maître d’ - MET Restaurant, Venice
Written by Sharla Ault
Hotel Metropole is a feast for the senses: an eclectic collection of objects, flickering candles, and spicy aromas. And MET restaurant is its inner sanctum.
Chef Corrado Fasolato heads Venice’s top-rated restaurant, yet it has not gone to his head. The vibe of the dining room reflects a youthful air, soft jazz plays in the background, and witty Paola makes the service shine – and with good reason: she is married to the chef.
Fish is the strong suit, naturally, but Fasolato has taken humble, locally sourced ingredients and transformed them: his lacquered mullet with Aperol is called Spritz, for the famous before-dinner aperitif. Textures, forms, flavours, and colours mix in each dish, and the painstaking experimentation behind each plate is evident; the flavours match, the pieces fit.
His signature creation is the moka – a patented process – a brew of tomatoes and selected herbs in an Italian espresso pot, resulting in a consommé bursting with flavour, a little like ‘drinking’ a pizza. Fasolato, like MET, is mild-mannered, but creative juices are bubbling beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered.
Corrado Fasolato, 44, studied under Gualtiero Marchesi, and beside Ferran Adrià at El Bulli in Spain, and at starred locations in Paris, Germany, and Switzerland. He and his young crew racked up their first Michelin star in 2005, in just nine months. Four years later they scored the second star, the only restaurant in Venice with this distinction.
The secret to success? Genuine ingredients, creativity, and harmony in the kitchen. He defines his food as “simply complex”. “I’ve always loved to take something very simple and look at it in a new way; to re-invent it.” He gets his inspiration from music: wearing earphones, he creates with a melody in the background – in fact he’s even created a CD to accompany his dishes.