I remember my first time very well. I immediately felt that something very special was happening here. At the time, I was approximately 18 years old and during that evening the foundation for my career as a particularly indulging gastronomy critic was laid. I had the pleasure of dining in Tropeano Di-Vino in Kirchrode.
Back then I didn’t know that I was the guest of an expert of Italian dining culture. Only much later did I learn that Biagio Tropeano was the first sommelier in Germany and an expert who had been sent in order to uphold the Italian dining culture in Germany. I also didn’t know that his restaurant was one much distinguished by gourmets and that guests from across Germany visit this cosy half-timbered house in order to spoil their palate.
The interior of Tropeano di-Vino offers a successful mix of elegance, cosiness and rustic style. Soft background music plays in the restaurant. The service is attentive, polite and down-to-earth in its nature. Many of the employees, such as service manager Dagmar Beck, have worked for the successful Milanese for more than 25 years. Head chef Kai Bachmann has been employed by the first-rate Italian restaurant for 20 years. “We are like a small family,” Biagio states about his team.
It is a pleasure to watch the accomplished sommelier at work. How he holds the wine bottle with his left hand and deftly pulls the corkscrew out of the bottle with his right hand – and smells it. How he pours the wine, swirls it in the glass, smells it and takes the first mouthful before serving it to us. “Today I’m taking you on a wine tour of Italy …” he says. And what can we expect of the cuisine of a wine expert? “My dishes have a heart and soul. They are traditional dishes with a modern take. What makes our cuisine special is the love that we put into our food.”
In 1988 Biagio came to Hannover and in 1990 he opened his first restaurant, Gallo Nero, in Buchholz. “I love Hannover – everything is close by and it is so wonderfully green.” In the late 1980s, he discovered the derelict half-timbered house in Kirchrode by chance. He decided to take a chance on something new and opened a restaurant there. This was a long time ago. With Tropeano Di-Vino, he already celebrates his tenth anniversary this year.
However, the eloquent Maestro di Vino is not only a restaurateur and sommelier, but also an artist. One of his pictures almost made it onto Robbie Williams’ new CD cover, but the management suddenly decided on an image of the singer instead. Tropeano Di-Vino clearly shows that the Italian is a man of the art. The menu is transposed onto paper by Biagio in curved letters. The alternating bouquets of flowers on the wooden spiral staircase are created by the Milanese himself – arranged with love. The arrangement of the dishes, too, follows a visually stimulating aesthetic.
However, you don’t need to know all this in order to enjoy. If you want to enjoy, it is enough to taste, smell and feel, and to surrender to the hosting skills of Biagio and his team. If the guests so wish, they can drink a suitable wine with each course. Biagio has a myriad of wines in his cellar, all from the best Italian wine-growing regions. When selecting a suitable accompaniment for the meal for his guests, he not only pays heed to the grape variety and vintage, but he also follows his intuition. “I take into account the weather, the whole person, and even what mood they are currently in - whether they are nervous, restless or sad. I include all of this in order to find the right wine for this exact person. The guest gives out signals that you have to be able to read.”
On Sunday night my sister and I enjoyed a very special menu in Tropeano, which was announced by Biagio Tropeano with the words: “I want to touch you with my food and wines.” Well, Biagio didn’t promise too much. Our taste buds were intoxicated with endorphins for the entire evening. The hot aubergine bake on basil cream and the quail breast on a bed of goat’s cheese risotto served with fig mustard sauce, are only two of the dishes that are still buzzing around in our heads.
You take a great risk when dining in Tropeano Di-Vino – afterwards you won’t enjoy eating out anywhere else as much.
Sixpack Germany, Part 5 Tropeano
from Falstaff Deutschland 01/15
Tropeano's cuisine in Hanover has very little in common with the food chefs dare to put on the table at the"Italian round the corner" Germans are familiar with.
A quarter of a century ago, the rich owner of a shoe shop wanted to open a wine merchants for his daughter and hired an expert; the Italian Biagio Tropeano, sommelier at the "Parkhotel Bremen". The wine merchants turned into a restaurant and the business relationship into a deep friendship between the two men. The friendship eventually fell apart and Tropeano (Germany's Best Sommelier 1995) opened his own restaurant. In 2005, he moved into an extraordinarily beautiful half-timbered house (sadly plastered over on the outside) with a garden terrace. What remained constant over all these years, though: Tropeano's cuisine has very little in common with the food chefs dare to put on the table at the"Italian round the corner" Germans are familiar with.
