Saturday, November 22

The Michelin Guide to Italy

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.


Antonio said...

what about one of the thousands good family restaurants? I bet you'll get a much better deal and nicer food.

Personally I hate who pour creamy cheasy greasy sauces all over the place while a nice seabass with oil and lemon or a chair grilled steak make the trick and fill the belly :) with great taste.

You should try "La Pantera Rosa" in Rome a great Trattoria that serves amazing food from pizzas to pasta, from beef to fish and has wonderful cakes. I used to work there during my university at La Sapienza and I still remember those days of great food.

Michelin... well if a title makes the difference to you enjoy :D

Dave514 said...

The French must have it in for the Italians. I've never had a bad meal in Italy.

My favourite place in Firenze is on the Altrano side just across the Trinita Bridge. It's Olio e Convivium. The menu is to die for. You can buy or taste well over fifty kinds of olive oil and more kinds of wines.It has its own bakery and serves four different kinds of prosciutto right on the hoof. Their kidneys in a brown sauce and not to forget their Bistecca Fiorintina yaha!!! I'm salivating even as I write.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Great suggestions....keep 'em coming!
Actually, I am a firm believer that to have a 5 star dining experience, especially in Italy, you don't need to go to a Michelin-starred place. Ever. And, you'll often get offered a digestivo or limoncello in the end -- with biscuits -- for free.

antonio said...

How can you trust a guide which assign 8 3-stars to 8 restaurants in Paris and, at the same time, has only 6 3-stars restaurants in the Italian guide?

In Italy there are at least 5-10 restaurants which should be awarded with 3 michelin stars, if we want to follow their same criteria. Anyway, they are French.

If you're in Tuscany I would suggest to go to Pierangelini's restaraunt (close to Livorno); if you want a really good guide for Italian restaurants just buy "Ristoranti d'Italia del Gambero Rosso 2009".