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Castellina: L'Albergaccio di Castellina

Via Fiorentina, 35 , Phone: 0577-741042
www.albergacciocast.com
Closing day: Sunday and November

Reviewed by: AndrewG from CA, review #3676

When: 2010

Highly recommended to us and we were happy to discover the reputation is well-deserved.

Lovely stone-walled and wood-beamed rooms, this was a more “ambitious” dining experience and presentation, with drool-worthy multi-course meals and a fantastic à la carte menu. The wine list was broad and deep and the service was terrific. A very fine dining experience – chestnut gnocchi; crepes with sausage, leek, parmesan, and saffron; pigeon in white wine and anchovy sauce; pappardelle with venison; etc., along with a very nice 2007 Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva - and we would definitely return.


Reviewed by: David from NY (moderator), review #79

When: 2001

Perhaps the best meal we had the entire vacation.

Lunch Monday, Friday, Saturday only. Recommended in the Carla Capalbo book. Exerpted from David's trip report.

After our fantastic meal at La Locanda Cuccuini two nights before, nothing could prepare us for yet another outstanding meal, this one perhaps the best one we had the entire vacation, at L’Albergaccio, where we stopped for a late lunch. By that point in our vacation we had grown a bit weary of traditional tuscan cuisine prepared traditionally – not that we didn’t like it, on the contrary – but we were ready for a change – and we got a welcome one here.

The chef, a woman with whom we spoke (as she was on her way home for a well-deserved siesta and we were still enjoying dessert) told us that she’s been here for 20 years. I don’t know what her cooking style was like 20 years ago, but it’s certainly very evolved now. She combines traditional ingredients, puts her own "spin" on them and turns out masterful, delicious creations. We, again, ended up eating a number of courses.

Memorable were a salad of baccalà, beans and tomato gelée, papardelle with beef cheeks (utterly delish), cannelloni with a pigeon sauce, spinach and goat cheese, pasta with orange peppers and anchovies, squab with a sweetish, kind of barbecue-flavored sauce, involtini – rolled beef in chard leaves served with remarkable candied tomato and pommes duchesse. Dessert was an assortment of 4 different things on one plate – a bavarese, cassata…… the zuppa inglese was the only thing that wasn’t perfect. Excellent wine list from which we splurged on a ’93 Castello di Ama Vigneto Casuccia – not cheap at all £110,000 – but that’s still far less expensive than it would be to purchase it in a wine store in the US – which was probably the best wine we had our whole trip.

This restaurant was not cheap, but the cooking was outstanding and for our last meal in a restaurant in Tuscany, we really lucked out. Thanks again to Carla Capalbo, what can I say?

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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