Enthused by the way Italian haute cuisine has been evolving, the Milanese Tropeano is inspired by the indigenous recipes of his native country. Broadly speaking, one could say that his dishes are based on transforming regional rural fare into modern elegance – Gualtiero Marchesi sends his regards.
The German palate still has difficulties when Kai Bachmann, Biagio's long-serving chef, presents grilled calamaretti followed by a tartlet of green asparagus and San Daniele ham, and then comes up with a Primi of scampi ragout and ravioli filled with ricotta and orange mustard. Your normal "Italian round the corner" would also struggle to produce the brook trout, served on truffled barley risotto or the chargrilled king oyster mushrooms. The Dolci, too, are beautiful, for instance warm raspberry tartlets with Moscato zabaione. And still unsurpassed: Biagio's selection of Italian raw milk cheeses and the fantastic wine card.
Food 43 out of 50
Service 17 out of 20
Wine card 19 out of 20
Ambience 9 out of 10
Total 88 out of 100
dr.raminos kitchen alchemy
Cooking is sensual! Cooking is passion! Cooking is alchemy! This place is all about turning basic products into delicious dishes, and about everything that goes with them - good wine, good books and good music.
You are what you eat - keep cooking.
Marbella - Saturday, 25 October 2014
Tropeano Hanover - the culinary constant
Whenever I happen to be in Hanover I try to pay a visit to Biagio Tropeano. In the culinary diaspora of the regional capital, this fine restaurant is a beacon for gourmets. And I have to say that over the years the concept has worked impressively well - the proprietor offers his guests excellent, expert advice on wines (matched to their food, of course), and this goes hand in hand with timeless, simple and really excellent cuisine, which has not disappointed me once in all the years I have eaten there.
This time, for example, the starters were a delicious fennel soup with fried veal sweetbreads, or a rabbit strudel with crisp pastry and a tender filling, with lamb's lettuce.
For the main course there was sea bass on black risotto with baked pea cannelloni and lamb chops from the oven.
Profiteroles with baked cream were the final highlight of this thoroughly enjoyable evening.
The wines were magnificent, as always. I left the selection up to Biagio Tropeano (which is something I only ever do here, as the wine never disappoints me and the price is always fair). The evening's wines: St. Michael-Eppan Riesling 2013/ South Tyrol and Sobrero Langhe, Nebbiolo 2011.
The enormous flower arrangement, created by Biagio Tropeano himself, is a sight not to be missed - definitely the kind of thing you don't see every day!!
Conclusion: I love this consistent, timeless cuisine. So my advice to everyone is, go and eat and enjoy yourselves at the Tropeano!
Sea bass with black risotto
Rabbit strudel with field salad
Floral art from Biagio Tropeano
nobilis Esslust - Robert Kroth's restaurant recommendations
Culinary mastery inspired by traditional recipes
This restaurant is an idyll of culinary delights. And Biagio Tropeano puts his heart and soul into it. Anyone entering the listed half-timbered building in Kirchrode knows they are in for a special evening. The elegant, rustic restaurant has tables arranged over four floors, suitable for every occasion. On summer evenings, guests can also sit out in the beautiful garden complete with old fruit trees. The menu travels back in time to the world of traditional recipes, some of which date back to the sixteenth century. Tropeano has rediscovered them and, the help of with head chef Kai Bachmann, given them a contemporary twist. The highly imaginative carpaccio menu is a tribute to the modern era. The wine selection owes much to the multiple-award-winning expertise of Tropeano.
This is food and drink as served by a perfectionist
However, imperfect and chaotic the world outside, this restaurant is an idyll of culinary delights. And Biagio Tropeano puts his heart and soul into it. Anyone entering the listed half-timbered building in Kirchrode knows they are in for a special evening. The elegant, rustic restaurant has tables arranged over four floors, suitable for every occasion: a romantic dinner for two, a small family get-together or a simple pasta dish at the high tables facing the wine bar. On summer evenings, guests can also sit out in the beautiful garden complete with old fruit trees.
