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WINE

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FOOD

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• USA. NUOVA CUCINA ITALIANA CHINESE D’AUTEUR IN ITALY • MONTISCI: SARDINIAN WINE ARTIST

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YOUNG inITALIAN Italy • TITLE • TITLE• • TITLE

MICHELE BELOTTI


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WINE 34 | Sardinian wine artist He’d always made wine. He’d always worked the land. But the idea of producing a label that could express his territory and move out of the confines of his small town in Sardinia only came in the early years of 2000. Here are the notes from a vertical tasting of all the years so far produced of Barrosu Riserva.

TRAVEL 46 | Sanremo: Where to eat in the city of flowers Surrounded by hills of olives and cedars, interwoven with cultivated fields and brilliantly-hued flowers, San Remo is set into Liguria’s beautiful Riviera di Ponente.

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«It is wise when it drinks well who can not drink, does not know anything.» Nicolas Boileau (poet and writer | 1636-1711)

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NEWS & MORE

FOOD

4 | Editorial Tre Bicchieri in the era of the emoticon 6 | News 10 | Events Abroad Gambero Rosso’s American Events 18 | Wine of the month Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Cl. Lauro Ris. ’13 Poderi Mattioli 19 | Twitter dixit 22 | Design 24 | Pairing Lab Chinese cooking

38 | Usa. Cucina italiana trial by fire On the surface of the planet, people migrate and frontiers change. In the kitchen, cultures meet and clash, melting into new aromas and flavors. Over the centuries, cucina italiana has been influenced by the typical culinary habits of lands near and far without being overwhelmed. 50 | Chinese d’auteur. Ranging from low-cost ethnic spots to successful, fashionable restaurants where soccer players and celebrities gather, the panorama of Chinese eating places in Italy is in its third generation. 56 | Chefs Pushing the Envelope Four hands (and two heads) are at work in this agriturismo restaurant in Valtellina, between Lake Como and the Alps. Pristine nature is the backdrop for creativity and intelligence. 3

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EDITORIAL

TRE BICCHIERI IN THE ERA OF THE EMOTICON virtual spider web and social media, everything is fast, yes, but also, often terribly superficial. It is always more difficult, on the web, to distinguish true from false, information that is dependable from that which is approximate. That’s why the logo of the Tre Bicchieri is not an emoticon. One thousand pages of the guide can’t be summed up in 140 characters per winery. We don’t object to hashtags and the little faces that rule in the era of ‘liquid modernity’. We’re not against freedom of communication on the web or against the velocity of viral propagation of news. We only want to point out again that the Tre Bicchieri are not a simple icon. They are a symbol of excellence that goes to the best wines (according to us) in an enormously complex reality – the Italian wine scene that we have committed ourselves to explore, discuss and communicate about for thirty years. We tell stories about the wine people and their lands that we have gathered on our travels, enriched by our tastings and the conversations we have with those who make the wine. We don’t turn out lists of emoticons.

With the new edition of the wine guide, Vini d’Italia, the international presentation tour that Gambero Rosso organizes around the world took off again, with its tastings of the best wines of Italy. Stop after stop we meet colleagues, operators and wine lovers who, glasses in hand, want to discuss our evaluations with us, tasting classics and new labels from the Italian vineyard. Obviously, the spotlight is on the excellent bottles, the wines awarded Tre Bicchieri. Thirty years after the first edition of Vini d’Italia, it is amazing to recognize, time and again, the symbolic power of our system of rating in bicchieri, glasses. But we want to underline, in an era of emoticons and hashtags, that the three little glasses in a row sum up judgments and descriptions of dozens of words, but certainly don’t replace them. They are the symbol, with all the semantic and philosophical implications of the word, of a conversation that we have been carrying on for thirty years. We taste wines (over 45,000 this year alone) in an anonymous way during our panel meetings, discuss styles and points among ourselves, and finally describe all our findings in over 1,000 pages of guide book, the fruit of the work of more than sixty collaborators and three curators. In the era of the great

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Vini d’Italia WORLDTOUR

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MARCH 06 BANGKOK 08 HANOI 10 SINGAPORE 13 SYDNEY 18 DÜSSELDORF APRIL 09 VERONA

Top Italian Wines Extra Top Italian Wines Roadshow Top Italian Wines Roadshow Top Italian Wines Roadshow trebicchieri PROWEIN Special

trebicchieri VINITALY Special

MAY 04 LONDON trebicchieri Special Edition 30 YEARS Vini d’Italia 16 DUBAI trebicchieri Special Edition 30 YEARS Vini d’Italia CUBA Top Italian Wines Extra JUNE 05 VANCOUVER Wine & Food Experience 09 TORONTO trebicchieri Wine & Food Experience 20 BORDEAUX trebicchieri 30 YEARS Special Edition VINEXPO

OCTOBER 21 ROME 28 WARSAW 31 TOKYO

trebicchieri-Premiere Vini d'Italia Vini d'Italia Experience trebicchieri

NOVEMBER 03 TAIPEI 06 BEIJING 08 HONG KONG 22 MOSCOW

trebicchieri trebicchieri trebicchieri HKTDC Special trebicchieri

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JANUARY 16 STOCKHOLM trebicchieri 18 COPENHAGEN Vini d'Italia Experience 29 MUNICH trebicchieri

FEBRUARY 06 CHICAGO trebicchieri 08 NEW YORK trebicchieri 13 SAN FRANCISCO trebicchieri 15 LOS ANGELES trebicchieri

INFO: www.gamberorosso.it/international ✉ segreteria.estero@gamberorosso.it

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b Gambero Rosso International

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NEWS FROM AROUND WINE AND THE ECONOMY WORLD

© Nicolas Fauqué

WINE TOURISM. Tunisia's first ''Strada del Vino'' Tunisia has its first wine road, “Strada del Vino”, linked to a route in southwest Sicily. The initiative emerges from the “Magon” project, part of a European Union program of cross-border cooperation between Italy and Tunisia. The objective is to create a Mediterranean itinerary that combines wine, food and archeology. Its name comes from third century B.C. Carthaginian agronomist, Magon, the author of an immense volume about agriculture that also included observations of viticulture, and vinification. For centuries the book was considered the authority on the subject. In Tunisia, the circuit will move between the territories of Carthage and Capo Bon, including the sites of Carthage, Kerkouane, the Bardo museum and Nabeul. The most important DOC wines grow in this zone; Grand Cru Mornag, Mornag, Sidi Salem, Ke’libia. In Sicily, the route passes through Selinunte and its Chora, Monte Adranone, the Museum of Sambuca, “Strada del vino “Terre Sicane”, Menfi, Sambuca and Santa Margherita Belice.

A DECISIVE STEP TOWARDS UNESCO STATUS FOR THE COLLINE DEL PROSECCO. Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are candidates. In July, 2018, Italy hopes to add another zone to the long list of sites (up to now, 51 material and 7 immaterial) recognized and protected by UNESCO. Then, we will know whether the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene can unfurl the World Heritage UNESCO banner. The national Italian UNESCO committee decided unanimously to approve and send the dossier, which the Minister for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, Maurizio Martina, signed a few days ago, to Paris. It is an historic occasion for the 15 municipalities of the Treviso province, a territory of about 20,000 hectares, 5,000 of which are vineyards and coincide with the production area of Prosecco DOCG. It is home to about 3,000 growers. “With this candidacy,” said Minister Martina, “we want to affirm the great cultural and environmental value of our agriculture, especially in exceptional territories like the hills of Conegliano

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and Valdobbiadene. At the same time, we reinforce the global standing of one of the most admired and distinguished wine production zones in our country.” The evaluation process began on February 1, 2017, and the final outcome will be announced in 2018. Ten years exactly have passed since the signing of the understanding between the Treviso province and the seven municipalities of the ‘terre alte’ of the Marca (Cison di Valmarino, Follina, Miane, Revine Lago, Tarzo, Valdobbiadene e Segusino) aimed at safeguarding the landscape and environment of the hill zone. The first request for entrance into the tentative UNESCO list was made at that time by then-minister Luca Zaia. The final step, indispensable to the candidacy of the Colline del Prosecco, was its inclusion, in mid-2015, in the national register of historic rural landscapes by the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.


WITHOUT SPARKLING WINES, ITALY'S PERFORMANCE IS BELOW THE WORLD AVERAGE. THE BRIC COUNTRIES. WILL 2017 BE THE COMEBACK YEAR? Prospects for 2017 are positive for the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India, China) after 2016, which seemed to move at two speeds. Macroeconomic factors related to the individual currencies affected imports of wine into these four markets, according to an analysis by Wine Monitor of Nomisma. China increased its purchase of wine by 16%. Russia was stable, but below the levels before the ruble crisis. Brazil spent 3% less while increasing volume by 12% (about 800/900 thousand hectoliters). India is still marginal, importing less than 20 million euros of wine, 41,000 hectoliters in all. In India, Denis Pantini of Wine Monitor explained, the impact of import tariffs “add about 150% to the import price.” Italian wine shone in China, where Made in Italy labels showed a 39% increase in value in the principal sector of bottled still wines, doing better than its principal competitors, France (+12%), Spain (+27%), Australia and Chile (+24%). In Russia, the Spanish did better (+15%). In Brazil, the top imports were from Chile (+14%), aided by free trade agreements within the Mercosur. Wine Monitor sees the BRIC prospects as positive. “Increased wine imports might be supported by a more favorable macroeconomic picture, tied in its turn to an uptick in the prices of commodities - oil but also minerals and agricultural products, as well as a strengthening of national currencies.” A great deal will depend on the effect on the world market of the USA’s strategies under President Donald Trump.

ITALIAN SOUNDING. Stop the registration of "Calpolicella" in the USA There’s no end to the attempts at imitation of Amarone della Valpolicella. The most recent is one blocked in the United States, where a California company, Popcorn Design LLC, tried to register the trademark “Calpolicella”. The Consorzio di tutela vini della Valpolicella and the Verona Chamber of Commerce, which owns the Veronese brand, protested to the American copyright office and blocked a classic instance of Italian-sounding. As Claudio Valente, a member of the Verona Chamber of Commerce, explained, “We find more and more labels on foreign store shelves and restaurant tables with names that suggest Italy’s better-known wines. Outside the European Union, the rules that protect denominazioni di origine, DOC wines, do not apply. The most efficient way to protect our wines is to register them as a collective brand.” In the last ten years, the Verona Chamber of Commerce has invested almost 470 million euros defending the brand around the world. 7 FEBRUARY 2017

What would Italian exports be without sparkling wines? An analysis by Osservatoriao Paesi Terzi, curated by Business Strategies/Nomisma Wine Monitor, which considered the twelve months of 2016 and the entire sparkling wine sector in the ten top importing countries, which account for 92% of the market, left no doubts. “Italy in the wine sector of third countries,” said CEO of Business Strategies, Silvana Ballott, “showed two faces of the same coin: the smiling one of the sparkling sector, which closed with an increase of 22.3% in value, and the more solemn one of still bottled wines, which showed an increase of only 1.8%. This large difference is not evident in the other major producing countries. It must in some way be narrowed.” Overall, in 2016, the first ten countries not in the European Union (in order, USA, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Russia, Norway, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil) imported wine from Italy amounting to over three billion euros with a market share of 22%. Comparing types of wine, the top 10 sparkling Italian wines were worth 540 million euros (growth almost three times that of its competitors) and a share of the market amounting to 25.1%. Bottled still wines did not rise above 2.34 billion euros, with a market share that decreased to 20.9% due to growth that was less than half of the world average (+1.8% compared to 4.1%).


NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

NEW YORK. World Trade Center upgrades its food offerings. Daniel Humm and Will Guidara on the way Until last August, when it was officially inaugurated, New York nervously awaited the opening of the Westfield Trade Center. Architectural star Santiago Calatrava had designed the spectacular Oculus central opening, and commercial spaces were an instant hit. Among the 2017/2018 arrivals, one is aimed at the foodfussy public, a surprise that will be unveiled by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara from Eleven Madison Park and NoMad. They are working on a project on the ground floor of Tower Three, with a view on the Oculus and a format that is still secret, including its name and interior designer. But Make it Nice, the company that includes the Humm-Guidara duo, is in charge. The two restaurateurs are enthusiastic about opening at such a prestigious address, outside the usual Midtown neighborhoods where they have done so much to enliven dining opportunities. So what will Daniel Humm offer the New Yorkers and tourists who crowd through the beautiful, new downtown space? Coming soon.

MASSIMO BOTTURA RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. Laurea ad honorem from Università di Bologna On February 6, 2017, in a packed auditorium, the Aula Magna Santa Lucia dell’ Alma Mater at the Università di Bologna, Massimo Bottura received an honorary degree, laurea honoris causa, in Business Administration. On hand were also university president, Rector Francesco Ubertini, professor of Business Organization Max Bergami, who inspired and promoted this ceremony, director of Business Sciences Carlo Boschetti and the Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, Maurizio Martina. The chef from Modena was deeply moved as he received the prestigious recognition of his role as an exemplary entrepreneur, not just as a chef at the peak of the world’s ratings. “The pathway taken by Massimo Bottura rises between entrepreneurship, culture, and skill. It represents a model for the diffusion of Italian culture and for the international development of Made in Italy,” explained Rector Ubertini. He further explained the considerations that determined the honor, “among the most solemn in the academic world,” “Massimo Bottura represents an exemplary case of the management of a small Italian family business that attained within a few years unprecedented success and recognition on a global level. From a business point of view, he carried out a deliberate growth strategy, aimed at developing quality 8 FEBRUARY 2017

and international visibility, through vision, entrepreneurial ability, the creation and management of his team, and product innovation, while maintaining an extremely high level of service.” Moreover, his commitment to the community was often referred to during the afternoon: “Bottura is not only creative, but is a man who knows how to share the results of his actions with society, acting in the nerve centers of our time.” After Massimo Bottura accepted the diploma and spoke to the audience, emotions ran high. He first mentioned his deceased mother, then moved gracefully through his own story and that of the team that has always been at his side, in Bologna as well, and present in the Aula Magna hall. This is his world, built alongside this group, which he compared to a Renaissance workshop, a laboratory of ideas where style and culture are shared. It is a movement capable of creating food-centered tourism. “We are the entrepreneurs of the beautiful and the good, del bello e del buono,” he asserted. He spoke of energy, positivity, marvel, motivation. And doubt. “We like to win every time,” he said, so it’s important to play “with one’s heart and mind,” while at the same time taking into account “the ability to know how to be mistaken, tripping over the unexpected, in order to see the world from another perspective.”


CALLEGARI OPENED TRAPIZZINO IN NEW YORK. BONCI COMES TO CHICAGO, Pizza italiana conquers the USA

His name is a byword for hungry Romans and for all those passionate about the arte bianca, the magic of pizza-making. Gabriele Bonci, with his eating spots in the capital city, is one of the best known and loved, most innovative pizzaioli in Italy. Despite the success and fame he has achieved, he is still experimenting, investigating, changing the game and starting from scratch. This time he is bringing his concept of pizza, and, in general, his approach to food, beyond Italy’s borders. The project has been in the air for a while but is scheduled for June 2017 in Chicago, a city in full culinary ferment. What’s new about this venture? “We want to be seen as an authentic place, fully reflecting the prin-

ciples that are the basis of my work.” The new site will be in Sangamon Street in the West Loop, “a very young zone, full of students and packed with interesting eating places.” Here, an all-American team will prepare Bonci-style pizzas with American and Italian ingredients. “I have found fantastic producers for all my ingredients, especially for vegetables.” When Bonci speaks of producers, he means small American farms that observe the rules of natural agriculture. Among his Italian products is the flour, Piedmontese, from Mulino Marino. “But with time, we will experiment with American wheat as well.” The ultra-Roman snack, Trapizzino will also venture from its home. The invention of another Roman pizzaiolo, Stefano Callegari, Trapizzino is a fragrant, light, triangular pizza pocket, stuffed with sauce

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and the most authentic flavors of Roman cooking. It opened on February 22 on the Lower East Side at 144 Orchard Street. Its explicit mission is to show New Yorkers another aspect of Roman food. The idea came from two Callegari fans, Luca Vincenzini, an ex-television producer, and Nick Hatsatouris, Los Angeles restaurateur. “Trapizzino is emblematic of Roman eating,” said Luca Vincenzini. “On Sundays, young New Yorkers, sometimes the children and grandchildren of Italians, can’t go have lunch with their grandmothers in Rome. So why not offer those same flavors in New York?”. In addition to the classic Roman fillings, some new ones will be specifically adapted to American tastes. Besides making Trapizzini, the spot will prepare typical Roman supplì, rice croquettes.


NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

UMBERTO BOMBANA: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD ASIA 2017. The chef from Bergamo who conquered Hong Kong

On February 21, the ceremony to award the winners of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 showcased one of the most dynamic culinary personalities of the last decade. Umberto Bombana has always played a role in Hong Kong. He is the only Italian outside Italy to have received, since 2012, three Michelin Stars. He leads Otto e Mezzo, the restaurant in the Alexandra House of Hong Kong. Recognized as one of the most influential ambassadors of Made in Italy, he doubled and then tripled his commitment to Asia with Otto e Mezzo in Shanghai in 2012, and

the more recent locale in Macao, inside the Galaxy Center. Besides these, Beijing has the Opera Bombana, and Hong Kong the more modest ‘trattoria’ Ciak. Umberto Bombana is a chef and entrepreneur, able to handle many different locations without sacrificing quality. He is also deeply tied to his own roots, so that he was proclaimed “king of white truffles’, a reference to one of Italy’s most prestigious ingredients. All this, along with the unstinting esteem of many chef colleagues, has led to the award Bombana is receiving in Hong Ko n g, one in a

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career of prizes and satisfactions. He is the winner of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement award, the prize bestowed by the Asia 50 Best jury of chefs, restaurateurs, critics and gastronomes. The satisfaction of the chef, who left Italy in 1993, is evident. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to build a career in Asia, grateful for the support of my staff and the clients who admire me. We are in the center of Hong Kong. Food has to be immediate, tasty, beautiful to the eye, and made with top ingredients. The Asian public is sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Introducing Italian cuisine to Chinese guests taught me the importance of being progressive, dynamic and creative.” He received the award for “his capacity to push beyond the limits of traditional cucina italiana.” We can add that he promotes authentic ingredients, recipes and cooking methods. He makes Italians proud to be once again at the center of media attention for the inestimable value of a culinary heritage of products and skills that can flourish outside the borders of the Italian boot.


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EVENTS ABROAD

by Lorenzo Ruggeri

Chicago. The Tasting

TRE BICCHIERI IN THE TRUMP ERA The paradox of Italian wine’s number one market: the most profitable and yet, the one with the greatest margins for growth The four stops on the Gambero Rosso American tour confirmed that Italian wine travels on a fast lane in the United States. A solid pathway has been built over time with years and years of promotion, emigration and the power of authentic and dynamic restaurateurs. Once again, our trip to the USA brought a breath of fresh enthusiasm. It gave us a chance to show off our work of selection, on one hand, and story-telling on the other. In a fragmented sector such as wine in Italy, to see 200 producers, those who won awards in the guide, working together in a market like New York City, meeting, organizing, helping one another, strengthened the idea of what the sector can accomplish working as one. Events were structured on three fronts. Winery stands provided tastes of their most recent years, di-

rectly provided by the producer. Seminars went deeper into the Special Awards in the guide, and in the first recognition of Italian restaurants around the world, we presented the highest rankings in the Gambero Rosso guide soon to be released. The leap in quality of Italian restaurateurs in the world is the key to understanding the evolution of the country’s food and wine exports. We are not exaggerating when we say that some of the most exciting dinners, some of the best uses of Italian products, we have found abroad, from Denmark to the United States.

RIBBON CUTTING, CHICAGO The Windy City blessed us with unusually mild days, and 150 producers were with us in the city for the event that 12

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Chicago

New York. Barilla

has grown more than any other in terms of numbers and quality of participants. We registered 2,000 attendees, with operators and wine lovers coming also from bordering states, such as Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Among the wines discussed in the seminar with journalists, one of the favorites was Pigato Bon da Bon made by Bio Vio. The Vigneron of the Year, Aimone Vio, with his daughter and enologist, Caterina, explained all. In the American pizza capital, Chicago Deep Style Pizza, with its generous condiments, was awarded the prize as best in the city. Jonathan Goldsmith, from Spacca Napoli, a pioneer of true Campania-style pizza, said. “The habit here is drinking wine with pizza. We only have wines from southern Italy in our cellar. From now on, I want to further concentrate on those from Campania.” Jonathan already has some little-known winemakers on his list. The prize for best Italian wine cellar in the city went to Coco Pazzo, opened in 1992, one of Chicago’s first Italian restaurants to focus on regional cooking, specifically Tuscan, and to develop a deep and structured wine list of only Italian labels.

New York, Riccardo Cotarella and Eleonora Guerini

Los Angeles, Massimo Navarretta

Barilla’s expansion plan The New York tasting event celebrated the launching of the first collaboration between Gambero Rosso and Barilla to promote Made in Italy. The agreement involves 12 of the 40 cities around the world that Gambero Rosso visits during the year. Accademia Barilla chef Alfonso Sanna turned out a series of pasta dishes for the Tre Bicchieri public at the Metropolitan Pavilion. “Fine dining restaurants are in difficulty here too. That’s why we aimed at a fast casual style project and regional specialties. We opened three places in Manhattan, all on 6th Avenue. Our next step? We are expanding in California. We open in Los Angeles and then move on to San Diego,” commented Alfonso.


EVENTS ABROAD

THE NEW YORK SNOWSTORM

New York. Top Italian Restaurants awards to Babbo and Ribalta

Cancelled flights, closed schools, weather warnings. It didn’t matter. At 2 pm on February 9, in a deserted, snow-covered Manhattan, a long line pressed against the entrance to the Manhattan Pavilion. Inside were 203 producers and almost 400 wines, for a tasting unmatched in the city. “It’s a great moment for Italian wine and for indigenous varieties,” commented a euphoric Sergio Mottura. “The era of pinot grigio is over. Southern Italy is finding its place. There is always a niche for wines with an extra something,” said Michael Acheson, wine director of Babbo, the Italian restaurant of the Batali/ Bastianich team, recognized in the soon-to-be-released Gambero guide as having the best wine list in the city. It was one of the best articulated and most contemporary selections that we found anywhere in the world. In Rome, we would have trouble finding anything that was its equal. Another award, for the best pizza in the city, recognized Ribalta, a project by Rosario Procino and Pasquale Cozzolino. With its high and well-delineated edge and soft, airy crust, the provolone and marinated zucchini version had us bouncing in our chairs. Spaghettone with tomato sauce was perfection itself. Many pizzaioli are opening places in the city. “New York has 9 million inhabitants, without counting tourists. There’s space for everyone to work together to increase the recognizability and quality of Neapolitan pizza. Our enemy is American piazza,” declared Rosario.

Custoza and the test of time The spotlight was on Custoza in Chicago and New York. Eleonora Guerini and Costantino Gabardi led two seminars. With the producers on hand, the two experts pointed out the best qualities of a denomination that draws on 1,200 hectares of vineyard for an annual production of twelve million bottles. Tastings followed the vertical model, with a voyage back in time from 2015 to 2004 to showcase the evolution of the Veronese white. Typical and elegant aromas of ginger and saffron were the common denominators emerging with the passage of the years.

