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Pianosinatico: Silvio La Storia a Tavola

Via Brennero 181-183 , Phone: 0573-629204

Closing day: Tuesday, a week in Spring, 2 weeks in October

Reviewed by: David from NY (moderator), review #151

When: 2001

Way out of anyone's way and totally, fabulously worth a detour. Recommended in the Carla Capalbo book.

Directions: Up in the mountains north of Pistoia, very close to the ski resort of Abetone.

Silvio, the chef, was a food historian before becoming a chef and he's really into just that -- food history, and thus named his restaurant. It's a place for a orgy of primi. You sit down, no menu, and they suggest that you have mixed antipasti -- which change every day. When we went, we had 4 different things on the antipasto plate including crostini con funghi porcini, mozzarella di bufala con tomate, patate nuove tartufati (truly, new potatoes that were so fresh and great with a truffle sauce over them), and some bresaola con aceto balsamico.

THEN, they suggest that you have the primi deal -- 5 different plates (not huge ones, but 5 nonetheless) of primi -- zuppa di farro e funghi porcini, gnocchi basilico, farfalle con zucchini e speck (basically a kind of ham), ravioli con nepitella (a kind of wild minty herb -- fabulous) and tagliatelle con tartufi. Pauline (the vegetarian) could have had everything except the bresaola and the farfalle. THEN they ask if you want to have a secondo. We split 2 secondi between the 3 of us -- more truffles -- vitello tartufati (this was at the part of our trip when we had yet to OD on truffles). Fabulous contorni -- spinach and white beans -- they might have been zolfini..... THEN dessert, coffee.......

Now all of these dishes could be on the menu of a totally unremarkable restaurant. But take my word for it, this guy can cook! We were very impressed by the consistent high level of his cooking -- really, really "ottimo", come si dice..... Their wine list was excellent. We had a totally memorable Chianti -- Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo '97. We also had a terrific Carmignano by Tenuta di Cappazzano -- it was their house wine -- excellent for house wine -- and the wines were very well-priced.

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

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