The padrone is omnipresent
This means you are free to choose where you want to sit depending on how you are feeling. And a lot of to-ing and fro-ing for the excellent waiting staff. But particularly for him - the padrone, Biagio Tropeano. He is everywhere, greeting his guests with genuine warmth, advising, chatting, introducing the wine. Here, everything is about Biagio Tropeano. Starting with the opulent flower arrangement, filling the entire room, which we saw and admired in the restaurant's predecessor in Isernhagen. His art hung on the walls there, too. Including the menu. Everything bears his unmistakeable imprint. This restaurant is his stage. And we are looking forward to the culinary acts to come.
The menu travels back in time to the world of traditional recipes, some of which date back to the sixteenth century. Tropeano has rediscovered them and, with the help of head chef Kai Bachmann, given them a contemporary twist. They retain, however, a certain inclination towards the Baroque. Goose liver, quails, turbot, truffles - all are featured in this superior cuisine. The highly imaginative carpaccio menu is a tribute to the modern era, from beetroot and monkfish carpaccio to wafer-thin slices of veal - truffled, naturally.
When it comes to wine, Tropeano draws on ample resources
When we can't make a decision, Tropeano willingly puts together a medley of different starters for us. First, however, comes a grilled prawn on a bed of warm chickpea purée. This is followed by: A beautifully balanced Sicilian octopus salad with seaweed and lime, a juicy rabbit strudel with goats cheese, perfectly cooked tuna with lamb's lettuce and Spumante sauce and a stuffed veal involtini. This alone would been an ample evening meal. Particularly since this magnificent food was accompanied by a subtle Gavi di Gavi from Tenuta la Giustiniana. Here, white wine - often dulled by its time in barrique - is interpreted in a completely new way. With its faint notes of apple and almond, this is exactly the right wine to have with a starter. When it comes to wine, Tropeano draws on ample resources.
300 wines from Italy
The wine selection owes much to the multiple-award-winning expertise of Tropeano. As one of the leading sommeliers in Germany, a permanent member of the 'Feinschmecker' [Gourmet] wine jury and, in Hanover, a widely recognised authority on good wine from his Gisy days, Biagio is rightly proud of his collection of over 300 wines from all over Italy. It is worth following his selections to the letter.
The turbot is the star of the show
Our first course arrives. The delicate potato gnocchi with buffalo milk Burrata are a dream. They are served with a dandelion cream, which lends the dish a pleasantly bitter taste. And the porcini ravioli in browned butter and mature Parmesan are light and elegantly presented, without sacrificing the down-to-earth nature of the dish.
Fresh from the oven comes a stuffed, truffled quail with risotto. The real sensation is an extraordinary wine: 'Tre per Uno'. What sounds like an Italian special offer is in fact a happy marriage of three Merlots from Piedmont, Venice and Tuscany. Three related wine varieties come together to create a wine reminiscent of blueberries, sloes and cassis, with a generous dash of cinnamon and balsamic and a long finish. Wonderful. The star of the main course, however, is undoubtedly the turbot with black Venere rice, currants and sea urchin sauce. The preparation really does justice to the rarity of this exquisite fish. It lends the fish a soft aroma, complemented by the slight bitterness of the rice and the sweetness of the sauce. With it, we drink a Critone Val di Neto produced by the Librandi family of vintners from a small town in Calabria. A long finish with notes of pineapple, mango and apricot make it the perfect wine for the turbot. But it would undoubtedly go extremely well with Asian dishes too.
The cheese selection is also excellent
We are completely in thrall to the pleasure of these culinary delights. This is the only possible explanation for the fact that even after this abundant meal, we simply cannot say no to the cheese course. And it is - as one would expect - magnificent.
A culinary bon mot to finish
To finish, we are treated to a culinary bon mot from our host: A Pilu Niuru from Salento in Apulia. Elegant, lively and with lots of raspberry - a wine very much to my taste. And that of my companion: Pilu Niuru means 'black hair' and is named for the beautiful women of Salento. We take this as a compliment from a perfect host at the end of a perfect evening.