New York. Custoza


Los Angeles. Augusto Folliero

Los Angeles. Awards to Officine Brera, Valentino, Pizzeria Prova

Quality extra-virgin oil attracted intense attention. The CIA (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori) conducted a seminar, led by Maria Paola Gabusi, on appreciating olive oil quality, reinforced by a well-supplied tasting corner. So the day focused on real pizza, quality olive oil and wine. As for Italian eating places, Vito Iacopelli received the award for the best pizza in Los Angeles with his pizzeria Prova in Downtown L.A, opened two and a half years ago. Vito is the third generation of Pugliesi pizzaioli. His small place is the hangout for Italians in this city. Vecchia Bari, with rapini and sausages in one of pizzas most in demand. Piero Selvaggio, owner of the historic Valentino in Santa Monica, opened in 1972, was recognized for having the best wine list in the city, thanks to a collection of over 100,000 bottles – a cellar unequaled in the United States for the depth of its vintage years and varieties. The best Italian restaurant prize went to Officine Brera, chef Angelo Auriana’s new project. A specialist in risotto, he has been in the States since 1985. “Thirty years ago, they didn’t know what tiramisù was. Today they know a great deal, travel a lot and there’s a marked return to more simple and authentic cucina,” added Angelo.

SANTA MONICA, WINE AND MOTORS After many years, the Tre Bicchieri event returned to Los Angeles, to Santa Monica, the neighborhood on the shores of the Pacific. The setting was new – the Barkar Hangar with a view on the runway of the Santa Monica airport. Over 1,200 people, many of them restaurateurs coming from all over the area, showed up. Los Angeles covers over 200 kilometers and includes moe than 12 million people. Many new Italian places are opening. In the course of the seminar on Special Awards, Primitivo Contrada Barbatto from Nicola Chiaromonte received a standing ovation, here in the land of Zinfandel. “A mesmerizing wine!” was one of the comments in the local press. Another favorite was the riserva of Chianti Classico Le Vigne 2013, from Istine and Angela Fronti, the up-and-coming winery of the year. It embodies the motto, “Less is more,” with all the precision and essentiality of Radda in Chianti in a glass. “The interest of the operators in Italian whites and sparkling wines is growing, and they are gaining ground in every segment of the California market. These are types that have little competition with our own vineyards,” commented Patricia Decter, from Wine Along the 101. Augusto Folliero turned out more than 450 pizzas on the spot. 15

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San Francisco

San Francisco. Pizza & Falanghina

Next year the Tre Bicchieri tour is planning a stop in a new state. The American market is still unexplored, and the Gambero has visited only a few cities. There’s the center of the country still to discover, states where consumers are willing to spend, and where they know and love Italy - three ideal conditions. Getting beyond worries for Trump’s political protectionism, the country that most Italian producers know best is still unexplored. In less than a month, the tour takes off again: on March 18, we go to Dusseldorf. Tre Bicchieri will open the 24th edition of ProWein.

SAN FRANCISCO, THE CELEBRATION As usual, the final event in the American tour went on stage in the Fort Mason Center, with the island of Alcatraz and fog over the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. A long and orderly line of people lit up the last stop on the tour. More than 1,800 people celebrated the Tre Bicchieri event in San Francisco: 140 producers came face to face with one of the most knowledgeable and profitable markets in the world. Among the operators were also many producers from Napa and Sonoma, anxious to sample the Italians in the glass. From the point of view of restaurateurs, San Francisco has few rivals in the United States in terms of the number of eating places and the average quality. This aspect effects wine consumption, especially Italian, which can boast of some of the best lists in the world. Tony Gemignani’s pizzas, among the best in the city in his Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, accompanied the Tre Bicchieri wines. Among the youngest of the most promising young Italians was award-winning Michele Belotti, originally from Bergamo, now based in Oakland. Acquerello, the best Italian restaurant in the city in the new Guide, is the first American restaurant to win Tre Forchette Tricolore, the highest rating. Opened in 1989, it offers one of the country’s most elegant culinary experiences and an extraordinary wine cellar. The food is fresh and delightful, and the chef is gifted, especially in ingredient pairings. This restaurant would be a star even in an Italian context. The chef, she told us, has French origins: Suzette Gresham owns the restaurant together with Giancarlo Paterlini.

Pizza and Falanghina Americans are loyal fans of their city’s pizza. There’s New York Pizza and Chicago Deep Style Pizza, but the winner in recent years has been Pizza Napoletana. During the events in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Consorzio Tutela Vini del Sannio organized two corner spaces to spotlight a great classic of regional pairing: Margherita and Falanghina. Over 10 labels from the Benevento zone brought together craggy pizza crust and authentic flavors, thanks also to two wood-burning ovens brought on location, to the delight of hundreds and hundreds of wine tasters.

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Los Angeles. Le Monde’s boys

San Francisco. Awards to Acquerello

New York. Custoza MasterClass New York. Enrico Cascella Spinosa - Villa Spinosa

Los Angeles. Cia

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CIA and Gambero Rosso bring Italian food specialities across the world

“B

ringing to the world the secret casket of traditional Italian foods”. The goal of the collaboration between the CIA-Italian Farmers and Gambero Rosso can be summed up in this slogan. To turn it into reality, an unmissable series of events, dedicated to connoisseurs, international press, opinion leaders, companies and manufacturers will be organized in various cities in the world. These events are “Top Italian Food & Beverage Experience” and “Wines of Italy Experience” and are international promotion events organized by Gambero Rosso with the participation of CIA member farms. The kick-off event for 2017 was in Copenhagen, then Los Angeles and Toronto will follow. These are important displays for Made-in-Italy food and fall in the large international project that CIA is undertaking to inform international markets about Italian farms and “top” productions. Indeed, foreigners love Italian food but do not know 95% of our niche and qual-

Green light to “Top Italian Food & Beverage Experience” and “Wines of Italy Experience”, the international promotional events that in 2017 will take Italian companies to Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Toronto. ity products, which could make our national agri-food export reach 70 billion euros. “Our commitment is to enhance and accompany our companies in the challenge with foreign countries”, explained Dino Scanavino, CIA national president. The goal is to promote growth and win new market opportunities, thereby countering the Italian sounding”. The President of Gambero Rosso, Paolo Cuccia, showed the same approach: “We are constantly alongside Italian companies for the promotion of quality Made-inItaly products in the major international markets,” he added. “We 18 FEBRUARY 2017

are therefore pleased to be working with CIA to support the development of companies on overseas markets, which are more and more essential to the growth in size and profitability of Italian agriculture and agri-food”. Olive oil, fruit and vegetable are always among the protagonists of these displays of Italian excellent food; with a production of over 14 billion euros, they represent just less than 30% of the national agricultural turnover. These are sectors withstrong international appeal that, last year alone, have earned about 9.3 billion euros on the tables of foreign consumers.


CNO in the world market with CIA and Gambero Rosso

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roduct quality, territory linkage, respect for the environment and transparent behavior towards consumers are the pillars on which at CNO the daily activities on the Italian and the international markets have been based and inspired for more than 50 years.

Thanks to these many years of effort from our organization, our member producers (more than 100,000 olive growers operating in all Italian olive-growing regions), our associated cooperatives and those consortiums of processors and bottlers which are part of our network, CNO is now able to offer consumers worldwide a wide and varied range of oils with great added value in terms of quality, uniqueness, authenticity and environmental sustainability. We have managed to reach a level of excellence that we constantly try to improve. Two are the interventions at the core of our daily activity: the improvement of the quality level of productions together with the reduction of the environmental impact of olive cultivation and the certified traceability system, from farm to fork, to keep all stages of production processes under control. We were the first and for more than 10 years CNO has put all efforts in traceability and certification, engaging in such tasks the best professional resources available within the organization and making use of the European Union support and supervision. Today, with the launch of the National Olive Plan, a new project for the Italian olive oil sector funded by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, such activities will be strengthened and further enhanced by the establishment of a quality system which will supply consumers with information and guarantees that certify the origin and the characteristics of the extra virgin olive oil produced from 100% Italian olives. The interests of consumers and producers do coincide. They are both looking for quality improvement and believe in a type of agriculture that respects Nature. CNO provide the markets with authentic and wholesome products. Consumers around the world can count on it. 19 FEBRUARY 2017


EVENTS ABROAD

photo:

Messe DĂźsseldorf/ctillmann

William Pregentelli collaborated

IT'S PROWEIN TIME 6,257 exhibitors from 59 countries; 55,729 professional visitors of over 120 nationalities: these are the ProWein numbers from 2016. In 2017, the event reaches its 24th edition. The DĂźsseldorf event is among the top four or five most important in the wine sector. Over its almost quarter-century of life, the German fair has been recognized as the most professional and best organized of its type. Even if some exhibiting producers have begun to notice a few creaks in the organization, due to the growing number of attendees, there is close to unanimous opinion that the contacts created at ProWein are of the highest quality and commercial importance. Importers from northern Europe are the important players in this fair founded in 1994. They come from Germany but also from the countries of Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Belgium and more. But the presence of Americans is growing. This is the place to meet the world, rather than just German operators, who in any case, are more fo-

dusseldorf

20 FEBRUARY 2017


cused on exhibiting their own products. For tasters, it’s a dreamscape. For producers, it’s a precious opportunity, even though the number of exhibitors seems to be growing more rapidly than the number of visitors. But visitors to ProWein can also find a source of inspiration for their business in a series of truly impressive initiatives. More than 500 events, many of them organized by the exhibitors themselves, make a fundamental contribution to understanding in depth such issues as winemaking zones, products, new trends. Gambero Rosso returns to Germany with a very special tasting of Tre Bicchieri wines from the Vini d’Italia 2017 guidebook. The event will take place on March 18th in the Congress Center Ost of Messe, Düsseldorf, as usual, the day before the ProWein fair. After Stockholm, Munich, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Tre Bicchieri tour will land in Düsseldorf. The event will also be an opportunity to strengthen commercial ties between Italian wineries and German consumers. Despite a slight decrease in volume (-1.6%), in 2016 Germany remained the primary European market (and the second in the world after the United States) for Italian wine. It is a mature market of consumers who are ever more ready to perceive and enjoy the thousand facets of Italian products .

DÜSSELDORF SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 2017 MESSE DÜSSELDORF Congress Center Ost - Room LMR Stockumer Kirchstraße 61 40474 Düsseldorf 01:30 - 07:00 pm | TASTING TRADE AND PRESS 02:00 - 03:00 pm | MASTER CLASS: Indigenous grape varieties of Southern Italy 04:00 - 07:00 pm | TASTING WINE LOVERS

21 FEBRUARY 2017


THE STORY

LIEDHOLM. FROM GREAT SOCCER TO ROSSO BOEMIA Even for those who aren’t in love with the soccer world, the name Nils Liedholm (gold medal for Sweden during the 1948 Olympics in London, player with the Milan team until 1961, then the unforgettable manager of Roma) calls up the long season of a great champion. And then there’s the winery that bears his name. Villa Boemia is set among the hills of Monferrato, at the gates of Cuccaro in Piedmont. It is a beautiful 18th-century estate with vineyards, purchased by Nils in 1973. Over the years, the plantings were enriched, and to the original barbera and grignolino grapes, Liedholm added pinot nero and bianco, cabernet sauvignon and franc. He added a technologically avant-garde winemaking facility, as well. Although in those years, Nils had no time for wine, his son Carlo was fascinated. His mother was from a Piedmontese noble family and his Italian grandfather loved to explore vineyards and wineries. Carlo took over and family production grew, as did the vineyards and the wine produced - to today’s 70,000 bottles.

Carlo Liedholm is an interesting man: the Swedish-Piedmont blend gave good results. After a short experience managing a soccer team, Carlo definitively chose the world of wine. He is also interested in every facet of contemporary art - abstract, photography, installations, performance - and music, whether classical or hard rock. To keep up his Swedish, he reads only in that language. Married, with two children, Liedholm has close relationships with his father’s homeland, and exports much of his wine to Sweden.

Liedholm | Villa Boemia 4/a | Cuccaro Monferrato (AL) | tel. 0131 771 937 | www.liedholm.com loc.

