Ever since I was a child, Italian had been my favourite cuisine. Even to this date, you can still find me searching for the best Italian restaurants around. Travelling to Tuscany and enjoying a long weekend filled with nothing more than authentic Italian cuisine was just perfect. Long before we travelled, when the trip was just at the planning stage, there was only restaurant I had my heart set on trying. It combined my two favourite things, Italian cuisine and Michelin starred fine dining.
La Torre is actually one of the resident restaurants at Castello del Nero, where we stayed which was a real treat. La Torre follows the trends of seasonal ingredients, so the menu changes around what’s available at different times of the year. If it is the season for it, it will be the best of its kind. Chef Giovanni Luca Di Pirro’s motto is “If you want quality, then you must follow nature” – I think that says it all.
On our second night at Castello del Nero, we dined at La Torre and it was sensational experience. From start to finish, the service was on point and the food was just out of this world. I’m getting ahead of myself again, aren’t I?
Our whole meal was paired with Ferrari sparkling wines, just how I like it. We started off with a glass of Trento DOC Ferrari Perlé from 2010.
The team had taken on board that I was the only one that wasn’t a fan of seafood, so I was served the alternative ‘Land’ tasting menu instead of the ‘Sea’ menu that everyone else had.
The first dish of the night was crispy Livornse hen egg with Parmigiano cheese mousse, zucchini cream and black truffle pearls.
As soon as the dish arrived, I could smell the divine truffle pearls, which made me super excited to dig in. As I took my spoon and made an incision into the crispy outer later, the rich orange egg yolk came running around, mixing itself in with the cheese mousse. Together it tasted so divine, especially as it was something I have never had before.
The next pairing was with Trento DOC Ferrari Perlé Bianco from 2007. It had a lovely golden colour to it with notes of citrus fruits and floral notes. It reminded me of Perrier Jouët champagne, one of my favourites.
The next dish was Fassona beef carpaccio, which was slightly seared. It was served with roast jus, an assortment of vegetables, barley, almonds and fruits. The dish in itself was very filling but all the different toppings gave a massive explosion of flavours in my mouth – pretty amazing.
The next dish was followed by a pairing of Trento DOC Ferrari Riserva Lunelli from 2008. This particular wine had a light gold colouration with flavours of pineapple and lemon with some sweet floral notes.
The next dish was the famous and most loved pici pasta, served with lamb ragout, mint, asparagus and aged pecorino cheese. This was probably one of my favourite dishes again. The simplicity of the dish is so fantastic, but the flavours it boasts is quite something else. The creaminess from the cheese made it extremely enjoyable. I need to make some pici pasta I think!
The fourth sparking line of the evening was Trento DOC Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore Giulio Ferrari from 2005. This particular bottle is known to be the best sparkling wine, in the world. It’s so great, it even has Giulio Ferrari’s title on it as part of the wine’s name. The flavours were quite sweet with a honey and exotic fruit notes. The sort of sparking wine you would be out drinking on the beach of a private island.
The fillet Chateaubriand was brought out next, which was served with potatoes, asparagus, carrots, a roast jus and a reduction of mango and ginger. Even though I had my fillet cooked well done, the beef was extremely tender and just melted in my mouth. The jus added some extra flavour to the succulent meat and the lovely selection of al dente accompaniments.
The final tipple of the evening was Trento DOC Ferrari Maximum Demi Sec. A sparkling wine that is selected as an accompaniment to the desserts which is made by selecting the best chardonnay grapes. The colour of it was a very light straw colour with floral and fruity notes.
The main dessert (yes, main!) was olive oil and basil cake with strawberry mousse and creamy bufala ice-cream and basil sorbet. I wasn’t a huge fan of the dessert if i’m honest, the cake was nice but not something I would choose to eat. The sorbet was rather salty too. However, the presentation of having a dessert in the colours of the Italian flag was a nice touch.
The reason I said main was because we had a further three mini desserts afterwards that we had no idea about, turning our 5-course menu into a 8-course one.
First up was a round of small pastries, before being served up a couple of macarons each from the extensive selection and then finally finishing up with an even sweeter note of small indulgent chocolates.
We couldn’t leave without getting a group photo with the Giovanni, the master behind La Torre.
It is safe to say I was in an absolute food coma. Luckily, I only had to walk around the corner to get back to my gorgeous bedroom and have a sound night’s sleep.
If you ever in Tuscany or the Chianti wine region, you must try out La Torre – you won’t regret it.
Until next time…