Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sunday Brunch---Italian Style

Limoncello Tiramisu 
When restaurants open, they often do it in phases, adding to their portfolio of offerings a little at a time, hoping to perfect--as much as possible--before adding more. That is indeed the case with Melograno Italian Gourmet, the latest addition to the dining scene at Tarpon Point Marina in Cape Coral.
Sampling the new pastries and specialty jams
Sunday Brunch at Melograno is done Italian style. It is official, it is legit, and it will only get better now that the restaurant's new baker has arrived from Italy. He is getting used to how bread rises in the heat, humidity and air conditioning of Southwest Florida.

I got to sample some of his experiments and they are coming along nicely. The beautiful mini tarts I tried were filled with Italian creme and berries, fig and grape with a hint of spicy mustard, spiced pear with coffee bean and cocoa, and more.

The restaurant is also introducing it's private label organic jams. The concentrated flavors are used in a variety of dishes from sweets to meats here, and they include pear vanilla, peach amaretto and lemon lime.
Deconstructed crostata with caramelized apples
The dough in the deconstructed crostata (with caramelized apples and pine nuts) does not have any yeast, is light and easy on the sugar. With misty eyes, owner Augusta Malacarne describes it as "Sunday morning in Italy."
Spaghetti nests with prosciutto and carbonara  
The Nidi di spaghetti alla Carbonara or spaghetti nests, began as a kid friendly dish but adults love the flavors; proscuitto, carbanaro, mozzarella and even eggs in the middle if you like.

Crepe special with mushrooms and rich cheeses
Satisfying the American palate that is used to big flavors and sauce, Melograno has specials like this crepe with mushrooms, ricotta and other cheeses: decadent.
Puffed frittata with prosecco infused fruit salad
Bread, eggs and bacon are made into a puffed frittata, with a mild hollandaise sauce. This dish comes with a prosecco infused fruit salad sprinkled with basil. I loved this combo. Malacarne says, "Italian basil has a little mint quality and prosecco makes every body happy."

I had mine (prosecco) in a glass, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. You can also have prosecco cocktails with fresh Sun Harvest juices.

Other brunch options at this waterfront spot include a nice selection of imported, cured meats and cheeses, lamb and eggs, a seasonal hash and Panino Melograno; pomegranate whipped creamy ricotta and caramelized shallots on toasted baguettes with Melograno's signature pomegranate mustard.

I'm always looking for restaurants that serve a Sunday brunch with unique dishes, lots of bubbles and a great atmosphere....Melograno has all three. Cheers!

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