Among his bottles, a place of honor belongs to Rosso and Bianco Boemia. The monovarietal Barbera d’Asti is another star, aged in stainless steel vats for 18 months. The Tonneau version, after the stainless steel, is transferred to 700-liter oak barrels for about two years. Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese is drawn off before fermentation is complete to avoid the passage of too many polyphenols to the wine. “Grignolino has its precise identity. It should be tasted within two years to give the best of itself, from its typical color to its special aroma of pepper.” Carlo Liedholm lives in Cuccaro Monferrato, in the villa that holds the history of his family. “It’s a privilege and a luxury for me,” admits Carlo “Keeping up with the children, their school and sports, is an effort. But living among these hills means being part of the miracle of nature every day.” Nino D’Antonio

22 FEBRUARY 2017


DESIGN

by Francesco Seccagno

DESIGN & FOOD

Integrated range hood and cooking surface | I&D - NOVY | Villasanta (MB) | via C. Trivulzio di Belgioioso, 11 | tel. 039 2057 501 | www.novy.it

Cooking and food preparation, both in a work environment and as life enrichment, can become décor. Highly technological solutions that at the same time are warm and beautiful equipment can make the kitchen the most intimate, pleasant and functional room in the house.

How many discussions and arguments have you had while choosing a range hood? Some people love them, others hate them. Novy found a brilliant solution. No external hood is visible, but integrated into an induction cooking surface, it emerges like the periscope of a submarine when the range is turned on, sucking up cooking aromas like a vortex. It is beautiful to look at and avoids having soiled cupboards and tiles.

Plancha | Mastrad | www. mastrad

-paris.fr | distribuito

Maino Rappresentanze | Milano | via G. Piazzi, 1 | tel. 02 6686294 | www.mainocarlo.it da

Brilliant, appealing modern design – a griddle and lid for a la plancha, grilling, or teppanyaki-style cooking. The stainless steel pan comes with a bbq-oven style cover and a thermometer registering up to 300°C (570°F) for bread, pizza, and such. O’Plancha can be used on any heat source. Once cooked, food goes directly to the table in the pan. Appliance design makes it attractive on an open shelf. 24 FEBRUARY 2017


Cook Expert | Magimix | Francia | Vincennes (Borgogna) | tel. +33 (0)1 43 98 88 30 | www.magimix.it This is a sophisticated French cooking appliance and food processor that combines modern design, multi-functionality, robust construction and up-to-date technology. It offers twelve automatic prep programs (including puree, strain, stew, steam, baby food and ice cream, as well as automatic rinsing) but also precise induction cooking, steaming, blending, emulsifying, grating and slicing both large and small quantities. Also included: 300 recipes and a free app. It is equipped with a metal container, blades, and transparent containers for various functions. A competitor with Bimby (Thermomix) made by the German company, Vorwerk. Cucina 36e8 MadeTerraneo | Villa del Conte (PD) | Lago | via Artigianato II, 21| Lago store Roma | via di Ripetta, 135 | tel. 06 95215830 | www.lago.it | roma-ripetta.lago.it | www.madeamano.it This designer’s concept elaborates the contrast between tradition and innovation. Caltagirone ceramics, hand-made by the artisans of Made a Mano, become the structural and design basis for the entire kitchen, its cabinets, tables and work surfaces. Mediterranean atmosphere and functional design leads to a modular kitchen of infinite solutions and compositions.

25 FEBRUARY 2017


WINE OF THE MONTH

THE MAGNIFICENT MARCHE WHITE

Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Cl. Lauro Ris. ’13 Poderi Mattioli 5,500 bottles ex-cellar price: 15,00 euros The large photos showing scenes of country life in the 1960s might seem to clash with the architecture of the modern winery, but they effectively sum up the estate philosophy: a successful blend of inherited skills and state-of-the-art knowledge. Giordano Mattioli looks after the vineyards, comprising three crus with distinct features. His brother Giacomo is busy with fermentation and ageing of the wines. The grapes for Lauro, the family’s Riserva, come from the Mogliette vineyard.

Tasting notes The 2013 version was one of the best wines we tasted this year. It has a welldefined profile, a light blend of citrus and almonds with clear aniseed aromas identifying the terroir. The palate is vivid, subtle and dynamic, its stylish pace leaving a persistent salty sensation on the finish.

Wine pairing: A white notable for good savory notes that enliven the palate. Versatile in its pairing possibilities, it is the perfect match for mussels au gratin or grilled shrimp. Ideal also with dishes that feature chicken or turkey.

26 FEBRUARY 2017


TWITTER dixit Luxurious Adventure

Ken @ alawine

So apparently #JohnnyDepp spends $30,000 per month on wine

Very efficient!

Restaurant Barococo Cool

Winetracker.co

This 12-liter 2009 bottle of Chateau Margaux is going for $195,000. That’s $2,437 a glass! Only six made!

Mixellany

English language has over 3,000 words for being drunk. Eskimos only have 50 for snow.

Demi Cassiani

Jon Thorsen

A monorail system is used to transport wine grapes out of the vineyards on the steep slopes in the Lavaux wine region of Switzerland

Of course! Wine in a can... CAN they?

27 FEBRUARY 2017


PAIRING

CHINESE FOOD &

drawings by Chiara Buosi

SCHIAVA

FIANO FSOAVE

frappa

Soup crab&pork dumplings COLLI DI LUNI VERMENTINO

Baozi BBQ pork filled SCHIAVA

FIANO

FSOAVE

frappato

morellino

verdicchio

ETNA ROSATO SCHIAVA

FIANO FSOAVE

frappato

morellino

verdicchio

Sha zhu cai

28 FEBRUARY 2017

CHIANTI CLASSICO


ITALIAN WINES Steamed fish SCHIAVA

FIANO

with scallions, soya sauce and ginger

FSOAVE

frappat

FIANO DI AVELLINO frappato

morellino

verdicchio

Peking Duck

OLTREPO PAVESE PINOT NERO BRUT

Dragon’s Beard Candy

SCHIAVA

FIANO

29 FEBRUARY 2017

COLLI EUGANEI FIOR D'ARANCIO


VINO & TERROIR

William Pregentelli collaborated

TRENTODOC

Spumanti and its mountains

T

his was the first Italian denomination specifically for spumante metodo classico (1993), but Giulio Ferrari baptized the very first bottle of its type in 1902. The wines originate on the slopes of hills lying between 200 and 800 meters above sea level. All around are the Dolomite Mountains. The territory is known for the extreme temperature excursions that enhance the characteristics of chardonnay and pinot nero, the grapes that play starring roles in the cuvee. This is the land of Trentodoc, which accounts for 35% of the national production of metodo classico spumante. We talked with Enrico Zanoni, president of the Istituto Trento Doc. Let’s start with numbers: 7.3 million bottles sold, 4.5% more than 2015 in terms of quantity and 11% more in value. Looks like things are going well! What

is the Trentodoc secret to success? “We are certainly satisfied, but we realize there is still a lot of work to do to attain the fame we desire. It’s no secret that we have added a significant promotional effort to the impeccable quality of our production, the sum of territory, history and ability. ” Seventy-eight percent of Trentodoc production is sold on the domestic market, with 22% destined for export. What strategies have been adopted to expand on both domestic and foreign markets? “For a couple of years now, the promotional campaigns launched by the Istituto Trento Doc have been largely aimed at Italy, where we think we still have great potential for growth. With the help of OCM Vino we have now turned to 32 FEBRUARY 2017

promotional activity in the USA. The actual sums dedicated to promotion abroad are tied to the great talent for export shown by the main wineries that belong to the Istituto Trento Doc. ” Does the success of Prosecco in foreign markets represent a problem or an opportunity? “We think that Prosecco’s popularity abroad acts as a potential opening for metodo classico spumante. First professionals in the sector and then more demanding, attentive consumers could be attracted by the high quality of Italian spumante such as Trentodoc. We see some signs that this is happening already. ” Let’s talk about wine and terroir. What are the main characteristics of Trentodoc? “Elegance, freshness, drinkability - thanks to its unique territory,


naturally suited to metodo classico production. Along with the qualities of the territory, professional, expert enologists and capable technical personnel - thanks to the school, Fondazione Mach San Michele all’Adige - are just as important.”. “Bollicine di Montagna”: why does this tag accompany your brand name? “The phrase reflects research carried out by a project, “New analytic methods for the geographic and varietal traceability of enologic products.” Coordinated by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the Fondazione Edmund Mach in partnership with the Ministry of Agricultural Policy analyzed about 30 Trentodoc products. They showed the presence of a consistent number of specific volatile compounds that were not dependent on the refermentation process (those found by the same research in other Italian metodo classico labels), but

rather depended on the peculiarities of the mountain environment with its powerful temperature excursions.” Recently there has been an increase in the volume of the most important types of spumante, vintage and reserve labels. What does that mean? “That’s true. Data confirm this trend that, in my opinion is connected to two factors. The first is access to spumante bases that allow long stays on their lees, while keeping their freshness and elegance. The second, however, is linked to the recognition, on the part of the operators and consumers, of the quality of Trentodoc products, which more and more leads to the search for more prestigious bottles.” The vineyards of your producers are next to the Dolomites, a nature attraction and a UNESCO heritage site. How do you manage to direct this flow of tourists to your wineries? “Certainly, we are very proud that our production has the Dolomites, a UNESCO heritage site, as a backdrop. It adds extra value. Many tourism companies and hospitality operators work with our Istituto to promote our brand through specific projects such as “Trentodoc in the Dolomites”, an event that involved 33 FEBRUARY 2017

the top places in the Val di Fassa and Madonna di Campiglio as ambassadors of Trentodoc. Tourists could experience our product under the best conditions, immersed in a magical atmosphere.” Which are the denomination’s three best vintage years? “The harvests of 2006, 2008 and 2010 produced excellent expressions of our spumanti. But within the range of labels made by our producers, there are many excellent products from different years.” How much does the role of the Istituto Trento Doc matter in the growth of the denomination? “The mission of the Istituto Trento Doc is obviously to foster the growth of the fame and reputation of the brand overall, by means of coherent, shared promotional activities. The makeup of the board of directors reflects and represents in a balanced way the different ‘souls’ of the producers: the large private maison, the world of the cooperative, the small producer. Working in a cohesive and united way is fundamental to attaining our goals.”

Bollicine di Montagna


VERTICAL TASTING

Photo byi Alessandro Pintus

Giuseppe Carrus collaborated

BARROSU RISERVA FRANZISCA The Cannonau from Mamoiada. Giovanni Montisci passes the test of time

He’d always made wine. He’d always worked the land. But the idea of producing a label that could express his territory and move out of the confines of his small town in the hinterland of Sardinia only came to him in the early years of 2000. Here are the notes from a vertical tasting of all the years so far produced of Barrosu Riserva. It took place on January 18, 2017, at the Mostò wine bar on Viale Pinturicchio in Rome. The tasting ended with a sampling of Modestu ’15, a Montisci white. It is a dry Moscato with fascinating notes of citron and dried fruit, fresh and mentholated on the palate, with a pleasantly savory finish. It proves that Giovanni’s able hand is not only revealed in Cannonau. 34 FEBRUARY 2017


T

his Riserva has the noble goal of expressing the entire soul of the Mamoiada terroir. Structure is evident, and with it, a small sugar residue that is apparent in some early vintages. Vinification is simple and essential: a few days of maceration, then aging in 1,000-liter casks. Over the years, maceration increased to 30 days and the sweet residue disappeared, leaving room for fruitiness along with balsamic, fresh acidity, ideal for reds

that never dip below 16 degrees of alcohol. Among the earliest years, the 2005 and the 2007 are surprising thanks to their vertical development and capacity to express perfect integrity years after their vintage. The real shift, above all in terms of production constancy, with bottles that consistently gain more in finesse and elegance, occurred around 2010. The last four vintage years, although some weather differences were evident, as they should be in great, authentic, ar-

THE WINES CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA FRANZISCA 2014

A hot vintage year, but not humid, which guaranteed an excellent harvest. Intense ruby red color with clean, intense aromas of cherry and strawberry, then slight sensations of roses, spices, plums and blueberries. The palate is supple, fresh. Tannin is mature and noticeable on the finish, followed by a pleasing savory tone. Great. 92

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA FRANZISCA 2013

Good vintage year, balanced and not too hot. Classic ruby color. Nose displaying notes of alcohol-preserved cherries, berry jam and sweet spices. Little by little, sensations of blood and iron emerge. The palate is mentholated, spicy and long, with tannins that are emphatic, though sweet and ripe. Deep, savory finish. Sincere. 91.

