Tag Archives: Luciano Zazzeri

Top 5 Michelin starred restaurants in Tuscany Italy

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The Michelin guide is a series of annual guide travel books that have been in production for over 100 years, and the guide is followed more notably for high quality restaurants and are a trusted go-to for seekers of authentic fine dining. Stars are given to only a select few fine dining restaurants to what is termed “Michelin starred restaurants.” There are several factors which the panel for the Michelin guide abide by when assigning stars to restaurants. The chefs have to have an immaculate history in culinary technique and providing the best experience possible to diners of high profile. A gain or loss of a Michelin start can either dramatically improve or crush the success of any restaurant involved. When traveling to Italy, most travelers prefer the consistency and guarantee of dining at a Michelin starred restaurant but also seek the pampering luxury involved in the experience. When choosing a Michelin starred restaurant in Italy, you are guaranteed exquisite cuisine from the country’s finest chefs and a mind-boggling selection of the country’s greatest wines ever produced in their very prestigious and safe guarded wine cellars. If you are looking where the best restaurants are for unforgettable cuisine and truly special wines, here are the top 5 Michelin starred restaurants we have tried, sent our clients to and highly recommend in Tuscany Italy:

from google

TAVARNELLE VAL DI PESA

1. Osteria di Passignano (1 star)

A elegant mix of modern and traditional Tuscan cuisine. This Michellin starred restaurant has the luxury of an enchanting location that overlooks the Chianti countryside. Osteria di Passignano is ideal in Spring, Summer and early Fall so you can dine outside on their lovely terrace. Located beside a historical abbey and church to explore after your meal. On site there are late nineteenth-century cellars of the Marquises of Antinori- the most renowned wine producers of nobility in Tuscan history.

Address: Via Passignano, 33, 50028 Tavarnelle Val di Pesa (Florence) Phone:055 807 1278

FLORENCE

2. Enoteca Pinchiorri (3 stars)

One of Florence‘s temples of gourmet dining conveniently located in the historical center, this elegant Michelin starred restaurant is most renowned for its legendary wine list ideal for all Italian wine enthusiasts traveling to Florence. The chef specializes in modern Tuscan cuisine and the regional products serve as the inspiration for Enoteca Pinchiorri’s highly skillful, imaginative and innovative cuisine.

Address: Via Ghibellina 87 I – 50122 Florence, Italy Phone 055242777  E-mail: ristorante@enotecapinchiorri.com website: http://www.enotecapinchiorri.com

from google

3. Il Palagio (1 star)

Il Palagio is a classic Tuscan Michelin starred restaurant located at The Four Seasons hotel in Florence. Il Palagio is addorned with majestic chandeliers of this high-vaulted ceiling palace-like restaurant housed in the old Palazzo della Gherardesca. The venue prides itself in high-end, attentive service, as well as deliciously eclectic cuisine created by the talented chef Vito Mollica. This chef is also a dear professional friend of Le Baccanti and our wine expert Filippo Bartolotta, so we guarantee also their fine wine selection.

Address: Borgo Pinti 99 I – 50121 Florence, Italy Phone +300552626450 E-mail firenze@fourseasons.com Website: http://www.fourseasons.com/florence

4. Ora D’Aria (1 star)

Ora d’Aria offers a modern, creative spin on Tuscan cuisine with Michelin starred status. The young Tuscan chef at this restaurant expresses his expertise acquired in some of the Tuscany’s most famous restaurants. He makes full use of Tuscany‘s local and seasonal products, delighting diners with exceptional flavors of the land. The menu is well respected for its specialties in selection of fish and game dishes. The lunch menù and tasting menù are quite affordable for every level of traveler desiring a Michelin starred dining experience in Florence, Italy.

Address: Via de’ Georgofili 11/13 r I – 50122 Florence, Italy. Phone 0552001699 E-mail prenotazioni@oradariaristorante.com Website: http://www.oradariaristorante.com

LIVORNO

Chef Zazzeri with Le Baccanti on the road in America

5. La Pineta (1 star)

Also a Le Baccanti favorite as we have a very good rapport with the chef Luciano Zazzeri. We have travelled with Zazzeri to do Italy at Your Table events in the U.S. at very prestigious locations including The Metropolitan Museum in New York! La Pineta is located on the seafront and has an unprecedented fine reputation in seafood with a stunning view on the Livorno coast along with unforgettable wines. Perfect for those traveling to the Super Tuscan Wine region and to Livorno. If you are looking to take a Super Tuscan Wine Tour, contact us to book you in at La Pineta.

Address Via dei Cavalleggeri Nord 27 I – 57020 Marina di Bibbona Phone +390586600016 E-mail ristorantelapineta@hotmail.it NO WEBSITE

Traveling to Tuscany and looking for a unique vacation? Contact us– we can plan every detail for the highest quality Italian vacation imaginable.

