Back home on the ranch in the Cortona area of Tuscany, we decided to try some new places. We had a conversation with Alessandra the owner of Villa di Piazzano inquiring about any new and exciting restaurants in the area. She recommended Walter Redaelli. Coincidentally, we ran into her and her family two days later having dinner at Walter Redaelli. We had dinner and lunch at Walter the same day. We liked it so much at lunch we had to try a dinner. Walter uses only the finest locally sourced in season products. Once the bread basket arrived we knew we were in for something special. The wine list was excellent with many of my favorite local wines including a reasonably priced Brunello by the glass. They had the largest Brunello glass we have ever seen. The pasta course consisted of the most wonderful fluffy mushroom and truffle gnocchi topped with a Gorgonzola sauce. We also had the Pici which is a hand rolled pasta served in southern Tuscany. The Pici was prepared with artichokes and a tiny bits of Cinta Sense bacon (local bacon). It was delicately flavored to perfection with parsley from the garden and pecorino cheese. The Primi was the most amazing Beef Carpaccio with a bit of arugula and cheese dressed with a balsamic reduction. We also had a wonderful Salmon Carpiccio with artichokes. In the evening we had a special stewed neck of beef that cut with a fork and melted in your mouth. Deserts were amazing !! Prior to desert we had a tasting of several local chocolates. Of course we finished with a bit of local desert wine… This is truly a fine dining experience in Tuscany!! You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. We can’t wait to return in the Spring and try the seasonal specials.
We decided to have dinner out locally in Delray Beach this evening. Brule Bistro has gone through a major renovation the past year. It was previously a self serve lunch and to-go place. Now it is a full service Bistro. Overall the food was pretty good. The wine list was adequate although the servers really have not had any formal wine training which is to be expected at a small establishment. The Zucchini blossom tasted great however arrived at the table a little on the cool side. The Salad with goat cheese was good but a little bit of a cliche. I had the Tile fish special with lobster risotto and wine sauce reduction. The fish was excellent and cooked to perfection. The risotto was good however the wine sauce was a bit overpowering. Lori had the Diver Scallops which she loved I tasted them and they were ok, a bit over seared their not supposed to be “Southern Fried” Scallops. To the chef’s credit they were not overcooked in the middle and still remained tender. For desert we had banana bread pudding with Bourbon ice cream it’s excellent! We will definitely return and recommend you give it a try. This is about as good as it gets in Delray Beach.
Owner/Chef Gabreile Bonci wrote the book on Pizza. They use only the finest ingredients for his creative toppings. This is a small local take-out pizza shop that you may eat in standing up. The pizza is great and the assortment is very special.
Located in a neighborhood that is about a 1/2 mile from the Vatican which is rarely traveled by tourists you will have to go a bit out of your way but it’s worth it.
Prior to our visit to Tuscany we had discussed some new restaurants in the area with our local friends Bianca and Enzo. They had mentioned a place had opened but they have not tried it yet. So prior to leaving Lori decided we are all going to Babette. Locate in the Casale di Brolio outside the small town of Castiglion Fiorentino. This is remotely located but the roads are good and it’s easy to find.
We arrived at Babette and it was a very quite evening because of the rain and the time of year, Tuscany really starts to slowdown in October. It’s an attractive place with clean Tuscan appearance. We started the meal with an amazing amuse–bouche of foie gras. It was nice to have four of us dining so we had a chance try many dishes. Our appetizer was scallops that were perfectly seared and presented with several sauces. I’m not sure how I felt about the Foie and scallop combination. The Pasta course was Pici a local hand rolled thick spaghetti with Wild Boar ragu its was excellent and on my list of must have again dishes. I had a really interesting suckling pig in a Chocolate sauce, Lori had a perfectly prepared Sea Bream, Bianca an amazing Monk Fish and Enzo his standard Beef Fillet which was so tender no knife was required.
We did of course save room for desert, this is a good plan!! The deserts were on par with any Michelin 3 star restaurant. The presentations were amazing and they tasted even better than they looked. The Tiramisu was absolutely the best!! Perhaps my favorite all time desert!
When in Tuscany or even within a 12 hour flight don’t miss a dinner at Babette. The service was excellent and they do speak English well for those that are concerned.. This is truly fine dining in Tuscany.