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA FRANZISCA 2012

A less balanced vintage year, with summer intervals of heat and rain. Ruby color shows first garnet shading. The nose is austere and dark, with notes of spices and chocolate, some tones of cherry and plum. The palate is slightly contracted by rough tannin that diminishes drinkability a bit. But there’s no shortage of fresh sensations and the savory finish nevertheless emerges. Grumpy. 86 35 FEBRUARY 2017

tisanal wines, produced wonderfully balanced and harmonious bottles, wines full of character that mirror their territory. Mamoiada is a small vineyard, 85 years old, less than a hectare of alberello-planted vines 650 meters above sea level. But above all, these bottles demonstrate that they know how to age very well. With the years they reveal how time enriches them and showcases vineyard, weather conditions and the human hand informed by decades of history.


CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA FRANZISCA 2011

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA 2007

Not an exemplary year. Hot, not humid, but with intensely variable intervals. Garnet-red color with ruby highlights. At first, a slight volatile tone that disappears, leaving space for notes of strawberry, plum, forest floor, resin and Mediterranean brush. The palate is compact and integral, with soft, velvety tannin. Acidity is in each mouthful, and the finish is very fresh and mentholated. Powerful. 93.

Cool and very balanced vintage year. Garnet red color with ruby-red highlights. Wonderful nose right from the start, with notes of black pepper, Mediterranean brush, berries and cherries, but also resinous and mentholated sensations. The palate is compact, integral, and has silky tannins that underlie a mouthful refreshed by acidity and deepened by a savory, flavorful finish. Agile, elegant, fine, even while showing its grand structure. Incredible. 94

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA FRANZISCA 2010

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA 2006

Wine is also fascinating when some bottles are less fortunate. That’s the case with our tasting of the 2010 Riserva. The bottles tested don’t offer what they should. Unlucky. NV.

An imperfect year, with very uncertain weather. Intense garnet-red color. Immediate notes of chocolate, coffee and alcohol-preserved cherries on the nose. Then a touch of vanilla and spicy Alchermes liqueur emerges. The palate is lightly contracted by tannin, but fresh and savory on the finish. Imprecise. 87.

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA 2009

Very hot, muggy vintage year. Evident garnet color. At first, a sensation of alcohol that disappears immediately, leaving room for ripe fruit, spices and chocolate, along with notes of licorice and resin. Mouth-filling, but still light-hearted and easy to drink. The finish is creamy and intense. Generous. 88

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA 2005

Hot but balanced vintage year. Garnet-red color. The nose is mentholated, with notes of anise and dark citrus fruit. Gradually aromas of red fruit emerge that remind us of the wine’s youth. The palate is slim, agile, whole, with notes of underbrush and forest floor that come out on the finish. A good, long, fresh mouthful with vibrant acidity. Soft, mature tannin. Vibrant. 90.

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA 2008

A year of seesaw weather, marked by rain and muggy heat. The nose is very open, already displaying tertiary notes, slightly evolved. Evident notes of forest floor precede sensations of alcohol-preserved cherries, plum jam and roasted coffee. The palate opens with slight sweetness balanced by acidity, closes with a savory tone on the finish. Mouthfeel is a little contracted deep down by slightly rough tannin. Honest. 85

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA BARROSU RISERVA 2004

Garnet color with light orange highlights. The nose is a bit imprecise, showing a pinch of healthy age-related evolution. This was the first year produced, but the aromas of strawberry, licorice and roasted coffee are still notable. The palate is wide, with a pinch of sweetness. Tannin slightly contracts the mouthfeel. Mature. 84.

36 FEBRUARY 2017


www.cia.it

We bring to the world the WONDERFUL SECRET CASKET of Italian traditional foods MADE IN ITALY


Acquerello


TOP ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

by Lorenzo Ruggeri and Gerardo Antelmo

USA. CUCINA ITALIANA TRIAL BY FIRE

On the surface of the planet, people migrate and frontiers change. In the kitchen, cultures meet and clash, melting into new aromas and flavors. Over the centuries, cucina italiana has been influenced by the typical culinary habits of lands near and far without being overwhelmed. The experience in the United States is proof. 39 FEBRUARY 2017


TOP ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

G

enerations of Americans have grown up with and loved Italian food and Italian restaurants. At the start of the last century, immigrants, mainly from the south of the country, brought their local dishes with them, and their eastern European neighbors longed for invitations to share a meal with the colorful, gregarious newcomers. The first popular commercial dishes were aimed at the workingman - muffuletta sandwiches for Sicilians in New Orleans, cheese steaks in Philadelphia, cioppino seafood stews for Genoese fisherman in San Francisco. Later, soldiers returning from Italy after World War Two brought memories of foods they had enjoyed, and Italo-Americans learned to satisfy that yen with spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza. Since the entrepreneurs were often new to the profession, the early Italian postwar restaurants slipped into a comfortable, beloved model, epitomized by the checked tablecloth and strawcovered Chianti bottle. Red sauce was all. Although many Italian-made products were finding their way into specialty shops and supermarkets, so were many imitations, “Italian sounding”. It took another genera-

tion before professional Italian chefs from all over the boot began to open restaurants and teach their American clients about the vast range and high quality of Italian dishes and Italian products. Only now is the difference between parmesan and ParmigianoReggiano, between mass-produced olive oil and extra-virgin cold pressed estate oil beginning to sink in. Now, all over the world, Italian chefs are surprised and delighted to find new respect and admiration. The chefs in turn are finding excitement and stimulation in their new homes – see our news about Gabriele Bonci and Stefano Calligari in other sections of this issue. The range of Italian eating places, the dishes they offer, the products they draw on, the standards they hold themselves to, is at an all time high. Every year, Gambero Rosso, with wine events involving dozens of producers and hundreds of labels, travels the world. Our teams became aware of the astonishingly high quality of the Italian restaurants and pizzerias found all over the globe. Many could put to shame the eating places in their own hometowns. We are finally putting together our years of experience to offer a guide to the world’s Top Italian Restaurants.

Spaghetti with clams, Ristorante Coco Pazzo

Chicago | THE Spacca Napoli Pizzeria | 1769 W Sunnyside Ave. | tel. +1 773 878 2420 | www.spaccanapolipizzeria.com Jonathan Goldsmith, who trained with renowned pizza maestro, Enzo Coccia, has brilliantly brought Neapolitan sunshine into one of the coldest cities in the United States. His entrepreneurial history destined him for success. Each day he gives the Americans in Obama’s home town the chance to fully satisfy their palates. In Spacca Napoli, Americanized versions are banned, even when requested, although many lesser pizzaioli turn them out to make ends meet. For Jonathan, pizza is the authentic expression of a Neapolitan art that over the centuries has become hallowed pizzeria know-how. Jonathan’s wife is a well-known and respected artist, so artistic responsibility is a family matter. Each brick in the two ovens made by third and fourth generation Neapolitan artisans testifies to Jonathan’s dedication to offering the best. Each ingredient is the result of research in Italy carried out from his agriturismo Le Campestre di Castel di Sasso in the province of Caserta. The result is a top quality pizza. His wine list could offer more, but the choice to focus largely on quality wines from Campania is further proof of Jonathan’s great love for Naples. Spacca Napoli - the oven


RESTAURANTS Pizzeria napoletana Forno Rosso | 1048 W Randolph st. | tel. +1 3122436000 | www.fornorossopizzeria.com “With pizza I want to transmit Neapolitan culture, paying attention to detail. Each pizza that comes to the table has to be special.” Salvatore Locascio, a Sicilian from Trabia, near Palermo, is a young pizzaiolo who trained with the greatest masters. In Chicago, another Sicilian, Nicola Nitti, originally from Cefalù, recognized Salvatore’s talent and created Forno Rosso for him. Their success is evident to all who crowd into this busy pizzeria on Randolph, an old industrial neighborhood of the West Loop. An excellent individualized oven from Acunto features a special slab of volcanic stone and the famed ‘biscotti di Sorrento’ tiles. Caputo Blu flour, Ciao sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, the tiny tomatoes known as pomodori del piennolo rosso e giallo from San Nicola dei Miri di Gragnano - these are perhaps the best possible ingredients for turning out an extraordinary pizza. Americanized versions are banned here. “American clients have to adapt their palates to Italian tastes,” said Nick Nitti. Davide D’Andrea, Gianni Gallucci and Alfredo Pappalardo, fine Italian pizzaioli who take turns in the kitchen, assure constant quality, whatever the day. Ristorante Coco Pazzo | 300 W Hubbard St. | tel. +1 312 836 0900 | www.cocopazzochicago.com Federico Comacchio brought a welcome breeze of innovation to Coco Pazzo. His origins in Lodi, in Lombardy, give him a special feeling for the foods of that region. His mother, he said, was a traditional homemaker with a passion for out of the ordinary foods. A masterful risotto expresses all its potential flavor, but so does cacciucco, a typical Tuscan fish soup, rustic and full-flavored. Each of Federico’s dishes showcases the character of the fresh ingredients at its heart. Both traditional and contemporary, they artfully represent the best of Italian food to the outside world. Bitter and sour, sweet and salty flavors are balanced. Service is impeccable thanks to the professional, well-established staff in the dining room. A good wine list offers selections from all Italy’s regions. Quality/price rapport is good.

pizzaioli

Ristorante Tocco | 1266 N Milwaukee Ave. | tel. +1 773-687-8895 | www.toccochicago.com Bruno and Melissa Abate wanted to bring Chicago a modern, elegant version of cucina italiana that, while reflecting tradition, could satisfy international palates. Tocco offers sleek contemporary decor and its wine cellar showcases excellent Italian labels from every region. Basic ingredients are exclusively top quality Italian. The cheese selection is varied and interesting. Extra-virgin olive oils are all DOP, from protected geographic zones. Even the flour used is carefully chosen and organic. Tortelli di ricotta, house-made, are enhanced with truffles from Norcia, in Umbria. Risotto 24, made with Parmigiano-Reggiano aged for 24 months, Abruzzese saffron and 24-karat gold, is finished in a silver pot and reflects the maniacal attention to detail of chef Domenico Acampora. Bruno Abate dedicates himself not only to his restaurant but also to his community. For six years he has been teaching Italian cooking and food services in Chicago’s Cook County jail. Ristorante Coco Pazzo

41 FEBRUARY 2017

Ristorante Tocco - interior

- Forno Rosso


TOP ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

San Francisco | THE Acquerello | 1722 Sacramento St. | tel. +1 4155675432 | www.acquerello.com Acquerello probably has the most prestigious and up-to-date wine list of any Italian restaurant in the United States. Its modern, curated menu provides incredible emotions even to palates accustomed to great cuisine d’auteur. Suzette Gresham and Giancarlo Paterlini feature stylistically pure cucina italiana - perfect, modern, and delicately influenced by French cooking. Each meal is an elegant and precise dance, stimulating the palate and reaching its peak at dessert time. In every dish you feel the heart and soul of Suzette, the influence of her French grandmother, and the quality of the fruit and vegetables grown in the family garden. Even the most simple and traditional plate brings a special touch with it. The veal tartare with bottarga, Grana Padano and 25-year-old balsamic vinegar is exceptional. Superlative potatofilled ravioli are flavored with goat cheese, smoked guanciale and caramelized onions. Maine lobster is enhanced with saffron and artichokes. Choosing a wine is difficult: there are thousands of labels stored in three exceptional cellars. Prices are in line with the quality offered, but not out of proportion.