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After Vinitaly…

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This is Daphne welcoming Daddy back home.

You think I am kidding? She is a true fighter and I have to make it up to her for not spending enough time home. I am actually looking forward for her to take over the business as I am sure that the moment she start talking more properly she will rule the world. So… I better be in friendly terms with her.

I have been away for a long time now tasting some of the best wines on the planet, among which a lot of oldies.

Well as I got back in Florence, I was invited to taste some Gewurztraminer with Davide Paolini during his grandious tasting event: TASTE.

But the great thing about that spicy-Traminer I had was the vintage: 1952 Giorgio Grai Gewurztraminer and 1977 Lagrein.

Mr. Grai didn’t want anyone to get in the way while handling his bottles.

I love this great man who want to be involved -head to toe- in what ever they do. Needless to say that his white was delicious packed with saffron and jasmines with a salty white pepper and peach sweetness. A little tired the Lagrain, still showing some licorice and cola action.

Florence is my home town and this is where every once in a while I hang out with old friends.

There’s a place in Via del Moro 4r in the centre of town where the city’s best cocktails are served: the Art Bar or Antico Caffe del Moro) 055-287661.

This is just one of many we had the night before a great dinner at Un’Ora d’Aria with Marco Stabile and the Cecchi family.

Together with Marco was Filippo Saporito from La leggenda dei frati in Castellina in Chianti and Cristiano Tomei of L’imbuto in Viareggio.

The Cecchi Brothers matched to the creations of the three Castello Montauto, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2010; Val delle Rose ‘Litorale’, Vermentino di Maremma 2010; Villa Cerna, Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 and the Coevo 2007.

The morning after I had to go for another great lunch at Teatro del Sale with PETRA introducing their single crus matching Fabio Picchi’s dishes

Invito Teatro del Sale_FI_15.03.11

A little walk around townprior a later afternoon meeting with a group of Centurion Agents friends at Galleria Frilli in Via de Fossi. Anna and Enrico Marinelli welcomed the group to show us around the masterpieces while everyone was enjoying a glass of Coevo.

Meanwhile Daphne through her gloves away and decided that I could still be her Daddy…

I still have some chances but I have to make sure to play it safe:)

Daphne loves eating more then me, so a good lunch together is always a great way for me and her to make peace. Nicoletta’s pork bones was just the right action plan. Nicoletta is the mother of a dear friend of mine. She can transform the most difficult game into the most delicious dish. I have been listening about the stories of “Gli Ossi” -the bones- cooked by Nicoletta as one of the greatest dishes of the Tuscan tradition. Well, I finally had the chance to witness that with my own tasting buds…I feel like these Mamas should be given a special recognition by the authorities for looking after these amazing forgotten dishes.

Daphne after lunch…and now is time for me to hit the road again, first stop La Pineta Restaurant with Luciano Zazzeri. Baby crunchy grilled Seppia (cuttlefish) and the ultimate spaghetti with clams.

Luciano is simply “the softest and most delicate hand in the Italian Sea Food cuisine”

And whether Luciano doesn’t need any presentation Deborah Corsi is a young chef who has stepped out from the crowd in the San Vincenzo area. Her restaurant, La Perla del Mare, is a very comfortable place full of light with a great inspiration from starter to dessert. The wine list needs some updating but the experience is just going to be a very sweet one.

From the Tuscan Coast it was time to get down to Rome at the Baglioni Hotel in Via Veneto. Here I was called for a Jazz and Wine evening with Siena Jazz.

My partners in crime were the young and wonderful musicians:

Agostino Longo – Piano
Giacomo Rossi – Contrabbasso
Giovanni Benvenuti – Sax

Drinking the notes of an aged Brunello while sipping the rhythm of Fasoli’s arrangements made my day.


On the way to Vinitaly, like I do every year I stopped for a visit to two of the greatest interpreters of Amarone: Giuseppe Quintarelli and Romano dal Forno.

The Byblos Hotel

Giuseppe is the guardian of the old art of making Amarone with the big Slavonian oak casks, a lot of oxidative practices and a “winery in a house”.

Quintarelli’s wife calling each and every restaurant in the valley to make sure that I was gonna be properly fed:) She couldn’t believe that on Monday everything is closed. So, after tasting the entire Quintarelli production I was ready to go metabolize this awesome experience, but there was no way I’d left before a restaurant was booked for me. Finally we find Caprini which opened for us and surprisingly with a great and reasonable wine selection, among which the great Quintarelli Amarone Riserva 1997.

The morning after I go to meet with Romano Dal Forno. Romano, as many of you know, was inspired by Quintarelli, but then took a new course: brand new American and some french barriques, super high-tech fans to dry the Corvina, Rondinella and Oseleta grapes and virtually no-oxygen during the wine making process.

