Italian Ambassador to Japan Giorgio Strace, second from left, takes part in the tape-cutting ceremony to open the Prince Hotel’s “Buono! Buono! Italia Fair 2020.” Photo: Maki Yasuda

Time for authentic Italian aperitivo: Gourmet fair starts at Tokyo area Prince Hotels

By Maki Yasuda

A reception at The Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Monday marked the beginning of the Prince Hotel’s “Buono! Buono! Italia Fair 2020” which is taking place at seven of the hotel group’s Tokyo area properties from Feb 1 to March 31. This is the third year for the Prince Hotel to roll out this Italian gastronomic program with full support from the Italian embassy and chamber of commerce in Japan. During the fair, the hotels’ numerous restaurants and bars will feature special Italian menus and drinks, and events will be held where guests can experience Italian culture.

The theme of this year’s fair is “Carnivale,” which is the festival held all around Italy during February and March when people have the chance to “eat, drink, and be merry” before the period of fasting begins leading up to Easter. The hotel group says that the special menus and events of this year’s fair will be fun and festive in the spirit of the Carnivale. 

Performers in masquerade costume flank a Maserati on display. Photo: Maki Yasuda

The reception gave media and guests a preview of the fair’s events and culinary delights, with an extravagant buffet featuring dishes from the different restaurants involved, and performers in lavish masquerade costumes in the style of the Venice Carnival. 

Speaking at the reception, Italian Ambassador Japan Giorgio Strace said the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement has boosted the exchange between Italy and Japan in recent years, with many tangible results observed for products such as wine. He also expressed happiness for the Prince Hotel’s fair in helping to spread the tradition of the Italian “apertivo,” an everyday occasion for people to get together and socialize over delicious food and drinks.  

Italian desserts, featuring the special “Limone” tart. Photo: Maki Yasuda

At the buffet tables of the reception, drawing particular attention was the large dessert section featuring Italian dolce created by the Prince Hotel Executive Chef Pâtissier Takeshi Naito. A renowned maestro in all things sweet, Chef Naito’s special version of the Italian lemon tart “Limone” was the highlight, looking utterly adorable and tasting just as sublime, perfectly balancing subtle sweetness and tartness like an incredibly sophisticated lemon meringue pie. The tart will be on offer at The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, Tokyo Prince Hotel, Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa, and Shinagawa Prince Hotel. Contact hotels individually for venues serving it. 

On select dates, visiting chefs from prominent restaurants in Italy will be holding special dinners at the hotels’ signature restaurants. This includes: Feb 19-21 dinner by the Lebano Brothers of Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan at The Prince Gallery Kioicho, OASIS GARDEN; Feb 4-6 lunch and dinner by Chef Pasquale Palamaro of restaurant Indaco (in 5-star resort L’Albergo della Regina Isabella) at The Prince Park Tower, Restaurant Brise Vert; and March 11-13 dinner by Chef Alberto Faccani of restaurant Magnolia in Cesenatico, Northern Italy at Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Dining & Bar Table 9. 

And what is an Italian gourmet fair without pizza? Following from last year, Gaetano Fazio, pizza maestro of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (“True Neapolitan Pizza Association”), who is known as the “man with the hands of God,” will make his way over to Japan from the island of Ischia in the bay of Naples where he has his legendary pizzeria. On March 27 and 28 at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, and on March 29 and 30 at the Tokyo Prince Hotel, the maestro will be present to demonstrate the meaning of “real pizza.” If you swear by good Neapolitan pizza, this is an ultimate experience that is not to be missed. 

For more details of the fair visit the official website of the Prince Hotel and contact individual hotels to make bookings.

Prince Hotels & Resorts “Buono! Buono! Italia Fair 2020”

Feb 1 (Sat) ~ March 31 (Tue) (in Japanese only)

© Japan Today

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