Creative Cuisine in Tuscany

by winenews on Nov.02, 2007, under Reviews, Travel

Castello del Trebbio was built as a fortress in the twelfth century for the Pazzi family. Its fame is due to the “Pazzi Conspiracy”, a plot organized by the Pazzi family in 1478 to kill their old enemies Giuliano and Lorenzo de’ Medici. In the fifteenth century ownership transferred to the Medici family who converted it into a villa. The current family purchased it in 1968 and have restored it respecting its history. The estate comprises about 60 hectares of grapes, 10.000 olive trees and native forest, a total of 350 hectares. A tour of the castle and the old wine cellars with wine and olive oil tasting is possible for groups with reservation.  Also part of the estate are apartments for rent by tourists.The owners of Trebbio have recently opened a very unique and creative restaurant.  We say unique and creative because they specialize in gourmet style dishes not normally found in the region.  Since Anna and Stefano have companies and produce wine in Sardegna (the place is Gergei, 60 km. northern from the capital of sardinia, Cagliari), in Pantelleria (Sicilian isle between Sicily and Africa) and in Maremma (southern Tuscany), they bring herbs, vegetables, and other specialties for their menu.  The result is a gastronomic treat that surpasses the typical Tuscan pasta dishes tourists find everywhere else.

The restaurant is very elegant, yet has a homey, casual feel.  For example, there are spacious tables for 4-6 people using a wine barrel base with a wooden top.  There are also long family style tables for larger groups.  We’ve been told they plan more intimate seating for couples in the future.

We sampled various appetizers and main courses and can highly recommend all the menu items.  The chef is young and creative, and the courses are served on a variety of interestingly shaped dishes.  The look is quite elegant and shows off the food well.  And a plus is the selection of Trebbio wines, which are some of the best values in the region.  As the restaurant continues to evolve, it is sure to please not only guests of the castle, but also local Florentines and visitors to the area.  Located only 20 minutes outside Florence, a visit to both the castle and the restaurant is a must.

We highly suggest you visit the Castle del Trebbio on your next visit to Tuscany.  Tours can be arranged ahead of time through their website, or by contacting them by e-mail.  Many of the area hotels can arrange a visit also.  If you do go, watch out for their “ghost” know as Mario.  He has been working at the castle for 50 years, and reportedly still roams the grounds.  Be sure to ask about him and hear the whole story.  Tell them sent you.

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