RESTAURANTS

Carrot sformato, fermented shallot, Marcona almonds, prosciutto - Acquerello

Belotti | 5403 College ave. | Oakland (CA) | tel. + 1 510 788 7890 | belottirb.com Michele Belotti is one of the rising stars among italian restaurateurs, and this month’s edition features him on the cover. His restaurant in Oakland, a city separated from San Francisco by a very long bridge, is an oasis of Italian flavor. Michele is from Bergamo, his wife, Joyce, is originally from Taiwan. He aims to serve dishes from the great expanse of cucina italiana, attending to every detail with care, but some of his own traditions emerge. After studying with chefs Paolo Frosio, Ugo Alciati and Luca Zecchin, Michele focuses on the seasonality of California’s farm produce, but handled in traditional Italian ways. His secret is to use simple, basic ingredients, transforming them into memorable dishes. The battuta di Fassona, a steak tartare, comes from Piedmontese Fassone cattle raised in Montana. The meat is handchopped and dressed with exceptional extra-virgin olive oil, Parmigiano cream, quail egg yolk, arugula and black truffle. Pasta is either from renowned Italian manufacturer Mancini or house-made by Tatiana Rizzo. One popular specialty is a filled pasta, casoncelli, topped simply with melted butter and sage. Davide Mancini in the dining room guarantees a warm welcome and advice on wine pairing. The wine list is interesting, with some excellent choices available.


Tony Gemignani Michele Belotti

Battuta di fassona - Belotti

43 FEBRUARY 2017

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana | 1570 Stockton st. | tel. +1 415 835 9888 | tonyspizzanapoletana.com Be prepared to wait in line if you haven’t reserved but still want to eat San Francisco’s best Neapolitan pizzas. Italo-American Tony Gemignani is known all over the country and is the guru of Neapolitan pizza in San Francisco. He chooses his ingredients personally and has founded a popular pizza school that he directs himself. At forty-three, Tony is a 12-time World Pizza Champion and has created pizzerias in cities around the country, including Las Vegas. The pizza crust is elastic, an indication of perfect leavening, the ingredients are high quality, including the tomato puree he developed to his own specifications. The pizza base is perfectly dried, the measure of ideal cooking and deep know-how. Alongside excellent pizza, Tony’s offers other simple, comforting Italian dishes, such as meatballs in sauce. The wine list offers a decent selection of Italian wines for a pizzeria.


TOP ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

New York | THE Pizzeria Ribalta | 48 E 12th St. | tel. +1 212 777 7781 | www.ribaltapizzarestaurant.com This is the Pantheon of pizza in the United States, the headquarters of the creative culinary culture of Naples exported abroad. While respecting tradition and authenticity, every dish turned out by Pasquale Cozzolino offers creativity and the effervescent hospitality of Rosario Procino. Rosario greets each Italian and Neapolitan as family. The pizzeria’s success is certainly linked to the scrupulous choice of ingredients, from the excellent Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, to the piennolo tomato puree and the newly-pressed Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil. What you don’t expect in a pizzeria is the incredible spaghettone from Pastifico dei Campi di Gragnano, not easy to match anywhere else in New York. The wine list is constantly up-dated by Tania, the young, talented sommelier, and features some small wineries you wouldn’t expect to find outside Italy.

pizza marinara

- Pizzeria Ribalta

RESTAURANTS

Babbo - staff

Babbo |110 Waverly Pl | tel. +1 212-777-0303 | www.babbonyc.com One of the best wine lists specialized in Italian labels is in New York, and it is certainly the most impressive of its kind in the city. Babbo is upto-date in its choices, with bottles ranging from the little-known orange wines of the Carso zone in Friuli to the greatest world-famous names, from small artisans to the grandest estates. The choice of vintage years is precise and impeccable, a matchless undertaking begun by Jeff Porter and today carried on by General Manager Michael Acheson. Clients can choose a friendly quartino – the classic of Italian trattorias – but also a magical superstar in a glass, thanks to an efficient use of the Coravin bottle-sealing system. We would have a hard time in Rome finding such a lively and available range of Italian wines. Besides the wine list, Babbo offers authentic, traditional dishes based on quality DOP products of certified origin, and that includes cheeses, balsamic vinegar and cured meats. Some dishes do show the influence of the American contest, but without losing their authenticity. Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened this restuarant in 1998, and have known how to stay in the forefront. Don’t overlook Vintage Babbo evenings, always on Mondays, which feature the greatest vintage years matched with hard-to-find dishes.

44 FEBRUARY 2017

pizzeria

Ribalta


Il Gattopardo | 13-15 W 54th st. | tel. + 1 212 246 0412 | www.ilgattopardonyc.com When Bill Clinton was president, he chose to celebrate his sixtieth birthday at Il Gattopardo. The restaurant, described as a ‘luxury trattoria’, often has celebrity guests. Owner Gianfranco Sorrentino is a Neapolitan with a passion for Mediterranean cucina shared with his wife Paula. Every detail matters to them. Their careers began with a restaurant inside MOMA almost twenty years ago, which opened the way to success for this family of enlightened restaurateurs who hold high the standards of cucina italiana in New York. Il Gattopardo is the most prestigious of the family’s restaurants. Chef Vito Gnazzo is known for having refused to Americanize his dishes, while managing to adapt his own vision of Mediterranean cooking to modern palates. Il Gattopardo is located in the Rockefeller Townhouse, the Rockefeller residence until 1959. It was built in 1897 by architect Henry Hardenberg, known for having designed both the Plaza Hotel and the Dakota, where John Lennon lived. The townhouse is near MOMA and is Landmark protected. Paccheri alla genovese is memorable. Spaghetti with grey mullet bottarga is a striking example of balanced flavor thanks to masterful handling of the basic ingredients. Flavor fusion is perfection. The wine list is structured well and adds an extra dimension to the dining experience.

Il Gattopardo

Gianfranco Sorrentino and chef Vito Gnazzo - Il Gattopardo

Casa Lever

Casa Lever | 390 Park ave | tel. +1 212 8882 700 | www.casalever.com A fine and up-date wine list plus a menu of exemplary Italian dishes make Casa Lever a benchmark restaurant in New York. Dishes are elegant with interesting creative touches. The setting is a tribute to art, with a fantastic collection of Andy Warhol silk screen portraits. Domenico Natale has unfurled his entire creative personality here, staying loyal to authentic themes while running the kitchen of the city’s most visible representative of Italy. The cucina is of the highest level, and although prices are also very high, they are justified by the quality. We enjoyed an amazing flounder, pasta with sea urchins, and grilled calamari on a bed of broccoli mousse. In the white truffle season, every dish is a taste experience. The wine list is well designed by the sommeliers curating it, and offers labels from all the great Italian wine territories.

Domenico Natale - Casa Lever


Francesca Fiore contributed

Photo byi Andrea Lionello

TRAVEL

o m e r n a S Ponente beachside

The Riviera di Ponente and the city of flowers

Surrounded by hills of olives and cedars, interwoven with large cultivated fields and brilliantly-hued flowers, San Remo is set into the beautiful Riviera di Ponente. A town of 57,000 inhabitants in the province of Imperia, it is one of Italy’s favorite tourist spots. For many decades it was the vacation destination for northern Italy and France’s most important families. Since 1951 San Remo has hosted the Festival della Canzone Italiana, a renowned televised song competition, but thanks to its mild climate, it is also famous for the flowers that grow here. They are raised in greenhouses and the open air in the first stretch of inland farms, close to the city. They are the entire zone’s major asset, and in March, the festival of Sanremo in Fiore is held in their honor. A series

of the Imperia province’s municipalities share in the event, from Cervo to Ventimiglia, including Taggia, Dolceacqua and Pigna. With good reason, the area is also called Riviera dei fiori

What to see in Sanremo Start from La Pigna, the historic center of Sanremo, to have an immediate grasp of the picturesque Ligurian town. A tumble of houses stand one next to the other. The streets are cobblestoned-paved and dark, the buildings tiny, the staircases steep. The Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Coast, dating to the 17th century, dominates the town. Climb to the top of the terraces for a breathtaking view of the city and the gulf. Leaving the historic center we come to the Torre della Ciapela, a protective wall erected by the Genovese around 1550 to protect against in46 FEBRUARY 2017

Church of Cristo Salvatore

Photo byi Andrea Lionello

Where to eat in the city of flowers


Sardenaria

vaders. Nearby is the Cathedral of San Siro, built in the 12th century, then restored in the 17th century in Romanesque-Gothic style. But one of the most striking religious buildings, a few meters from the casino, is the Church of Cristo Salvatore. It was built at the end of the 19th century by Russian aristocrats on a design by architect Aleksej Scusev, then completed by Pietro Agosti. It is a surprising corner of Russian art in Liguria, and still overlooked and under-valued by the local inhabitants.

The cucina of Sanremo Sanremo’s cuisine is dominated by seafood - excellent local shrimp, but also branzino, swordfish, tuna, hake, sea bream, and gurnard prepared in simple ways that respect their freshness. Inland, menus feature more meat and vegetables. Sundried tomatoes, served just with olive oil and salt, are common, as is chard, dipped in batter and fried. The zone has many typical products protected by DOC regulations, such as extra-virgin olive oil - particularly the taggiasca cultivar - and grape varieties, namely pigato, ormeasco, vermentino, and rossese. Among the city’s most typical snacks is sardenaria, pizza stuffed with a

sauce of tomatoes, chopped onions, anchovies, oregano, taggiasca olives, capers and garlic. It is often served as an antipasto, too. Another favorite antipasto is brandacujun, based on baccalà, potatoes and olives. It is also called baccalà mantecato alla ligure. Its dialect name comes from the verb brandare, which in ancient Provencal meant ‘to shake’. Among the first courses in the zone we find a variety of ravioli filled with ricotta and greens such as borage or chard. Another inland tradition is barbagiuai, fried ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and cheese. Rabbit alla sanremese is a local favorite, sauteed with onion, thyme, rosemary, celery, taggiasca olives and a few walnuts, then braised in red wine. The liver and head of the animal are cooked separately, then served as a pasta sauce Stroscia di Pietrabruna is a typical dessert everywhere in the province. Its flavor is dominated by taggiasca olive oil, the scent and flavor of lemons and herbs. As with another well-known Italian sweet, sbrisolona mantovana, the stroscia is never sliced, but just broken up with the hands. The name of the cake comes from the Ligurian verb to break strosciare. It’s a great snack but also a convenient companion of picnics and day trips. 47 FEBRUARY 2017

the old town


Addresses RESTAURANTS Balzi rossi |Ventimiglia (IM) | via Balzi Rossi, 2 | tel. 0184 38132 |www.ristorantebalzirossi.it A well-known restaurant in Ventimiglia, near San Remo, headed by energetic Giuseppina Beglia. Chef Enrico Marmo, after a year of transition, is in the kitchen. His cooking is a perfect bridge between local tradition and the self-expression of a skilled chef. Top-quality ingredients are always the center of attention. The wine cellar, run by Franco Baracca, is stocked with labels selected from all over, not only with great Ligurian bottles. La conchiglia | Taggia (IM) | via Lungomare, 33 | tel. 0184 43169 |www.laconchigliaristorante.eu The Ruffoni family has managed this restaurant on the Taggia Lungomare with passion and ability for more than 30 years. Elegant and welcoming, the dining room is led by Giacomo and the kitchen is in the hands of his wife Anna. Seafood and meat are both on the menu, dishes are fresh and light, but leave room for some creativity. Three tasting menus can satisfy every budget and appetite. A wide-ranging wine list is well-supplied with great whites and sparkling wines. Osteria dei tre scalini | Sanremo (IM) | piazza Sardi | tel. 0184 574164 A safe port for honest, tasty dishes inspired by Ligurian tradition. Fish predominates,

48 JANUARY 2016

but some meat dishes appear as well. All are competently prepared with the best local ingredients. Excellent, tempting desserts. The wine list is basic, but there is a good selection of wines by the glass. Paolo & Barbara | Sanremo (IM) | via Roma, 47 | tel. 0184 531653 |www. paolobarbara.it An historic restaurant, managed with passion and competence by chef/owner Paolo Masieri, his wife and son. Ingredients from the surrounding territory are respected and enhanced, especially seafood, handled with great skill and personality. Wonderful, creative desserts. The wine list is ample, and offers many hard-to-find labels.

