorino’s all-time best dessert!
Pecorino is located at 11 Calle 3-36, Zona 10, Ciudad de Guatemala, and is open Monday through Saturday from 12 PM to 1 AM and on Sunday from 12 PM to 6 PM. Reservations can be made at (502) 2360-3035.