Please join us on January 29th at 7pm for a special dinner where Chef Alessandro Gavagna from Michelin-Starred La Subida joins us in L'Apicio's kitchen for a special five-course meal. Wines will be paired by their main sommelier Michele Paiano and our own Joe Campanale, and guests will experience the infamous Aceto di Uva. Also in attendance will be Mitja Sirk, son of Josko Sirk, owner of La Subida, first family of Collio Hospitality, to walk them through the dishes. La Subida, located in Friuli, Italy, has been named one of the top 101 Best Restaurants in the world--this is an evening not to be missed.
About La Subida
The Subida is a little relais hotel in the hills, amidst the most famous Collio Goriziano vineyards. From the latter and from their wine comes its raison-d’être. You will be our welcome guests in a dozen small houses rising on the edge of a luxuriant wood, made for walking. A restful garden with a swimming-pool, the tennis court, a game park and the manège, to fill your free time. The Vespas as yellow as our Ribolla - to roam in the hills, from one row to the other. An inviting trattoria with its typical cuisine - partly Friulian, partly Slovenian, its large cellar replete with a certain kind of Friuli. An osteria with the garden and refreshments- ice-cream, or the “spargher” for something warm. The Subida isn’t actually a hotel with all creature-comforts or a place for unending amusements: what we really wish it to be is an ideal place for a relaxing, invigorating holiday, for a pause from this chaotic way of living of ours- where, for money and success, we so much sacrifice ourselves and our families. A place where you can still dream.
If there is a guardian of Friuli’s food culture, a student of its sometimes opaque history, a defender of its origins and a champion of its traditions, that would be Josko Sirk, whose country restaurant La Subida just outside Cormòns has evolved into a legend.
It’s a legend that brooks no compromises, but it does demand the fulltime attention of every member of the Sirk entourage.
On a recent Sunday evening, when tourists as well as local families tend to wander off to the Adriatic beaches, Josko Sirk was dressed a bit less formally (no jacket, rolled up shirtsleeves), wheeling the cart bearing a Prosciutto d’Osvaldo to every table so he could personally carve a few slices as a token of welcome.
Now that the kitchen is firmly in the hands of his son-in-law, Josko Sirk can devote his time and energy to another project: artisanal aceto. Just down the drive from the restaurant he’s built a star-shaped wooden house; inside is a distillery where he uses whole grapes to produce an exquisite vinegar, sweet enough to flavor ice cream. You spritz it onto food as if you were squirting it with a lemon. Industrial production takes 20 minutes, but he ages aceto his for two summers. The vinegar even has its own website.
And let us not neglect to mention that my visit to Italy was sponsored by the Consorzio Collio Carso, the marketing association of Collio and Carso wine makers. Grazie, grazie mille.
And a bit more...
At the border between Italy and Slovenia, the area of Collio is a mix of traditional Austrian Friuli and Slovenia. It is a land ennobled by the presence of fine wines that are considered among the best in the world. On its hills alternate with villages, castles and churches lonely. A rough and varied landscape, full of strong contrasts of flavor and delicate hillsides, between small villages and vast vineyards. In the heart of these lands, Cormons, in the province of Gorizia, there is a country hotel with restaurant, tavern and some cozy and cared for. The Subida is a small town for green tourism. The perfect place for a holiday in contact with nature and especially with good food. The restaurant trattoria Al Hunter was born in 1960, and some years ago the owner, Josko Sirk, decided to approach a charming place to stay, La Subida precisely where work his wife Loredana and daughters Tanya and Erika. The restaurant of the past has been carefully renovated and furnished with cupboards, chairs and tables of the local tradition. Meet the chef Alessandro Gavagna, which serves traditional cuisine and fresh creations, bringing her food in her experiences with Walter Eynard, Igles Corelli, David Scabin and Alain Ducasse. That somehow changed his life: "As a kid," he confesses, "if I had not the hotel I chose the school for mechanics." But, fortunately for us, this dreamer and sometimes shy introvert that season every dish is finished with flair in the kitchen. And in his dishes gives us all the flavors of the land of Collio: just take a look at the recipes that he wanted to give us, such as roe deer or pink tadpoles of pasta with vegetables and mushrooms, to realize this. But Al Cacciatore you can also taste the plum dumplings or žlikrofi (ravioli stuffed with potato chips Montasio), while for those who love the soups there is pozganka (with flour, eggs and flowers of wild fennel). Also excellent fillet of venison with cranberry sauce, duck breast with porcini mushrooms and saddle of venison with chestnuts.
Contemporary sophistication but also respecting tradition and territory: this is the philosophy of Alexander Gavagna, a great lover of the quality and freshness of the products. The raw materials are crucial for him, so that if you were to choose to open a restaurant in another corner of the world choose Brazil "because it is a land rich in quality products." Why, he said, "even to make a simple dish like pasta, garlic, olive oil and the quality of the ingredients is essential." And if you say it is a 'hunter' of flavors like him we can be sure!
When & Where
L'Apicio is located at 13 E. 1st St. and opened in the fall of 2012. The Italian-inspired restaurant gets its name from the 18th century Italian cookbook, and brings Executive Chef Gabe Thompson's cravable modern Italian food to the East Village. L'Apicio offers a deep cocktail and wine program created by Beverage Director Joe Campanale, while Executive Pastry Chef Katherine Thompson oversees the pastry program. L'Apicio is open for dinner seven days a week and brunch on the weekends, featuring lounge and bar areas and outdoor seating, in addition to the main and private dining rooms.