PIZZERIA Salsadrena | Sanremo (IM) | corso Imperatrice, 45 | tel. 0184 663754 |www.salsadrena.it A great place in the heart of Sanremo. Mimmo Caporusso’s pizza is a product of experimentation and innovation, but also of a search for his roots. Together with nutritionists, he studied various types of dough. The result is a long period of leavening with a sourdough starter (up to 72 hours) and a scrupulous selection of ingredients. The menu, designed to find a balance between flavor and well-being offers both classic and surprising pizzas, along with a wide selection of gluten-free and vegan options. His kitchen also turns out excellent fresh fish dishes. ‘Two slices” rating in the 2017 Gambero Rosso guide, Pizzerie d’Italia.


PASTRY 3 Bon | Sanremo (IM) | corso Garibaldi Giuseppe, 12 | tel. 0184 500231 | Sergio Zambon’s pastry shop is small and minimally decorated, but he offers a wide range of tempting sweets. Start with breakfast and a delicious pan au chocolat, or else a classic brioche, with or without house-made jam, fragrant cornetti, focaccia, and vegan brioche on the weekend. The shop’s most famous product is Baci di Sanremo, a classic local sweet made with chocolate and Piedmontese hazelnuts. Cakes, creative or classic, can be ordered, as can semifreddi, holiday sweets and biscotti. ‘One cake’ rating in the 2017 Gambero Rosso guide Pasticceri&Pasticcerie.

COFFEE BAR BASILICO E PINOLI Sanremo (IM) | corso Felice Cavallotti, 158 | tel. 0184 189 7193 | A multifaceted place: coffee bar, bakery, pastry shop and gourmet foods. At breakfast the coffee is well-made and aromatic, and the cappuccino balanced and foamy. Excellent breakfast pastries, brioches, focaccia and small pizze made with top quality ingredients. At lunchtime, special hot dishes of the day, salads, sandwiches, savory tarts, and takeaway options. Interesting selections for vegetarians and vegans. ‘One coffee bean’ and ‘two cups’ in the 2017 Gambero Rosso guide Bar d’Italia.

49 JANUARY 2016


Ranging from low-cost ethnic spots to successful, fashionable restaurants where soccer players and celebrities gather, the panorama of Chinese eating places in Italy is in its third generation. Children and grandchildren are shifting gear and aiming passionately for quality. They want to explore their true roots, in depth. Their up-market ventures are beginning to rank among the best tables in many Italian cities.

Milan. Ba Asian Mood. Steamed King Crab with rice vinegar and soya


NEW ETHNIC SPOTS IN ITALY

e s e n i r h u e t C d’aA uNEW ERA 51

FEBRUARY 2017


photo

O

ne photograph embodies the changeover. The entire staff of the Inter soccer team, including its players, is seated in the best Chinese restaurant in Milano to celebrate their success over age-old rival, Juventus. This festive event marks a big switch from the trendy addresses that soccer players love to adorn, and from familiar storied historic names. Nor is the restaurant the usual example of Chinese property/Chinese tables. Now China, along with the massive capital that has come into Italy to buy businesses and buildings, in Milano especially, is creating an image for its restaurants that is totally different from that of the past. There are decent Chinese locations in the rest of the country - for example Dao Restaurant in Rome - but, as usual, it is Milano that serves as the testing ground for a new phenomenon. By the 1980s, the city had about 400 Chinese places to eat, but almost all were based on offering low-cost food, sometimes at the limit of the absurd. The decor was sad. Family-run, the chef ’s most recent occupation was likely tilling the soil. Ingredients were inferior. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the most popular Chinese-Italian format was ‘all you can eat’, which gives a misleading picture of the country’s cuisine. But today, a new generation of chefs and restaurants have raised the bar, not only for commercial reasons, but also out of legitimate pride in their nation’s many cuisines. Marco Liu is the youngest in the family that brought Iyo to the top ranks of so-called ‘ethnic’ restaurants in Italy. In the Gambero Rosso guide, Ristoranti d’Italia, it was assigned Tre Mappamondi, Three Globes. He now runs Ba Asian Mood. “I was born in Italy, but I have always longed to wipe out the stereotypes of the dishes of my roots, “ he told us. “I am inspired by what the best Chinese chefs in the world are doing. Think of Alvin Leung and his X-treme Cuisine. In my restaurants I don’t want to follow avant-

Matteo Barro

NEW ETHNIC SPOTS IN ITALY

Milan. Dim Sum

The Wineries Classic and Italian. even the wines mean diversity Forget the ten white and five reds, supplemented by the big-name beers or Tsingao. This disappointing list still exists, obviously, but it is lightyears away from what Chinese d’auteur restaurants offer today in Italy. They score at the level of medium-high Italian restaurants, although based on our classic labels. In this sense it’s evident that, among the ethnic restaurants, the goal is to find excellent pairings between food and wine. Japanese places have an advantage thanks to their greater experience in the sector and a host of skilled sommeliers. At Bon Wei, at Ba, and at Dao, the choice is admirable. Northern whites are prevalent, and the number of Italian sparkling wines is on the rise. Some craft beers are appearing, at Zheng Yang in Torino, for example. At Dim Sum, there are good selections of tea, a feature the top places offer, but the admirable habit of drinking sparkling wine with these famous mouthfuls is taking hold. Ten years ago, that would have been unthinkable.

Milan. Bon Wei


Photo Matteo Barro

Milan. Bon Wei

garde thinking, but to offer tradition in a contemporary key without losing the flavors of the past, at the same time using modern techniques. Our Milano clients and visitors have understood this. We have passionately dedicated ourselves to doing better and better. But pure business reasoning means that many Chinese are now doing fusion cooking or sushi or following in their parents’ footsteps.� Changing the image of Chinese food also motivated Yike Weng and Chiara Wang Pei, who came from the Shanghai region and today are the owners of Bon Wei and Dim Sum. The first of these is the best showcase for Chinese haute cuisine in Italy today, beginning with the perfect Peking Duck. Dim Sum is specialized in the little dishes that in their home country are eaten alongside tea. Here, the beverage is sparkling wine (times are changing, as we said at the start). “The real probMilan. Ba Asian Mood


NEW ETHNIC SPOTS IN ITALY

lem, ten years ago, was to find capable cooks,” Weng told us. “That’s why the culinary scene was all the same and all at a dismal level. Chiara and I wanted to create a stage to show off the most wide-spread Chinese cuisine, that is Cantonese, but above all to introduce the food of other areas, unknown in Italy.” So Bon Wei has become a meeting place where guests can find recipes from Sichuan, Shandong and Hunan, commented on by experts and Sinophiles. These young Chinese, born or raised in Italy, will make the difference. They are at home playing with crossovers. The wildly popular dumplings from the Ravioleria in Via Sarpi 27, Chinatown’s heart in Milan, are made with top-flight ingredients, almost all organic. Meat comes from the renowned

Macelleria Sirtori. Right next door, a second take-away has opened, specializing in egg rolls and spring rolls, fresh, not fried, and bao, steamed buns. Another example of the new direction is Mao, in Chinatown, between Piazzale Loreto and Via Padova - now nicknamed NoLo, North of Loreto: brickfaced walls, dark wood furniture and a portrait of Mao Zedung. The restaurant serves only Hunan cooking, that is, food from the zone where Chairman Mao was born. We asked Liu how he saw the future for ethnic cuisine in Italy. “In Milano, a better understanding of the individual Chinese cuisines will grow, the way it has in London and New York,” Weng said. “Chinese food will improve in the rest of Italy, but more slowly. Italians have a culture of traditional food that

Milan. Ba Asian Mood. Dumpling with spicy duck ragu

Milano Quality products in Kathay Market Kathay Market, in the center of Milano’s Chinatown, perfectly embodies the changes taking place on the restaurant front. A store of 1,000 square meters, with about 10,000 products for sale, it bears no resemblance to the tiny ethnic shops that dot the city. Kathay has two objectives - to serve the growing foreign community and to respond to the increasing demand for exotic products on the part of locals. Owner Luigi Sun is Chinese by birth, but Milanese by choice. The son of the owners of the historic trattoria La Muraglia (The Wall), he worked in the family kitchen and dining rooms until he intuited the market for food products imported from China. He opened the first Kathay minimarket in 1989, aimed at his fellow countrymen and women. Today he heads Uniontrade, the largest Italian importer of ethnic products with 60 employees and millions of euros of business. “I wanted Kathay to take a leap forward in terms of quality,” Sun explained. “We needed more space, new items on the shelves and a new image.” Alongside the fantastic variety of foods, mostly from Japan, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Korea, India, the Middle East and Latin America, the shop offers an area dedicated to exotic fruits and vegetables, mostly from Asia and South America. A beverage section stocks a wide variety of beers, sake and other alcoholic drinks, and the freezer is stocked with packaged frozen goods. One area offers cookware suitable for preparing the products on show and serving dishes designed for their presentation. One entire floor is dedicated to organic foods, spices, tea, cookbooks (vegan, Asian, macrobiotic), and objets of Asian decor. It’s open seven days a week. “My great regret, though, is that I don’t have 150 more square meters for a take-away place. That is my dream.” Sooner or later, Sun will find a way. Of that, we’re certain. Kathay Market | Milan | via Canonica, 54 | tel. 02 33 105 368 | www.kathay.it


is much superior to other countries.” But will low-cost ‘Chinese’ places keep going? “Unfortunately, yes, but I’m sure that their numbers will decrease slowly,” Marco Liu asserted. “The number of mid-level ones will grow, perhaps offering new formats. The public and food fans are ready, especially when they realize that for now, only a minor part of what we have to show has been available.” Recently, the China Daily wrote that no fewer than 40,000 recipes have been recorded in the country. We are reminded of an ancient proverb: “If a Chinese man ate a different dish every day for his entire life, he would still not know his country’s cuisine.” Do the math. He’d have to live 110 years. Ma. Ber.

Milan. Bon Wei

addresses

Mi-Cucina di Confine | v.le Cassiodoro, 5 | tel. 02 4851 3745 | mi.cucinadiconfine.it

torino Zheng Yang | via Principi d’Acaja 61 | tel. 011 447 6422 | ristorantezhengyang.com La Via della seta | c.so Casale 160 | tel. 011.8190557 | laviadellaseta.biz

milan Bon Wei | via L. Castelvetro, 16 | tel. 02 341 308 | bon-wei.it Ba Asian Mood | via C. Ravizza, 10 | tel. 02 469 3206 | barestaurant.com

Pasta-B | via U. Hoepli, 3 | tel. 02 7200 4298 | pasta-b.it Ta Hua | via G. Fara, 15 | tel. 02 6698 7042 | tahua.org

capriate san gervasio (bg) Kanton | via A. Gramsci, 17 | tel. 02 9096 2671 | kantonrestaurant.it

verona Hutong |via San Marco, 8 | tel. 045 573 825 | hutong.eu

Dim Sum | via N. Bixio, 29 | tel. 02 22 952 2821 | dim-sum.it

limena di padova (pd)

Giardino di Giada | via Palazzo Reale, 5 | tel. 02.8053891 | giardinodigiada.it

florence

Jubin | via P. Sarpi, 11 | tel. 02 3310 6728 | jubingroup.com

Fu Lu Shou | via Braghetta, 1 | tel. 049 884 0015 Dim Sum | via dei Neri, 37/r | tel. 055 284 331 | dimsumrestaurant.it

rome

Lon Fon | via Lazzaretto, 10 | tel. 02 2940 5153

Dao Restaurant | viale Jonio, 328 | tel. 06 87 1919 7573 | daorestaurant.it

Mandarin 2 | via B. Garofalo, 22 | tel. 02.2664147 | mandarin2.it

Green T. | via del Pié di Marmo, 28 | tel. 06 6798 628 | green-tea.it

Mao | via N. A. Porpora, 5 | tel. 02 4978 7361

Lin | via Basento, 70/76 | tel. 06 854 6270 | ristorante-lin.it

55 FEBRUARY 2017


RECIPES FROM GREAT CHEFS

by Francesco Seccagno

Four hands (and two heads) are at work in this agriturismo restaurant in Valtellina, between Lake Como and the Alps. Pristine nature is the backdrop for creativity and intelligence. Gianni Tarabini and Franco Aliberti turn out modern dishes with powerful colors, compositions and flavors that recount their territory, while looking to the future.

