Since attending a food festival for the Italian Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, in which we tasted a multitude of Italian dishes from various restaurants in the city, I have made it my mission to eat at more of them. I’m generally a creature of habit when eating Italian food. I go to Brera for everyday, or Boccalino for when I’m feeling fancy. So when Section A, who were at the food festival, invited me to come and try their food I thought it would be be excellent opportunity to give them a try.
Secttion A is located in Itaewon, where Between previously was. That restaurant was very dear to my heart, as myself and my Chubby Hubby ate a lot of our anniversary dinners there over the years. It was also one of my favourite brunch spots because not only did it have a fabulous location, but they also served a delicious array of cocktails. Since the space was remodelled, it is now split into three parts: Section A a fancy Italian; Pizza Muzzo a posh pizza joint; and Q Bar, one of the coolest gay bars around which hosts one hell of a drag show on weekends.
The menu at Section A is quite extensive with plenty of starters, pastas, meats, and desserts. One of the things I was most excited to see on the menu were the cocktails, there are so many great cocktail bars in the city these days, but few that have both good food and drinks so this was a real find for me. I started with the Aperol Spritz (12,000), a true Italian classic that I couldn’t resist on a warm Summer’s eve, just one sip and I was back in Italy. My companion had the Sangria (12,000), a fruity delight which was adorned with a stick of cinnamon, which kinda made it taste like Christmas.
After much consideration, we opted for the Insalata Di Burratta (24,000) for our starter. The large ball of homemade burrata was sat atop a bed of proscuitto and topped with rocket, tomatoes, and freshly shaved truffles. This dish was orgasmic, the cheese is made in house and is stuffed with ricotta, cream and truffles. It was really fresh and light and such a good combo of flavours when the cheese was paired with the salty ham, peppery leaves, and fruity tomatoes. We were served a basket of freshly baked bread alongside the salad and it was so overly-indulgent to pile all the ingredients on top of it. While it might seem a touch pricey, I think the truffle justifies it and it made a very hearty starter for two people to share, or three if you include the bread.
Our second dish was Chef Vittorio’s signature pasta, the Bocconi Al Tartufo (32,000). The gnocchi is stuffed with parmesan fondue and truffle cream and topped with more fresh truffle. If I hadn’t been invited I think the price tag of this dish might have put me off of ordering it, so I was thrilled that I got to try it on the restaurants dime. Anything with truffle and cheese is a winner and this rich cheesy stuffed fresh pasta was fantastic. We split this between two of us and we were fighting over the last one. We were so glad we had some bread left over because we didn’t want to leave behind a single drop of the ultra-moreish sauce. If you like truffles as much as I do, I consider it worth splashing out on.
For our main course we had the Controfiletto (41,000), a 260g prime USDA sirloin steak. The steak came served with a selection of roasted vegetables, anchovy, truffle cream and pepper paste. The steak itself was a nice piece of meat cooked medium rare. Despite being quite full I managed to polish it off all by myself while my vegetarian dining companion hoovered up the roasted veg. I thought this to be quite reasonably priced, and it would be a popular choice for those who don’t want to over-indulge in their rich and carb heavy pasta items.
We decided to end our meal with another round of cocktails instead of dessert. This time we had the Raspberry Bellini, and the Limoncello Cooler (both 12,000). The bellini was especially pretty as it was served with a vibrant scoop of raspberry sorbet. While the Limoncello Cooler was split into two levels a sweet and lemony boozy bottom and a red wine topping. Mixed together it was very refreshing. After our after dinner we ended with a Cappuccino which I bitterly regretted when I was still awake at 2am, however it was tasty. Served with the coffee were some of the pastry chef’s homemade Italian cookies, these aren’t on the menu but are sold to go, or served to very special customers, so if you fancy some with your coffee it’s probably worth asking nicely if you can have a few.
Overall I really enjoyed our meal, and thought everything we ate was fantastic. Chef Vittorio is clealy a very talented man, and he separates the place from most of the other Italian restaurants in the city. While the prices are in the mid-high range the quality is top notch. It would make a great choice if you are looking for somewhere a bit special to eat. The location and decor are really not to be rivalled and it is even better than the old Between location. I will certainly be taking my Chubby Hubby along again soon.
Section A is located at 124-7 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight out of the exit and keep going, you will see Section A a little way up the street on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 010-4464-6164 or check out their facebook page. They are open from 3pm-11:30pm Tue – Sun.