Adding to your Italian drinking repertoire is the refreshed Dolcetto and new Tenuta by Park90.
The Italian bakery at Regent hotel has grown into an all-day bistro and bar inspired by food sellers on a typical Italian street, while Park90 opens its second location at Intercontinental hotel with wines from all over Italy.
Dolcetto has been selling pastries since 2012, and it recently expanded into a multi-concept destination after a four-month renovation. It now includes a bistro, bar, cafe, speciality food and gelato store with seating in and outdoors.
The most obvious change is the addition of Mercantino, or market. Located right next to Dolcetto’s original space, the establishment serves over 200 Italian specialties including pizzas, pastas, cheeses, cured meats, classic Italian cocktails, and wine. Many items are made onsite.
Pizza, for instance, take the form of pizzetta (S$16++ – S$40++ each), which is around the size of a dinner plate. Boasting an airy crust, they come in guises from truffle and burrata to sweet banana Nutella. From 5pm to 8.30pm, they also serve dinner items like scallops gratin and the juicy chicken spiedini, which resemble kebabs.
Dinner dishes are strangely small, so treat them like bar bites while drinking an Italicus Spritzer, which is based on a bergamot-flavoured bitter liqueur. Dolcetto also has a G&T selection featuring gins from Piedmont and Sardinia, and wines from a Piedmont sauvignon blanc to an Alto Adige pinot nero.
The drinks range from S$16++ to S$18++, and the daily happy hour from 3pm to 7pm takes a few dollars off to around S$15++. Mercantino also sells take-home items like dried pasta from smaller brands, which you should browse with a scoop (S$6 for single) of melon gelato crowned with salty prosciutto.
Tenuta by Park90
If the usual amarone and Chianti bore you, then Tenuta by Park90 could be inspiring. The brand’s latest wine bar at Intercontinental hotel focuses solely on Italian wines through 420 labels.
Now part of the hotel lobby bar, Tenuta has representatives from all of Italy’s 20 wine producing regions, from major areas such as Tuscany and Veneto, to some of the country’s smallest: Calabria, Molise, and Valle d’Aosta. Indigenous grape varieties are also showcased in ten wines by the glass, which has been put together by head sommelier Aleksandra Arzhakova and her team.
“People’s palates are changing and they don’t want just strong, big wines,” Arzhakova said. “They’re exploring different profiles, from delicate and light to modern styles of wines. Italy is one of the most diverse winemaking countries in the world with so much to offer in each of its 20 wine producing regions, such as sparkling Lambrusco from Emilia-Romagna and full-bodied red Gaglioppo from Calabria.”
The wine list is helpfully divided into regions, with an introduction and map describing where you are drinking, plus a little bit about the local cuisine. Selection, however, is limited by geography, and perhaps availability. For example, Tuscan wines run five pages long, while the tiny Valle d’Aosta offers just one. Tenuta also highlights different themes and smaller producers each month.
While there is always a possibility to go big at Park90, Tenuta aspires to make affordability an option too. Over 200 bottles are priced S$100 and under, such a lively 2017 aglianico by Campania-based winemaker Pietracupa priced at S$80. On the other end, a 2016 Barolo by revered producer Bruno Giacosa was S$750.
Neighbouring restaurant Luce by Davide Giacomelli keeps bar bites in character twitch dishes like bruschetta and amberjack carpaccio. Alternatively, Man Fu Yuan lets you explore how Cantonese food pairs with Italian wine. Sichuan chicken popcorn and prosecco, in particular, was a delight.
Dolcetto is located at Regent Singapore Lobby Level, 1 Cuscaden Rd, 249715.
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