Romano is always on top of everything and now with his three sons always in action the winery seems to be heading towards an even more consistent momentum. We tried several stuff, but his Amarone 2009 I believe is going to be a serious rock star. Pity we have to wait for another five yeas!

Time to go to Vinitaly and show the wine makers the results of Italy at Your Table Road Show.

On my way home I was invited to spend a night at the Albereta Resort in Franciacorta, by the Lake Iseo. The occasion was the presentation of Anteprima Bellavista Vittorio Moretti 2004: a wonderfully tense and lively gun flint nose with a great austere palate giving the impression of a wine with no traces of oxidative elements but a lot of aging potential.

Bellavista is one of the few wineries in the world still fermenting their base wine for the bubbly in old small oak casks. This means a lot of work, but also a lot more character and length.

Right before a sublime Fulvio Pierangelini’s dinner was served, five of the Teatro della Scala musicians were called in to play:

-Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto per Archi, in La maggiore (Allegro molto, Allegro)

and

-José Bragato, Graciela y Buenos Aires, Tango per violoncello e archi

Musicisti:

Sandro Laffranchini, violoncello solista

Gianluca Scandola e Roberto Nigro, violini

Joel Imperial, viola

Marco Radaelli, violoncello

Alessandro Serra, contrabbasso

The musicisti going on a tour before the performance.

This was a very inspiring dinner. I am still enjoying the Bragato’s Tango, duetting with the succulent Ravioli di Pomodoro, alici e menta which were screaming for the Bellavista 2004!

Now is time to go back home though or Daphne might put her gloves back on:)

My only chance to survive Daphne “the hurricane”  is only my elder son Milo, who was born with a calmer inner rhythm.

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Back in the U.S.A. for the second leg of Italy at Your Table.

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Back in the U.S.A. for the second leg of Italy at Your Table.

by Filippo Bartolotta

This time the tour is going to be quite heavy going as I’ll have a lot of late nights and early flights to catch. I must confess that I fill some pressure as there won’t be too many sleeping hours on the way!

I started this Road Show in the “Full Monty” way, two years ago. The idea is all in the name: Italy at Your Table.

I bring some Italian Gourmet and cultural life style to people’s home and restaurants in the U.S. The Road Show is a coast to coast adventure done by plane, train, GreyHounds!

I travel with my assistant Benedetta, fifteen of Italy’s most prestigious wineries, food producers, artisans and…an unbelievable American spirit thrown in by our private hosts, restaurants and important institutions.

Last year it was so successful, we managed to spend a whole morning at The White House discussing nutrition topics with the Iron Chef!

From the Metropolitan Museum in New York, to Alice Waters -Chez Panisse-; from Martha’s Table and D.C. Central Charity to the greatest private collectors; from The Napa Valley Reserve to the W Hotel.

This is a project organized all by LeBaccanti Tours which connects the best wines and foods of Italy to American gourmets, journalists and chefs.

I very often travel also with not only with the best Italian food and wine, but also with some of the greatest chefs. like Benedetta Vitali, Zibibbo Restaurant-Florence or Luciano Zazzeri, La Pineta-Tuscan Coast.

Together with them we teach how to cook, how to make pasta…from scratch:) while having fun with the guests.

It is the greatest way to learn about nutrition, organic food, fine wines and get some serious TRAVEL TIPS TO ITALY!

Either on an helicopter or with humbler means of transportation Italy is just a fabulous experience.

So while someone might be busy learning about the great Italian Fine Wines, others might like to take more leisurely. Which ever way is going to be an authentic and enjoyable experience.

AJ, one of our hosts, today has just told me that all of his guests are still talking about the Italy at Your Table evening as one of the best of their life!!!

www.italianwinemerchants.com

This year with the greatest trade support given by our partners Italian Wine Merchants. If you are interested in purchasing any of the Italy at Your Tabel Selection, please do not hesitate to contact them.

So here I am in the Big Apple for a couple of intimate dinners with very sophisticated collectors and a few meetings with some Chefs, like Sam Hazen – Veritas, Julian Medina – Yerba Buena and Gabrielle – Prune.

They all love Italian wines and make great food so, shall we say…it won’t suck!

Although I’ll be ending up the tour with some sleeping issues, as I have many late nights and early morning flights, on the other hand though I am very excited as the next step after New York will be in San Francisco where I’ll meet up with new friends. Saint Antonio –Texas; Santa Barbara; Los Angels; Napa Valley; Kansas City; New York the following pit-stops. I’ll keep you posted.

But who are these new friends Italy at Your Table is going to meet in San Francisco?

Next to SanFrancisco is Berkely home to Chez Panisse, Alice Waters restaurant.

