Michelin Star Italian Chef Luca de Berardinis Joins Pacific Place’s Operetta
One Michelin-starred Chef Luca de Berardinis is no stranger to authentic Italian cuisine: raised on a farm in Italy’s Abruzzo region, he grew up understanding the importance of fresh seasonal produce while helping with his mother and grandmother in the kitchen to prepare traditional family fare.
Chef de Berardinis’ arrival at Operetta coincides with the launch of an exciting new menu defined by Mediterranean seasonality that promises innovative family-style Italian cuisine laced with timeless tradition that’s also great value for money.
He began his formal training at the tender age of 12, working his way up through some of Italy’s leading Michelin-starred restaurants, including Ristorante Perbellini, Ristorante La Bastiglia and Ristorante San Domenico, before arriving in Hong Kong in 2012, with executive chef roles at Central’s Il Milione, followed by Conrad Hong Kong’s Nicholini’s.
“Seasonal, fresh ingredients from the best producers in Italy, a friendly, welcoming ambiance, and great value, that’s what Italian cuisine is really about,” says Chef de Berardinis. “It should be a refined meal that doesn’t break the bank.”
Operetta freshens family dining with comforting, generous, ideal for sharing, with a focus on producing elements in house, from bread baked daily, to half a dozen fresh, house-made pastas. For vegetarians, Operetta also offers a choice of satisfying appetizers and mains.
Following Italy’s tradition of season-driven antipasti dishes, Operetta presents mouth-watering starters, including Chef de Berardinis’ unique scallops ‘saltimbocca’, with sage gravy and fresh cheese foam; Australian Wagyu beef carpaccio with green peas and black truffle sauce; and hand-chopped Canadian butter shrimp tartare with baby zucchini and summer tomatoes.
These delectable starters are followed by an array of succulent mains including spaghetti fish roe “carbonara” style, with salmon roe, caviar, sea urchin and bottarga roe; chef’s special tomato-less pappardelle with lamb ragout, morels and kale; monkfish tail wrapped in pancetta; and the spring chicken “diavola” with grilled vegetables, chili and rosemary sauce.
Operetta also served authentic Italian pizzas and calzones, including the Tonno with tuna, mozzarella, rocket and fresh oregano; Nduja Diavola with spicy sausage and salame, mozzarella and friarielli broccoli leaves; and Calzone Pugliese with grilled eggplant, rocket pesto and fresh spinach.
For diners with a sweet touch, Chef de Berardinis, who can regularly be found in the dining room sharing his thoughts on classic Italian dining with Operetta’s loyal guests, presents a host of elegant Italian touches, including a delectable reinterpreted tiramisu with coffee and limoncello jelly.
In addition to the reimagined a la carte lunch and dinner menus, Operetta has launched competitive weekday lunch sets, with options for two or three courses priced from HK$178.
The wine program echoes Operetta’s culinary philosophy, mainly focused on labels from Italy, highlighting the diversity and character of each wine region. The bar is led by Italian bar manager, Giulia Bettanin presenting classic yet refine mixology, with the restaurant’s popular “get second one half price” happy hour, available daily between 5 to 8pm, featuring complimentary house-made Italian snacks, such as pasta, pizza, and Tuscany style chicken liver pate.
Located on the first floor of Pacific Place, in the heart of Admiralty, Operetta of 130 seats, featuring a main dining room dressed in blonde timber, stone tile mosaics and intimate lighting, with touches of vibrant fabrics and complemented by two private dining rooms. The setting makes Operetta as perfectly suited for business power lunches and family gatherings as it is for intimate evening dining and special celebrations.