Dine Out Maine: Portland’s romantic, intimate Piccolo showcases a more playful, experimental side

Mar 11, 2019 167

BY: Andrew Ross

Piccolo’s executive chef, Damian Sansonetti, is chuckling in the background. Despite his efforts, I can hear him over the speakerphone. I’ve just asked his wife, pastry chef Ilma Lopez, what inspired her to put smoked walnuts on a dark chocolate budino ($12) – an addition that pitch-shifts the tones of the custard-like dessert from bittersweet to the brink of savory.

It turns out, it was a spontaneous choice. “Damian is laughing because he always calls me ‘Last-Minute Lopez.’ Forget Rachael Ray. He likes to say I can go from ‘No way’ to ‘Olé!’ in 30 minutes,” she says, laughing herself now. “Anyway, I totally stole the smoked walnut idea from one of his dishes at Chaval (the couple’s West End restaurant).”

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SOURCE: https://www.pressherald.com

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