When Francesco Apreda broke the news about leaving Imago, his home for more than a decade and a well-known Michelin-starred restaurant on the top floor of the iconic five-star Hotel Hassler in Rome, it caused quite a stir in the Italian culinary world. After mounted anticipation on his next step, he announced his new project soon after: joining the Tridente Collection Group of entrepreneurs Emidio and Fabrizio Pacini and Andrea Girolami at their new five-star luxury hotel, the Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel along Via di Santa Chiara in April 2019. Carrying the role of Chef Ambassador of the group, Apreda was entrusted the hotel’s restaurants on the ground floor, Idylio, and on the rooftop terrace, Divinity Restaurant. With one of the most acclaimed chefs on board, Tridente provides a primary culinary identity and a full-scale distinction in hospitality. In just a matter of seven months from its opening, Idylio was awarded its first Michelin Star and a string of accolades from Italian restaurant guides.
After almost three decades since the opening of Restaurant Sissi, Chef Andrea Fenoglio has gone a long way from his small six-table space at Plankenstein Street in Merano into a bigger one with a Michelin star and three hats with Gault Millau at his current address at Galilei Street. Chef Fenoglio is one of the most celebrated chefs in the whole region of South Tyrol (Trentino – Alto Adige) which boasts of 19 Michelin starred restaurants, five of which are located in Merano and its confines.
After an ample collection of professional experience in sundry kitchens around Italy, New York and Cologne, Chef Danilo Ciavattini, born in Viterbo in 1980, returned to his hometown in 2017 and opened his own restaurant calling it with his own name. But before directing his own kitchen, he went through a long and fundamental voyage of gaining knowledge from great chefs, accumulating a string of accolades and accruing experiences that defined his style in the kitchen.
With the Tyrrhenian Sea right in front of him as an exceptionally extensive supplier that any chef can ask for, Gianfranco Pascucci has a vast source of ingredients where fishes of different kinds are taken to the dock by the local fishermen of Fiumicino. The desire to generate awareness goes through his kitchen because his dishes are able to recount stories from the sea. Every single dish is a masterpiece where he freely expresses a part of himself. And with his exemplary artistry, he was awarded a Michelin star.
Gellius Restaurant was born amidst the restored ancient archeological site with Executive Chef Alessandro Breda at the helm of the kitchen from 2001. The restaurant stays inside the magnificent setting with its unique mixture of historical foundations and modern fixtures. The structure breathes a history of thousands of years as the dishes of Alessandro and his strong team of young chefs deliver doses of creative imagination to inspiring recipes.
The past thirteen years had seen Il Tino metamorphosing from a simple restaurant in Ostia to an elegant Michelin-starred restaurant in Fiumicino. In that simple restaurant in Ostia, regular clients patronized and curious new ones arrived. Il Tino became the referral point for excellent seafood cuisine in the coastal town of Rome even if its location is in a quiet residential road in absence of a good seaview. People went there for the call of the excellent food that Chef Patron Daniele Usai prepared and the interesting wine proposals to accompany his dishes.
Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a dramatic city to explore with a rich history to reveal as you take every single step in its cobblestone roads. Right beside the Palais des Papes is the 12th century building that is also a very important part of the city’s history as it served as the residence of men in power during that period. Now, in this building, it houses one of the best restaurants in Avignon, Restaurant Christian Etienne.
Anyone who loves to delve into the pleasurable intricacies of the French cuisine shouldn’t miss Restaurant Fanny Rey et Jonathan Wahid in Saint Rémy de Provence. In the main road of the typical Provencal town where cafès, shops, art galleries and little squares abound, this restaurant is one way of experiencing the southern French cuisine in the hands of two accomplished young chefs, Fanny Rey and Jonathan Wahid.
There’s a long history behind Ristorante Al Capriolo, 168 years in the same family and still counting. It started as a postal office in the Dolomites, a fundamental part of the town in the year 1850 when postal offices were used not only for postal services but also for lodging, eating and changing of horses for the transit of travelers along the Habsburg – Alemannia Road that connects Venice with Bavaria crossing the Dolomite mountains.
Walk your way along Via Giulia then turn towards Vicolo del Malpasso and you will see a charming restaurant with a few modern external tables set on the old Roman cobblestones. Fringed with leafy green plants and flower pots with glass walls where you can see through the restaurant’s contemporary interior. An open kitchen upon entry assures you of transparency in the cuisine of Giulio Terrinoni, Chef Patron of Per Me Ristorante.
Rarely do emotions take over you when you eat in a restaurant. A delicious dish is a great treat but something that can stir up sentiments that the chef wants to convey in his dishes is profoundly impressive. When Roy Salomon Caceres is in the kitchen, his dishes unravel with the unverbalized stories that he wants to tell. Born in Colombia in 1977 then transplanted to Italy when he was at a young age of sixteen, his stories are unique and bountiful which are spiced with aromas from far away. A chef is like a silent storyteller whose words are the ingredients that he uses and the way he puts them together is the story that he wants to relay.
If you put two extremely talented young chefs in the kitchen, one from the southern part of Italy where Mediterranean seafood cuisine is celebrated while the other one is from the mountainous region where alpine influence is utmost, the result is a surprising innovation of grand ideas, aromas and flavors intertwined in a luscious approach to gastronomy.
The story of Pashà is about a mother’s courage and natural maternal instinct to take care of things when difficulties arise in the family. When the restaurant got a call from their current chef who couldn’t come to work because of a medical surgery, the kitchen was going to be left unmanned. That’s the time when Maria Cicorella grabbed the apron and commanded the kitchen even without professional culinary education.
