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Percorso: Glittering Perfection

Percorso // Four Seasons Lion Palace Hotel // 1 Voznesensky Prospekt // Tel. 339 8000 // Open daily from 4 p.m. to midnight // Menu in English // Reservations recommended // Dinner for two with alcohol: 6,510 rubles ($188)

Published: January 29, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • One of the dining rooms at Percorso, Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg.
    Photo: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace / For SPT

An evening spent at Percorso is nothing less than an event. From the drama of the crystal chandeliers to the tufted furniture, dark woods and roaring fire, everything oozes a certain refined theatricality that is a perfect antidote to the gray, snowy weather outside.

All this glamour comes at a price — but it’s well worth it for the service, atmosphere, and yes, the food.

The Percorso experience starts with the appearance of a basket full of artisanal bread accompanied by homemade butter, two types of salt and small dishes of a fruity, peppery olive oil for dipping — all of which are explained by the server. It proved hard to stop from filling up on the delectable bread once we got going, wishing to try all the different varieties, and so it was a mild relief when the waitress moved it out of reach to place the stunning looking, and tasting, appetizers on the oversized table.

First out of chef Andrea Accordi’s kitchen was a Cartoccio (850 rubles, $24.57), the chef’s gourmet take on a fritto misto, that indulgent seaside favorite of deep-fried seafood and vegetables. The elevated version served at Percorso included perfectly cooked whole scallops alongside shrimp and vegetables. Light, tender and sublimely crunchy, the nibbles were served in a jaunty brown paper bag with a tart lemon jam and a lightly smoky pumpkin gazpacho. A trio of steamed shrimp atop a bed of barley (590 rubles, $17) was another take on seafood which was no less satisfying with its tangle of basil and tomato studded barley and squares of roasted pumpkin in an agrodolce sauce supplying surprising and delicious bursts of brightness.

After a decent pause that allowed us time to luxuriate in the surroundings and enjoy sipping our glasses of Primitivo (350 rubles, $10) and Pinot Grigio (470 rubles, $13.59), the mains arrived with a flurry of activity as three servers brought the dishes to the table.

Keeping to the seafood theme, a slab of rare, grilled tuna atop a puddle of bean puree (1100 rubles, $31.80) studded with citrus was a riot of flavors in which each ingredient played its role and sang out in perfect harmony. Putting in an appearance to ground things, a rack of impeccably grilled lamb chops (1250 rubles, $36.14) leaning against a slice of vegetable terrine was complimented by a garlic and almond sauce that added a softening element to an otherwise very masculine presentation. A small cast-iron pot of roasted potatoes (180 rubles, $5.20) provided an extra hit of starch and salt that was particularly good with the tender meat.

With little room left for dessert but our gluttonous urges now fully in control, we ordered a coconut bar with fruit and basil (450 rubles, $13) that seemed like the least decadent dessert on offer. A long white cigar-shaped roll covered in flaked, toasted coconut, it was an upscale take on a marshmallow that was deceptively complex in both favor and execution. Followed by a pair of expertly drawn espressos (250 rubles, $7.23), it was the ideal end to a flawless meal.

Stepping back out into the cold with the miniature bags filled with chocolates that each diner receives on leaving the restaurant in hand, it was clear that we had experienced a very special event. One that was defined by quality — in the decor, the service, and every single ingredient from which each dish was composed. Planning our return, we headed off into the snowy night.





 


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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 16


Learn more about AmCham’s efforts during the Joint Manufacturing, and Investment and Legal Committees Meeting today at 9 a.m. Check their website for more information about the event.


Today marks the beginning of IPhEB and CPhI Russia 2014, an international forum for the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology that will be at LenExpo today and tomorrow. Those both already established in the industries and hoping to start a career are encouraged to attend and network with their colleagues.


Thursday, Apr. 17


Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.


Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.