Atto Primo is a casual-upscale venue on the Bund. The laid-back yet sophisticated environment makes this restaurant ideal for a large span of social gatherings: groups of friends, couples, business meetings… The bar-side seating even makes Atto Primo a great venue to enjoy a refined solo meal with your smartphone.
We have been invited to taste a selection of Chef Gianluca’s own recommendations. For appetisers, we tried some Italian staples, such as the bell pepper bruschetta with lightly marinated sardines (RMB 68), a decadent, milky fresh burrata with eggplant (RMB 128) and the sinful, tasty mozzarella in carrozza, which is literally a deep-fried sandwich stuffed with melty mozzarella cheese (RMB 78). Shivers of joy.
Personally, the stand outs among the appetizers were the beef tartare (RMB 138) served with dollops of creamy truffled goat cheese which balanced perfectly with the sweetness of baked shallots and a lightly tangy dressing.
Among the appetisers another stand out was the Cozze alla Tarantina (RMB 158): best mussels I’ve had in Shanghai. Careless of judgements and etiquette, I slurped up and finished all the juicy tomato broth.
My other favorite was the canned tuna, bean and onion salad (RMB 88). Underestimated by all restaurants who seem to not dare offering a “poor” dish as such, Gianluca fearlessly embraces the Piedmont tradition and elevates the dish with raw tuna carpaccio.
Passing on to the mains, we were served a truffle & poached egg pizza (RMB 128), and a selection of three hand made pastas: spinach gnocchi with cheese sauce (RMB 128), ziti with pork rib sauce (RMB 128), and agnolotti with veal jus and truffle sauce (RMB 168).
I especially liked the richness of the Ziti, and I was completely convinced by the heartiness of the agnolotti which once more brought me all the way to Piedmont with my taste-bud imagination.
As for the meats, the highlight was definitely Atto Primo’s new menu item, Cotoletta alla Milanese (RMB 328), a deliciously fragrant, perfectly fried breaded veal cutlet. We also tried the beef cheek (RMB 228), which could have been cut with a finger as tender as it was, and the Crumbled Sardines (RMB 148) which I didn’t particularly love but, having brought a sample back home for my Sicilian boyfriend to taste, the dish met his southern approval. The choice of meat dishes is quite vast, but be ready to make the red money flow according to your choice of cut.
As for desserts, although I’m not a sweet tooth, I couldn’t resist the creaminess of the Chocolate & Pear Cremeux (RMB 68). A truly stunning dessert and, as all other afore mentioned dishes, tastefully plated with meticulous attention to detail.
The wine list presents some staples of the Italian wine world at reasonable prices (according to Bund standards), starting at RMB 60 by the glass or RMB 300-350 for the entry level bottles. The list goes on to more prestigious wines so that a wealthy connoisseur will not be short of choice.
Although I can’t comment on the quality of service as I was invited for a tasting, I must say the staff was quite prepared and knowledgable about the menu.
Overall a great experience which I’d recommend to anyone, not only for special occasions. Approved!
Lulu Perks: Here’s a picture of the ShBite Club.
Address: Shanghai, 5 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, 5 on the Bund, 2/F, near Guangdong Lu – 中山东一路外滩5号2楼，近广东路