Italy is seeing stars -- Michelin stars that is. The infamous guide to the best restaurants just came out, and, just like the prices they're now charging for a plate of pasta, Italy's rankings have gone up. But, according to Leonardo Romanelli, food critic, this doesn't mean that the French have turned up the gas, so to speak, on the Cucina Italiana.
In fact, according to Romanelli (in Epolis), the renowned chef Gualtiero Marchesi, the first in Italy to receive the coveted triple star rating, after stating he should no longer be critiqued given his contribution to the world of food, had the book literally thrown at him along with the kitchen sink; they listed his place as a lowly hotel eatery.
And even though any Italian worth his sale grosso will tell you that the French, with all their creamy sauces and over-stuffed geese do not deserve all those stars, Italy is now proud to boast 236 1-star ristoranti (versus 217 from the year before), and 34 with two (up from 29).
As for the triple star restaurants, there are five (versus 30 in - ahem - gastronomically superior (?) France):
Enoteca Pinchiorri (Florence) - I've eaten there - and can tell you the meal will run about 1 euro per person per minute you are seated, and that's without the wine tab. I'll let you decide whether the memory of your menu degustazione is worth one month's rent.
Dal Pescatore a Canneto sull'Oglio (Mantova) - I'm pretty sure I've eaten here, too, but, I don't remember.
Il Sorriso di Soriso (Novara) - heck, I'd go just for the name!
Le Calandre a Rubano (Padova)
La Pergola at the Hotel Cavaliere Hilton (Roma) - which is, in fact, a hotel restaurant if you like that atmosphere.