Alice is charged with some special human power. A special energy that allows her to take the lead of a thousand projects all directed to have Americans eat better, tastier and healthier food. After meeting her in Marhta’s Table and D.C. Central Charity event in January, I will now have the opportunity to talk about GOOD FOOD AWARD, good wine at the W Hotel.

This is all been possible thanks to the sweetnees and wonderful spirit of Alice and of course Sarah Winer, the Director of www.seedlingprojects.org. Sarah and I have been talking thourghout the winter to have a blend of The Good Food Award & Italy at Your Table. The W Hotel accepted the challenge and decided to organize an event fot the city of San Francisco!!! Thanks Allison!

So the recepie is made of: three hot chefs; Good Food Award winning products; great Italian fine wines, Chocolate and Balsamic Vinegar; a wonderful location and…some hungry guests!

The event is going to take place on the 9th at 1830. Prior to that though I’ll go and meet the Chefs in their element and a behind the scenes full report will be disclosed after the event!

Meanwhile please take a look at the first draft of the evening:

Chef Paul Piscopo of XYZ Restaurant

Grilled acme batard, la quercia prosciutto, hot pickled okra & sieved egg

Chef Tia Harrison | Sociale

Caramelized duck pate profiteroles with bourbon’d figs, rucola, house made fennel pollen mustard

Chef William Werner | The Tale Preserve Company

Caramelized brioche with red hawk cheese, cocoa nib and carrot

Pairing by FilippoBartolotta with:

Arnaldo Caprai “25 anni”, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2005
Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvée Brut
Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2004
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella superiore DOC 2004
Fattoria delle Ripalte Alea Ludendo, Aleatico dell’Elba DOC 2007
Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo DOCG 2009
Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo, Chianti Classico DOCG 07
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 08
Petra Petra IGT TOSCANA 2006
Prà Soave Classico DOC 2009
Proprietà Sperino Uvaggio, Coste della Sesia DOC 2007
Sandrone Luciano Nebbiolo D’Alba Valmaggiore 2007
Acetaia Giusti Aceto Balsamico di Modena
Antica Dolceria Bonajuto Modica Chocolate

Thank you Sarah for making it happen!!!

If you want to know more about the “Good Food Award”

The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. Granting awards to outstanding American food 
www.goodfoodawards.org

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Italy at Your Table at The Metropolitan Museum

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Italy at Your Table at The Metropolitan Museum

By Filippo Bartolotta

Loads of things to do in this amazing city that in a way I feel my own and that keeps me restlessly busy.

So yesterday we spent the whole day working in Union Square at the headquarter of Italian Wine Merchants. We did take a fancy lunch break, but…hey what can I do I am in town with Luciano Zazzeri, Italy’s best fish Chef!

So we went to Morimoto in the “meat packing district”.

Food was good, but I am having the feeling that this fancy/design/celebrity chef restaurants are all becoming the same kind of experience all over the world: comfortably, cold, clean, neutral but expensive. We then got back to work to sort all the wines out and at eight we stopped at Casamono for Spanish tapas and awesome Vigna Tondonia 2000.

The morning after we were meant to have a couple of hours meeting to finalize details for the event at the MET, but guess what: we got out of it at quarter to seven!

We met with Chef Fred Sabo to discuss the menu with Luciano Zazzeri.

Although a very long day, I had enjoyed every single minute of it!

I mean it took us three months to make it happen and now we are here in the heart of the cultural centre of New York city about to host an amazing Italian Fine Wine and Food Dinner. Vanessa and Benedetta have been working flat hours to have everything come into place and…so far so good.

As not only the dinner went sold out immediately, but we will feature more events in the next coming three week-ends.

WOW! So, so happy about this!

Working closely with Luciano and Fred has been fantastic as we have beeing trying to overcome technical problem on how to prepare Luciano’s dishes for our guest on Friday night. Luciano Zazzeri is a great chef. What I love most about him is his understatement and naif happiness about great food and wine. At 1900 we run to The blue Ribbon were Aj invited us for a prelude of tomorrow night’s dinner.

some of the best oyster ever had in my life, great blue crabs an cosy atmosphere, but above all a youthful and yet ready leathery, tobacco leaf, sweet and lingering Burgundy Chamertin Cloze deBeze 1996 and Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 1978 with a funky palate, but a wonderfully ethereal nose.

By the time we are about to go, the snow storm has arrived.  We finishe New York best fried chicken and we went all very convinced  for a Banana Split! Yes you read it right! I guess it had been over twenty years since I had one, but oh boy…it was good! Just what was needed for a long walk uptown in the snow.

Benedetta finally is chilling out after a very long “stressful” day. Zazzeri just loves the snow:)

Now is late in the night an dI am signing off as tomorrow early in the morning we are going to do shopping, starting a great dinner from scratch with Luciano Zazzeri choosing the freshest seas food from New York fish market.

I am knackered but I look forward to tomorrow.

Good night,

f

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