Da Vinci

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Leonardo Da Vinci may have painted The Last Supper in 1498 for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, but in Jomtien, Da Vinci will be responsible for much more than last suppers!  Read on!

Da Vinci is the new Italian Restaurant and Wine Lounge on Jomtien Second Road, opposite the markets and 45 days old when we did the review.  It has three distinct sections – an al fresco terrace, a champagne lounge and finally a fine dining restaurant.  Leonardo would have been proud of them, combining so much to appeal to everyone.

We dined with passionate Italian Daniel Boccalini, representing the owners, sipping quietly on some Moet et Chandon (for those who are unsure, it is “Mo-ett ay Chandon” not “Mo-ay”) while discussing the thought behind this new restaurant complex.  For starters, it is quite breathtaking, with chrome dividing panels contrasting with the dark plush velvet chairs.  Replica paintings on the walls include La Gioconda (Mona Lisa) probably the most famous painting in the history of the world.  Quality glassware and napery complete the physical picture, and the very Italian Maitre d’ Giovanni moves effortlessly around the tables to ensure everything is as it should be.  Before venturing into the menu, we were also introduced to the jovial Italian chef Giuseppe, a large man who obviously enjoys his food.  Always remember to never trust a skinny chef.  Giuseppe is trustworthy!

The menu is in Italian, but has English ‘sub-titles’ and is printed on faux parchment, as Leonardo himself would have used.  It begins with the “Antipasti Freddi” (Cold Appetizers – and from now on I will use the English translations) which includes two carpaccio’s and the classic Parma ham and Melon.  The starters range between B. 650-910.

Warm appetizers (B. 510-1050) has escargot at the lower end and duck liver with orange and onion jam on salad and caramelized apple at the top.  Another interesting warm appetizer is the St. Jacques casserole scallops in Nantua’ sauce and lobster soup with gratinee mixed herbs and salmon eggs in green sauce.

Several salads are on offer (B. 350-690) including a salad with Parma ham, Parmesan cheese, green asparagus, prawns and duck breast in balsamic vinegar.

Four soups (B. 380-490), including a very tempting St. Jacques scallops consommé with vegetables and poached eggs.  No Italian restaurant can exist without pastas and risotto, and Giuseppe’s home made pastas (B. 640-890) and risotto’s (B. 450-590) are genuine with a Risotto with Italian sausage in Barolo wine for example.

Meat dishes are up next, ranging from B. 750, with most around the B. 1,000 mark.  AAA quality Australian imported Black Angus is selected for beef dishes and most grills are also around B. 1,000.

Fish dishes are B. 520 and upwards to B. 1,150

The Wine cellar stocks wines ranging in price from B. 580-120,000.  Daniel mentioning that the wines stocked were chosen for quality, not by where it originated.

Chef Giuseppe arranged the menu for the evening, designed to give us an idea of several of his dishes.  We began with the Carpaccio Royal featuring raw salmon, fresh tuna and monkfish with green sauces and salmon eggs.  In my tasting notes I had written 11 out of 10!

We moved on to a very pleasant Rain, 2011 a Riesling, for the next course which was a pasta duo.  A Ravioli filled with fresh Norwegian salmon and a Lasagnette with fresh vegetables and Monkfish.  I particularly enjoyed the ravioli, while Madame was more taken with the Lasagnette.

The final course was a dory fillet filled with Parma ham, salmon butter and rosemary with a tomato truffles pesto.  Fantastico!  And yes, we had an Italian inspired dessert as well!  Sheer indulgence.

This new addition to the ranks of up-market restaurants in Pattaya/Jomtien deserves its place amongst those well established at the top.  The venue is spectacular, the ambience excellent, professional service and inventive Italian cuisine.  We will go back, even if just to unwind in the champagne lounge!

Da Vinci is definitely well worth a visit.

Da Vinci, Jomtien Second Road, telephone 092 315 3359, email davinci.jomtien @gmail.com, secure parking, open seven days, Terrace from 9 a.m., restaurant noon until 2 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. until late for dinner.