The winner of January's Name That Restaurant contest is Kate Redmond of Forest Park who correctly guessed Fiorenza and won a $50 gift certificate at the restaurant.
Redmond's guess was based on the characteristically "opulent" plates at this Forest Park restaurant. Redmond confessed "I have no idea what that dish is but am very curious."
The mystery dish is listed on the menu as nothing more than Risotto dello Chef, and I agree with many posters who found its appearance somewhat forbidding (someone posted a humorous comment suggesting that this dish might be served at Cucina Purgatorio, as it may look to some like something evil doers might be compelled to consume in the hereafter).
The dish is risotto (acquarello aged rice) with cuttlefish and shallots in squid ink.
I enjoy this dish, and my wife really likes it. It's got an oceanic tang and the cuttlefish is low in flavor but high in texture, so it paired well with creamy risotto.
Speaking with Melissa, a server at Fiorenza, a lot of locals who know about this dish (Italians, of course!) come in especially for it. It's not hugely popular, but it resonates with one rather large section of our community.
Although my assumption was that few of our readers had probably ever eaten this dish, I did write about this dish before. Regular readers of this blog therefore had an advantage (you might remember that for future contests!).
If you'd ever been to Fiorenza, even if you didn't order the squid ink risotto, it's very possible you were impressed with the gold-trimmed plates. I don't usually respond much to such things, but you won't find plates this pretty at any many other local restaurants.
7404 Madison St Forest Park