La Brezza – Ascona

La Brezza, what an absolutely joyful meal. I can’t imagine a better experience coming out of quarantine and back into the world of fine dining and indoors no less. While the clientele of Eden Roc was a bit older and serious (that’s Ms. Fluffy Scrunchy pictured below), the Michelin one-starred La Brezza, was an absolute breath of fresh air. Immediately, the vibe was great as the decor itself was rather playful and the music could have easily been piano classics, but instead was a montage of American classics. Image a degustation menu set to Don Henley’s ‘Boys of Summer’. It happened and I was so here for the oddity of it all.

My table was a chair and this charming booth covered in plants.

The initial bites sent out from the kitchen were like nothing I’d ever seen before. Each delicately crafted bite was brought out perfectly on these porcelain shapes that I’d like to have in my living room. There was a beet macaron that was out of this world and a veal tartare cigar that just sublime. The surprise of this presentation, was just prefect for instilling giddiness for a great night ahead.

The perfect beet macaron.

The next thing I didn’t order that was just kindly sent from the kitchen was a sweet salmon in a herby drizzle accompanied with savory Dip’n Dots. So much fun and another perfect few bites.

I moved from bubbles to a regional white blend suggested by the sommelier. Really lovely.

The homemade crostini and bread came with your average butter and also this gorgeous, carmelized brown butter.

For the first course I chose a giant prawn that came with a side car prawn in a ravioli shape. Delightful.

Course two was this delicate trio of pecorino ravioli. Out of this world rich and wonderful.

Then, there was a small portion of pike perch with asparagus, lardo, and something wonderfully crunchy.

The lamb was my final and again, very delicious. The presentation of everything was just so detailed and thoughtful. I absolutely appreciated the crunch elements in most of the plates. Love a crunch.

Was it the wine or were my neighbors looking quite festive?

Prior to dessert, a man brings a tub of sorbet that’s smoking with liquid nitrogen. He issues a scoop and then brings two metal stamps- one is ‘love’ and one is ‘force’. You choose how you want your sorbet stamped. Of course, I chose love.

For the main dessert, I’d selected a tiny, intricate work of art that was mostly cheesecake and rhubarb.

Just when you’ve asked for the bill so you can roll yourself to bed, the chef himself appears with these strange apparatus filled with more desserts. The adorable 28-year old (Michelin starred) chef proceeds to ask how the meal was and then go into a story about how the star has something to do with a trip he and his girlfriend took to Thailand. (Of course, he has a girlfriend). I wasn’t so focused on that, more so how was I going to eat all of this….

La Brezza was an absolutely amazing evening. The service, the set-up, the almost comical music, and surprise after surprise of food and presentation. This meal was worth every joyful calorie and every penny. Not something I say often when I try these schmancy restos. Thank you for bringing fine dining back to life after a very long year, La Brezza.

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