In the middle rolling hills of the Campanian Apennines lies Feudi di San Gregorio Estate, a futuristic rectangular structure created in 2004 by renowned Japanese architect Hikaru Mori. It stands prominently amidst its perfectly combed vineyards. It is the largest wine producer in the region and internationally well-known. To boost the enhancement of the perfect…
We are in South Tyrol, in one of Italy’s autonomous regions that is immersed in the best of what nature can give. But the list doesn’t end there because South Tyrol also has the most number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy. Let’s take a look at one of South Tyrol’s culinary gems. His name is Egon Heiss and he received his Michelin star in 2014. It’s an accolade that most, if not all chefs in the world work hard for.
At La Madernassa Restaurant, Chef Michelangelo Mammoliti, a native of Roero, creates dishes with outstanding mosaics combining nature, memories, thoughts and inventiveness in the kitchen. A young chef with a full luggage of experience in the kitchens of some of the most notable Michelin starred chefs in Italy and France, Gualtiero Marchesi, Stefano Baiocco, Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnaire, Yannick Alléno, and Marc Meneau. With the experience in France, Michelangelo was able to form the basis of his own kitchen which has strong leanings towards the French kitchen.
Il Cantuccio is a one Michelin star restaurant in a small and charming village stone house in the center of Albavilla. At the helm of the kitchen is Chef Mauro Elli, a Lombard by birth and who had his professional culinary training in Clusone (Bergamo).
Ristorante La Trota‘s location may not be conveniently inside the capital and it may take a bit of traveling from the center of Rome towards Rieti because it has a distance of about 100 kilometers but rest assured that if you do make that trip, the gourmand in you will be more than satisfied. In fact, you might even go back for more trips. A restaurant with 2 stars in the French Michelin guide, 3 hats in the Italian L’Espresso guide, and 3 forks in another important Italian restaurant guide, Gambero Rosso, can hardly disappoint anyone.
Parked just a block away, I walked along Via Pisanelli, a quiet residential road in Rome. My eyes riveted towards a light yellow building standing aristocratically amidst the other structures in the area. I quickly scanned the number outside for confirmation. I knew I was at the right place. It says 25 and on the other side of the entrance, The H’All Tailor Suite is written, along with Restaurant All’Oro and under, JRE which stands for Jeunes Restauraturs d’Europe. Being a member of JRE, two forks from Gambero Rosso, a hat from Guida Ristoranti Espresso, a medal from Touring Club, and a Michelin star, I had no doubt that my invitation to the press breakfast that morning would be a notable gastronomic experience.
There are some places that are hard to forget even after a number of years because the fond memories keep on rolling back. Ristorante Vescovado had that effect on me. During a press tour four years ago, I remembered how well-received we were, how one of the chefs of the restaurant pounded on her mortar and pestle tirelessly as she showed us how to properly make the genuine Ligurian pesto from scratch. I also remember how distractedly beautiful the view was from the veranda of the restaurant. And most of all, how delicious the food was, prepared with fresh Ligurian ingredients and paired perfectly with local wines. That was Ristorante Vescovado for me four years ago. Last month, I went back to retrace my footsteps and reconfirm the excellence of the food of Chef Giuseppe Ricchebuono.
Chef Gianfranco Pascucci has a vast source of ingredients right in front of him, where fishes of different kinds are taken to the dock by the local fishermen of Fiumicino as soon as they come in from fishing. He doesn’t limit his ingredients to the usual sea bass or turbot, because he feels impelled to take out the immense supply that the sea can provide us, more the unknown than the ones we are used to. There is the desire to generate awareness and through his kitchen, his dishes can create stories from the sea, the fishermen then to us.
In 1985, when Antonello Colonna took the reins and installed a bright red door in his family’s restaurant in Labico, not only did the name change to Antonello Colonna but it also became one of the best restaurants in Italy. The red door symbolized the preservation of traditional dishes and their flavors while adapting them for the modern day refined palates. He started a gastronomic revolution that became sought after by Italian gourmands. What a big change it was from what his family started in 1874 when Trattoria Andrea Colonna was just a simple restaurant that travelers stopped for, stay, eat and change horses for the last time before heading to Rome. But what remained unchanged for centuries is the distinguishing quality of its home-style cooking.
L’Atelier du Peintre in Colmar (Alsace), France
Entering the town of Colmar is like opening a book of a fairy tales.The intensely colorful half-timbered houses line the cobblestone streets while the well-tended flower boxes filled with gaily-colored flowers give the final touch of perfection. It’s alive with architecture, art and history that dates back to the time it was first written in a book in the 9th century. At the main square, it has a stately 14th-century Dominican church that was reconstructed centuries later in Baroque architecture.
My choice of restaurant went towards the quieter part of town where the dining atmosphere is more muted. My destination was Michelin starred Wolfshöhle Restaurant located in one of Freiburg’s prettiest corner. The restaurant’s elegant wood and leather interior is accentuated with some art pieces. The young staff, all dressed in black uniforms with red sneakers gave quite an impressionable service of professionalism with a friendly overtone.
In Rome, there is a star that glistens a tad shinier that the rest because that star brings out what the others can’t take out of the Italian cooking. From the heart of Land of the Rising Sun, love, as simple and precise as I can put it, takes forth an incredible rendition of the Italian cuisine.
Let me present to you Bistrot 64 in the hands of Chef Kotaro Noda, one Michelin star, Japanese transplanted to Italy and one big love for the Italian cuisine.