Recently, I was invited to Morso’s Autumn pop-up event. Morso is an Italian restaurant serving ‘Pasta, Small Bites and Grappa’.
Our welcome drink was a Grappa cocktail that had a Halloween angle to it: it was a vivid green and had silver particles swirling around, which reminded me of a witch’s brew. Whilst I wouldn’t choose this drink if I had to because I simply prefer the purity of ingredients, my take is that Morso is leaning towards a playful and informal vibe which takes in its stride, festivities such as Halloween. I’ll be looking forward to what they have in store for Christmas.
Whilst waiting for our 5 course menu, we were provided delicious, fresh sourdough bread and juicy, Cerignola olives, which I thoroughly enjoyed with a glass of Nero D’Avola – a typical, Sicilian red wine. Soon after we were served with our first dish – Pumpkin Arancini with Pea and Pecorino Cream. The arancini were bite-size, which I liked. They were also not greasy, instead having had a thin, crisp coating, enough to contain the filling within. The taste was very delicate, I suspect because pumpkin itself is not too strong in taste. The pea and pecorino sauce was for that reason, crucial, as it complemented the simplicity of the arancini. Overall, I really liked this dish and would only suggest to up the garlic or spices of the arancini to create a bit more complexity in the flavour.
Next up was the Organic Egg Yolk Raviolo. This was a lot of fun and very satisfying to see the egg yolk spill as I cut through the ravioli. The fresh raviolo was filled with homemade ricotta (win!), baby spinach and egg yolk, served in a butter and sage sauce and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano. I really like the idea behind it, as its not commonly found – at least, I’ve not come across it in London. This dish also was simple in that the ingredients were complimentary without competition amongst the flavours.
Third dish was the Beef Carpaccio, which was one of my favourites. The not-so-secret recipe behind a good carpaccio, is the quality of its ingredients. The meat has to be prime and the rest of the ingredients, well, should follow suit. Morso’s carpaccio consisted of thinly sliced raw beef rump with rocket, mustard, lemon mayonnaise and Parmegiano Reggiano, aged for 30 months. A real delight to eat and a favourite amongst many present.
Fourth came the Gnocchi with Beef Ragu. I enjoyed the fresh potato gnocchi, a far cry from what you get in the supermarket – as with anything fresh. The Beef Ragu was different to what I expected as I was taken by surprise by the resemblance to a beef stew, where I was thinking more along the lines of bolognese. Then again, that is my own misconception as you can most certainly have Beef Ragu with shredded beef and not mince, for instance. And it was great! Really savoury and warming. Definitely one for a cold day!
Last came dessert. And just like the opening, Morso was playful and themed. We had the Potted Tiramisu enriched with dark chocolate crumbs and sweet Marsala wine. It was served in a little pot with a sinister look, as it was decorated with a paper gravestone and candy skulls. But this didn’t mark the END of the night.
To finish off the evening, I had my first ever Grappa flight which included a range offered by the Grappa distillery – Nonino, Friuli. The flight included the likes of Tradizione to the Cru Fragolino. A fun way to get yourself started on Grappa and give the old whiskey flight, a break! And if you’re not keen on straight shots of grappa, they’re also providing grappa cocktails (as well as beer and wine).
You can find Morso at Gail’s Bakery, Bloomsbury from today. They will be serving food and drinks every Thursday and Friday from 5pm.