Italians are aways the best fun, so when I found myself invited for lunch by a young director of communication from Milan, Ginevra Boralevi, with her best friend Allegra de Maigret and the super Italian chef Simone Zanoni at the one star restaurant Le George, I was in heaven. We had the best table under the veranda (not outside because it was mildly raining) and the very young and relaxed staff could not have been nicer including the sommelier Gabriele del Carlo. Hotel George V Four Seasons has a reputation for luxury and jet settism. But we were never intimidated and lunch lasted till three pm.
Born and raised on Lake Garda in Northern Italy, Simone Zanoni was very influenced by his grandmother and served us a dessert of apples and caramel that she had taught him. He is the most prolific chef, living in Versailles after ten years in London and eight at the Trianon Palace. There he grows his own vegetable in Madame Elizabeth’s house, Louis XVI th sister, whose garden is the topic of a novel by Alexandra de Broca. Lemons, herbs and tomatoes are his favorite. The lunch menu (at 65€) which included Sicilian arancinis with red tuna and agnolottis with ceps, swordfish, sole, and many desserts served in small portions, was totally fun and delicious.
There is a ballet of charming young Italian and French waiters and the atmosphere is relaxed and exciting. You forget that you are sitting in the Gold triangle of Paris where only the very rich stay. The garden is soothing and the professionalism of everyone is reassuring. There are little stools for your handbag, all the plates are differently shaped and well adapted to the beautiful food.
Ginevra Boralevi who is director of communication for Panerai watches, was very at ease in this Italian cantine where the chef is a fan. It was a fabulous oasis of charm and refinement in a brutal week of work and strikes…
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