For many, Trieste is a city with foreign charms. It was a major port for Austro-Hungarian Empire and became part of Italy after World War I. Surrounded by many Venetian style cities, Trieste stands out with its Central European styled Piazza Unità d’Italia, credited as most beautiful square in Italy. Many Triestines are bilingual, speaking Italian and a Slovenian-alike dialect and the culinary experience Trieste offers is a mix of Mediterranean and Mitteleuropean.
All these made Trieste a fascinating vacation destination where tourists find easily pleasant trattorias within walking distance to major attractions. After living in Trieste for a while, I felt the near nonexistence of fine dining was a pity since this city has so much to offer. With the arrival of Harry’s Piccolo, the (one Michelin) star finally sparkles at Piazza Unità d’Italia.
Harry’s Piccolo is a project of a group of young chefs with an average age around 31, including Matteo Metullio, Davide De Pra and Alessandro Buffa. Metullio was the executive chef of 2-Michelin-star restaurant La Siriola till the end of March 2019 and De Pra was his sous chef. Trained under chef Metullio, Buffa is now the resident chef of Piccolo, managing day-to-day operation in the kitchen.
The menu is designed to satisfy the international oriented clientele. Each dish has regional flavors with a creative touch. The 2 tasting menus, 5-dish and 7-dish, then propose a tasteful voyage through the Peninsula. Perhaps with chef Metullio’s decision of returning to Trieste, we can expect more innovated regional dishes in the menu.
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Harry’s Piccolo is also for wine lovers. The list has over 500 wines worldwide, comprising an extensive selection of local Friuli Venezia-Giulia producers. If you cannot decide what to order for your meal, ask for wine pairing! The wine selected to pair each dish brings out those hidden flavors and make it complete. Probably one of the most harmonious wine pairings I’ve had in recent years.
Oh did I mention about Piccolo’s choice of olive oil? For your bread, they serve a French butter (slightly saltier) and Italian extra-virgin olive oil. The vintage of olive oil is as important as it for wine; therefore each year Chef will select and propose a different olive oil. In the case of the year 2017, Lazio‘s extra-virgin olive oil (Itrana cultivar) was selected. Be warned that those home-made bread are so tasty that you might devour more than you realize!
If you are in for a more informal, casual setting, try Harry’s Bistrò.
Harry’s Piccolo https://www.harrystrieste.it
Address: Piazza Unità d’Italia, 2 – Trieste
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, dinner only from 19:30 – 22:00
Tel.: +39 040 660606
Reservation is recommended!