208 Duecento Otto: New A La Carte Dishes, Pizzas and Bar Snacks

Spring is here at last, and neighbourhood Italian favourite 208 Duecento Otto is unveiling a new à la carte menu, three new pizzas and a special Mother’s Day promotion to keep diners delighted throughout the season.
 
New A La Carte Menu
Under the direction of Head Chef Zeno Bevilacqua, the kitchen at 208 has added an irresistible selection of new dishes with the changing of the season. Ranging from pastas to meaty mains and sweet treats, each new creation represents 208’s devotion to sourcing the finest seasonal ingredients for recipes that are approachable and authentically Italian.
 
With temperatures on the rise, light, refreshing dishes are ideal to order. The new 208 Salad combines iceberg and romaine lettuce with sharp but creamy gorgonzola cheese, raspberries and walnuts. The crunch of the greens and nuts contrasts perfectly with the creaminess of the cheese and the delicate fruit in every mouth-pleasing bite.
 
Carb lovers will find much to love on the menu, with an enticing range of new pasta and risotto dishes to choose from. Chef Zeno’s Risotto Marinara takes the classic Italian recipe of rice cooked with seafood and takes it to the next level with fresh, high-quality scallop, prawn and squid, plus an untraditional twist from the region of Liguria – freshly made basil pesto sauce.
Seafood lovers won’t want to skip the Sea Bass, a reinterpretation of seafood ravioli made with traditional black squid ink pasta and given the surprising addition of salmon roe and sorrel oil to create an elegant combination of classic and new flavours. For a dish that celebrates the best spring ingredients, the Lamb Ragout combines homemade pappardelle pasta, Italian baby lamb, flavourful morel mushrooms and artichokes which are currently at the peak of their season.
 
Moving on to mains, 208’s new offerings have something for everyone this spring. The Atlantic Scottish Squid has a soft and delicate texture that makes it perfect for pan-frying before it’s masterfully enhanced with a herbaceous sauce made of coriander, tarragon, and basil, then served alongside the perfect accompaniment of classic oven-roasted potatoes. For something surprising yet delicious, the Suckling Pig Belly is slow cooked for 17 hours until it’s juicy and perfectly crispy, then paired with aubergines, spinach and smoked eel, an ingredient that’s widely used in Chef Zeno’s home region.
Lamb is a classic choice for spring, and 208’s Italian Spring Lamb Leg Confit is perfect for sharing. This luxurious preparation features 500 grams of succulent meat slowly cooked in duck fat for an unctuou result. To offset the richness of the dish, it’s paired with a fresh, crunchy seasonal salad to achieve the perfect balance. For the ultimate indulgence, the OP Ranger Valley Beef Steak is a huge 1-kg single rib cut from the centre of a full rib of beef. Also known as cowboy steak, this thick piece is the perfect cut for beef lovers and a show-stopping dish that will amaze any table of diners.
 
Any good meal must include dessert, and there are two highlights in particular for diners to enjoy this spring. For a bit of theatricality, Italian Style Mille-feuille for 2 persons is prepared at the table with Chantilly cream and fruit. Though not an Italian dessert, Chef Zeno’s grandmother often made it for him and he wanted to pay homage to her with this rendition. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic like the 208 Tiramisu which, in addition to being made with high-quality mascarpone cheese, gets a special touch with the use of sugared almonds and pistachios from the town of Bronte in Sicily.
 
New Bar Snacks and Pizzas at the G/F House of Aperitivo
Overseen by Bar/Floor Manager Matteo Stefani, an industry veteran and expert in Italian drinks, The House of Aperitivo is 208’s exciting new ground floor concept specialising in vermouth. Widely enjoyed throughout Italy, vermouth is a category of fortified wines which have been flavoured with various herbs and botanicals. In a first for Hong Kong, The House of Aperitivo features 45 different brands of vermouth, making it the city’s only true vermuteria where guests can enjoy an interactive experience and learn about the traditions of Italian drinking culture.
 
In addition to highlighting small-batch vermouths, Matteo and his team pour a wide selection of Italian wines from different regions from a wine list which has been sourced by specialist Italian consultants through New Food Project, in addition to modern interpretations of classic cocktails. Aperitivo is all about the pairing of food and drink, and the inspiration for the snacks menu comes from Italian aperitivo culture, where light bites like mixed cold cuts and bruschetta topped with fresh tomato and basil are commonly served with drinks before dinner.
 
Highlights of the new bar snacks menu include classic Deep Fried Squid, perfect with a squeeze of lemon over the top, and the Norwegian Smoked Salmon and Cantabrico Anchovies in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, both served with homemade panini and butter from Italy’s Trentino region. With the weather getting hotter, these refreshing snacks are perfect for pairing with special cocktails on 208’s patio in the heart of Sheung Wan.
 
For something a little more substantial, the must-order dish is Carrozza, an indulgent bit of deep-fried mozzarella cheese, a traditional dish from Lazio that Chef Zeno fell in love with during one of his trips to Rome. At 208, his version is enriched with black truffle and a high-quality cow’s milk cheese, plus anchovies and green peas to add complexity. Similarly indulgent but just the right size is the Small Beef Tartare, made with Parmesan, egg yolk and button mushrooms to create a rich bite that won’t weigh you down.
208 has always been famous for its pizzas, and diners have three delicious new options to enjoy this Spring. The Tonno features Italian tuna, red onions from Cannara, imported buffalo mozzarella and a bright sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes. With a white base instead of a red sauce, the Salsiccia combines pork sausage with pecorino and buffalo mozzarella cheeses as well as the seasonal taste of fresh fava beans.
 
Last but not least, 208’s new seasonal pizza is the Porchetta, which features thin slices of succulent roast pork, roasted bell peppers, wild fennel, buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, and bagna cauda, a traditional Italian sauce made from anchovies, garlic and olive oil.
 
208 Duecento Otto is located at 208 Hollywood Road, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2549 0208. For more information and updates, you can join 208 Duecento Otto on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/208do/) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/208do/)