July 19: L'unità ★★★★
L’unità is the older and more experienced sister restaurant to Maléna; and where it lacks in furnishings it makes up in sophistication. Saggy armchairs make for a sub-optimal position to attack the impending feast. And while the portions weren’t particularly fearsome, the food is fit for royalty. I was a bit annoyed that the two sisters both began with crudo and followed with branzino, but the same ingredients were treated in surprisingly novel ways. The crudo was a differentiated take on lox – the smoked fish replaced with a fresh raw trout, the cream cheese with an uplifting yogurt and capers with peculiarly well-paired celery. The branzino rested on a smoky, bitter yet sweet eggplant purée, garnished by soft-flavoured vegetables for an cheery main. And finally, the yogurt returns in squeaky chunks to brighten the densely colourful blackberry and cake though the three parts sour overpowered the one part sweet from the nuts. Overall, L’unità is an exciting take on the traditional Italian trattoria with some never-before-tasted flavours to boot.
steelhead trout crudo
fresh yogurt, roasted beets & celery
roasted eggplant & summer zucchini
olive oil cake
blackberry conserva, limoncello & yogurt