Tarabini and A MODERN 56 FEBRUARY 2017


Nature and traditions look to the future

Aliberti

CUCINA

57 FEBRUARY 2017

La Fiorida is constantly bringing new ideas to their patrimony of nature and tradition. Their frequent participation in events bringing the worlds of Italian and international chefs together leads to stimulating outcomes. "The recent collaboration with Franco Aliberti has brought further flavor, health and emotion to every dish." For ten years, Gianni Tarabini has headed Preséf, the restaurant inside the Tenuta la Fiorida. He is a professional who recognizes the unique value of what he has at hand - access to freshly grown produce and the ability to add creativity and intelligence to these ingredients, knowing them as intimately as he does. The high quality agricultural products of this farm, its cheeses and cured meats, have found a new interpreter in Franco Aliberti. He explores new expressions for the natural flavors of the territory between Lake Como and the Alps. A well-consolidated team includes four chefs who are members of Euro Toques. In 2007, Gianni Tarabini came to this farm in Mantello (near Sondrio) bringing with him his own cooking experiences of northern Italy. He offered new interpretations of the wealth of ingredients produced by farm owner, Plinio Vanni. "Ours was teamwork," the chef said. "It strengthened step by step as the farm grew. I am a taste artisan, devoted to our guests. The Fiorida dairy and butcher also give me ingredients that inspire me and are the foundation of the stories I tell in each dish. The whole territory and the valleys around us complement my pantry." Franco Aliberti looks at the kitchen from the perspective of a pastry chef. He brings new ideas to that world, after having worked with great names such as Marchesi, Alajmo and Bottura, and after a formative experience with Èvviva in Riccione, with the leader of San Patrignano, Andrea Muccioli. Everything Aliberti does in the kitchen reflects the reality of the land, of ecology, of sustainability and respect for nature. From the collaboration of these two chefs emerge intriguing dishes, beautiful to the eyes and the palate, like those we present here, from 'migrazione' of mozzarella to the composition of herbal aromas in Wild, a dessert that breaks the rules. La Preséf | Agriturismo la Fiorida | Mantello (SO) | via Lungo Adda, 12 | tel. 0342 680846 | www.lapresef.com | www.lafiorida.com


RECIPES FROM GREAT CHEFS

Migrazione Ingredients for 4 servings for the pan di babà: 1350 g manitoba flour 50 g yeast 480 g fresh tomato soup 660 g eggs 330 g butter Knead the yeast with half the flour and the tomato soup. Leave to rise for an hour. Knead in the other ingredients, working the dough well. Form balls of 35 g each, place inside cylindrical moulds. Leave to rise until they reach the top edge. Bake in 170°C oven for 18 minutes. "mozzarelline" with cream: 200 g light cream for the

300 g heavy cream 100 g milk 200 g water 3 g kappa carrageenan First assemble the filling, mixing and straining the light and the heavy cream. Freeze the mixture in small spherical moulds. Then prepare the external layer, bringing to a boil the milk, water and carrageenan. Glaze the frozen spheres, immerging them into the liquid with the help of a needle. for the turnip greens: turnip greeens salt and pepper extra-virgin olive oil

Clean the turnip greens, blanch in boiling water and saute' in a frying pan just before serving, adding salt and pepper. To assemble the dish, cut the babà into slices and dampen with tomato soup. Arrange hot turnip greens on plate, a slice of hot babà on top, and finally, a slightly warmed mozzarellina.


Profondo Blu Ingredients for 4 servings For the Bitto foam: 250 g milk 250 g vegetable broth 300 g Bitto cheese 200 g cold heavy cream Prepare the foam ahead of time, bringing the cream and vegetable broth to a boil. Add the grated Bitto cheese, blend (with an immersion blender) for two minutes. Add cold cream. Place mixture in a syphon, charge and leave to rest in the refrigerator for the night..

For the smoked burbot: 2 large burbot extra-virgin olive oil

for the risotto:

250 g rice from Azienda Agricola Salera 1/2 red cabbage

Remove skin from the burbot and fillet them. Vacuum pack them with the olive oil and cook in a water bath at 75° C for three hours. Cool quickly and smoke them. Remove all bones With the help of a meat hammer, flatten the fish flesh and form an 8 cm in diameter circle for each portion.

59 FEBRUARY 2017

.5 g bicarbonate salt and pepper extra-virgin olive oil

With the help of an extractor, extract the juice from the red cabbage. Add bicarbonate and use the juice hot, like a broth. Cook the rice on its own, toasting it in a hot pan. Add hot cabbage juice and cook until tender. The risotto will be completely blue, thanks to the color of the cabbage. Blend with oil, salt and pepper Assemble the dish with the circle of smoked burbot fish on the bottom. Cover with the risotto and finish with the Bitto foam on top. .


RECIPES FROM GREAT CHEFS

Controcorrente Ingredients for 4 servings for the eel : 2 large eel extra - virgin olive oil soy sauce

Remove the skin from the eel and reserve. Fillet and vacuum-pack the eel with olive oil. Cook in a water bath at 75° C for three hours. Cool quickly, remove any bones and spread soy sauce on one side of the slices. Cook the surface with a direct flame. for the lacquered skin :

250

g water

400

g sugar

mix of blended spices ( cinnamon , anise , cardamom , vanilla , juniper , cloves , fennel seeds , pink pepper , black pepper , white pepper )

Prepare a syrup, bringing sugar and water to a boil. Add the spice mixture and filter after a few hours. Place the skin on a baking sheet (previously vacuum-cooked in a water bath at 90° C for 2 hours), and remove all fat. Place a weight on top, as if to iron it while cooking and eliminate and further excess fat. Bake at 190° C and check after ten minutes, pressing down the weight to make the fat come out. Repeat the operation until the skin begins to dry and brown. Brush with the prepared syrup on both sides of the skin, baking for about 6 minutes on each side. When it has a uniform brown color, cook and put aside. for the corncob cream : one fresh corncob salt and pepper

Extract the juice from the corncob with the help of an extractor. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Assemble the dish, placing a spoonful of corncob cream on the bottom, a slice of eel on top. Top with the lacquered skin.

60 FEBRUARY 2017


RECIPES FROM GREAT CHEFS

Wild!

Ingredients for 4 servings for the white chocolate cream:

50 g lemon verbena 500 g heavy cream 475 g white chocolate 250 g heavy cream Infuse the lemon verbena, in pieces, in 500 g of heavy cream overnight. Boil the other 250 g of cream and pour over white chocolate that has been melted in a microwave oven or in a bain-marie. Using an immersion blender, blend thoroughly and slowly add the strained lemon verbena cream. Place the whole mixture in the refrigerator, then freeze in moulds, disk-shaped and one centimeter thick. Cover them with green leaves, giving them the appearance of a fossil form. for the crunchy icing:

100 g milk chocolate 100 g cocoa butter Melt the cocoa butter in a bain-marie or a microwave oven. Add the chocolate and melt it completely. The icing has to cool before it can be used to ice the cream. for the onion foam:

400 g heavy cream 285 g milk 190 g sugar 140 g egg yolks 1 vanilla bean 300 g heavy cream 200 g onion puree (made by blending and straining onions that have been cooked whole in a

180° C oven for one hour.)

Bring the milk and 400 g cream to a light boil. Whip egg yolks with sugar and vanilla. Add slowly to milk and cream, thickening slowly over low heat, as in making custard. Cool, add 300 g of cream, and finally, the onion puree. Place the mixture in a syphon, charge and keep in refrigerator.

for the sweet burbot:

250 g water

mix di spezie (cannella, anice, cardamomo, vaniglia, ginepro, chiodi di

335 g sugar

garofano, finocchietto)

1 burbot

for the venison gelatin:

250 g venison bone

1 lemon

335 g red wine

Bring water and sugar to a boil to prepare syrup. Add grated lemon peel. When the liquid is at 30 ° C, add the burbot cut into small cubes. Cool, strain, and bring the syrup to a boil again. Cool to 30° C again, add the burbot again. Cool and continue, repeating the operation for about 10 hours. for the candied moss:

100 g moss 250 g water 335 g sugar 1 vanilla bean Wash the moss in rinses of water and bicarbonate. Cook for about 30 minutes. Repeat the operation at least three times, changing the water each time. Prepare the syrup, bringing to boil the water, sugar and vanilla bean. When the temperature is 80° C, add the moss. Cool, strain and bring the syrup to a boil again. Cool to 80° C, then add the moss again. Cool and continue, repeating the operation for about 10 hours. At this point, squeeze out the moss, remove excess syrup, and dry at 60° C for about 10 hours. For the spinach powder: spinach ice

Blanch the spinach and cool quickly in water and ice. Dry spinach well, then leave to dry at 35° C to avoid it changing color. Process it with a blender to obtain a powder. Per la gelatina di cervo: 250 g di ossa di cervo 335 g di vino rosso

62 FEBRUARY 2017

spice mix (cinnamon, anise, cardamom, vanilla, juniper, cloves, fennel seeds) agar agar

Proceed as for a classic broth, toasting the bones in the oven, add red wine and reduce. Add water, ice and spice mix. Cook over low heat for 5 hours. Strain liquid, reduce to 1/3 original weight. For each 300 g of liquid add 2.5 g agar agar. When jelly has formed, cut into small pieces. Assemble the dish, placing a disk of already-iced cream in the center. Add the candied moss, cubes of burbot and venison gelatin. Finish with the onion puree and spinach powder.


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PAIRINGS

Migrazione

Profondo Blu

Domasino Bianco | Cantina Sorsasso | Domaso (CO) | www.sorsasso.com

RosĂŠ Nature CuvĂŠe Maria Vittoria 2008 | Rainoldi | Chiuro (SO) | www.rainoldi.com

This wine comes from just outside the Valtellina zone and is described as "the Lake Como wine." It is made from verdesa (60%), sauvignon (53%) and trebbiano grapes. "It is elegantly simple. Thanks to its accentuated sapidity, it balances the softness of the dish. The aromatic notes of the Sauvignon go well with those of the turnip greens, leaving the mouth with a desire for the next sip," explained La Presef sommelier, Luca Sathya Pettinato.

"This is the king of Valtellinese metodo classico bottles: only indigenous red grapes (92% nebbiolo and the rest equal parts of pignola and rossola). It is produced only in the best vintage years and it expresses the continuous enologic research carried out in the Valtellinese zone. It is very fine on the nose and creamy in the mouth. The smoked burbot and the cheese pair peacefully with this wine, while the aromas of the red cabbage find company in its long persistence in the mouth. Blue and pink have never gone together so well," joked Luca.

Contro Corrente

Wild!

Rosso di Valtellina 2014 | Ar.Pe.Pe. | Sondrio | www.arpepe.com

Vertemate Passito 2013 | Mamete Prevostini | Mese (SO) | www.mameteprevostini.com

"100% nebbiolo. A maverick choice. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. This is one of the wineries that is emblematic of the Valtellina and its Nebbiolo -young, fresh, fruity and harmonious. The typical hardness of Valtellina reds helps contrast the sweetness and fattiness of the dish. We wanted to do something daring by bringing together the terraced vineyards of the mountains and the waters of the lake. In the end, it works. Serve the wine a little cool," said the sommelier.

"Here's another memorable Valtellinese bottle. It is the expression of a territory that is beginning to widen its winemaking horizons. It is 60% Gewurtztraminer along with riesling grapes that have been drying for four months. The notes of honey and candied fruit accompany the sweetness of the creamy element, but minerality and freshness, an expression of the soil on which the grapes grow, reign supreme, creating elegant equilibrium that smoothly cleans the palate," said Luca Sathya Pettinato. 65

FEBRUARY 2017


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