The art of hospitality, which has always been the seal of Arrigo Cipriani's style, boasts unexpected novelties. Let's discover them with our Fiammetta Fadda
Devil of a man! At 89 years old (this year he turns 90), Arrigo Cipriani does not limit himself to arguing against the excessive power of the cooks, reiterating that the restaurateur's mission is to make the customer feel at ease by offering him a welcoming room in its (apparent) simplicity with perfect service. Indeed, it accepts the challenge of demonstrating that in that little hole of a few tens of square meters that is theHarry's Bar you can do a scene from 'Grand Restaurant'.
That is what everyone now talks about as the new future of catering, where the show is not in the food design inside the plate, but in the gestures of those who, at the table, know how to give a show by whipping a pasta, pinning a fish, cutting a roast- beef, kicking a bird.
You know Harry's? Impossible to be in Venice and not want to make a bet. I say want because, as far as power is concerned, it is a problem. There is no day, week, month, season of the year in which it is not overbooked and packed. At least for lunch or dinner, because, as for the aperitif, Arrigo has always liked the 'busier than that': at the bar on stools and standing, pressed against the entrance door. Of course: the mix of nationality, age, clothing, is irresistibly enjoyable, plus the share of Venetian regulars who enjoy the "friendly voice", or the privilege of a small discount on consumption.
The restaurant menu is a list of simple dishes (what could be simpler than a Carpaccio?), Good, in generous portions, which has never succumbed to the fashion of the tasting menu, for Arrigo a symbol of the chef's arrogance, because "knowing to welcome is to leave the guest free to choose ". And here too he was right, at first going against the trend, now at the forefront with his philosophy of offering flavors rich in identifying and recognizable roots. Tagliolini, risotto that follow the seasons, Venetian liver, the famous Scampi alla Carlina, Chicken curry with pilau rice.
But let's go back to the hall. You have ordered, let's say, the Risotto with radicchio, a classic of the house. In that room shared by the bar and restaurant, where there are no less than fifty people, in addition to the passage of those who leave or enter the room above, the waiter (elastic, sharp and certainly fit), brings and opens wide in front of you a folding table, you deposit the tray with the soup of the risotto, the accessories to finish it, the hot dishes; completes the preparation, places it on the plates and serves it to you. Everyone is watching, and you are part of the show too. Then, to the dessert, the grand finale: after clearing the table, the waiter reappears holding a new tablecloth stretched out in front of him: he carefully rolls it up, unrolls it delicately on the table which is now ready for the last act. We are at the level of sleight of hand. Applause.
Harry's Bar – San Marco 1323 – Venice, Italy 30124
Open from Friday to Tuesday from 12:00 to 23:00
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