The first suggestion @ Trippi – Montagna in Valtellina (SO)

Considering myself a "gourmet traveller", it’s quite hard to establish bonds of affection with any restaurant: nine times out of ten the desire to experiment wins over the certainty that an already tried place can give.

Anyway, living in extended working exile in a famous mountainous region in northern Italy, roughly corresponding to the hydrographic basin of the Adda river (Valtellina… where the choices about quality food cannot be defined numerous), it’s not unusual for me to play the part of the usual customer.

Trippi -which has become my "refugium pecatorum" ever since- has undergone several changes in the past few years. Before 2014, under the previous owner, signs of exhaustion were exceedingly clear. It’s only when the chef Gianluca Bassola took over the place that the things begun to change: in a few months the song wasn’t the same anymore. Continue reading “The first suggestion @ Trippi – Montagna in Valtellina (SO)”

Low cost star @ Sarri – Imperia

Sarri Imperia

I think I lost count of all the "cheapest Michelin starred restaurant" lists that are duly rediscovered at every presentation of the red guide, mainly because (at least concerning Italy) many reports regard restaurants whose prices are absolutely aligned with equally-prized eateries which, however, integrate their offer with a business lunch at a reduced price, whose composition has nothing to share with what you can buy at full price.

It’s quite strange that none of the aforementioned rankings mention this establishment in Imperia where, both lunch and dinner, customers can order a surprise tasting menu, whose dishes are also available à la carte, at the competitive price of 38€.

Andrea Sarri is an old acquaintance of the "tire guide", having been chef and owner of the Agrodolce in Oneglia, where he already earned the red asterisk. The location change coincided with the conversion to chef/farmer: a line of thinking having in Enrico Crippa (Piazza Duomo at Alba) its leading authority. In fact the words "from our orchard" appear quite often in the menu. Continue reading “Low cost star @ Sarri – Imperia”

The dark side @ I Tigli in Theoria – Como

Tigli in Theoria - Como

Actually it reminds me more of an asterisk, but trying not to be ironic, the Michelin star is undoubtedly one of the most wanted prizes for a restaurant, considering its international fame and the real capacity to attract customers, with effective economic advantage. A power that other Italian guides retain much less.

Of course, just after a chef can pin the red badge on his apron, customers have to be cautious about the dark side: it’s widely believed that in newly-starred eateries, you can see prices leaven just like the bread .

To be honest I’m not particularly scandalized. Obtaining and keeping the award requires considerable investments and, when the milestone has been reached, there’s nothing wrong with reaping the benefits of one’s labour. Too bad someone gets carried away sometime. Continue reading “The dark side @ I Tigli in Theoria – Como”

The last bastion @ Il Tabernario – Sondrio

Il tabernario enoteca delle alpi sondrio

Basically ignored by the “great” critics, not considering a quick appearance on Corriere della Sera in a list of wine shops in Lombardy, Tabernario (subtitle “Enoteca delle Alpi” ) is one of the most promising eateries( maybe the only one) in the city center of Sondrio, largest town in the Valtellina wine region, whose offer in this sector didn’t exactly shine in the last few years.

Opened at the end of 2011, the local didn’t find immediately his own identity: the formula is polyvalent ever since, and covers lunch, pre-dinner, dinner and afer… but it’s only when Daniele Pennati, an old acquaintance of my Italian language blog, took over the kitchen, that the gastronomic offer headed toward a precise direction, going away from the simple preparations of the beginning.

The cuisine of the young chef has always been characterized by a strong and original personality, even tricky for the traditionalist local clientele, but the placing in a more informal setting, compared to the ones of the previous experiences, seems today to square the circle. Continue reading “The last bastion @ Il Tabernario – Sondrio”

The No 1 @ Osteria Francescana – Modena

This is my first post on the new blog, so there’s no better way to start from the best, where the best today is Osteria Francescana in Modena, led by the skinny Italian chef (as he defines himself) Massimo Bottura. I’m obviously referring to the famous/infamous "World’s 50 Best Restaurants" which, for the first time since its creation, has an Italian restaurant at the top position.

I tend to consider this list quite playfully, mainly because the criteria on which is built are at least self-referential, but its commercial power is today comparable to that of the historic Michelin Guide. I only hope that this achievement will bring more attention to our restaurants, generally poorly considered at an international level. Continue reading “The No 1 @ Osteria Francescana – Modena”