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Il Barbagianni, a fine dining laboratory in the heart of the Tuscan countryside

Il Barbagianni, a fine dining laboratory
in the heart of the Tuscan countryside

12 July 2023

Il Barbagianni is a gem of gastronomy that finds its nest in the heart of Colle Val d'Elsa, in the province of Siena. Here, the passion for local ingredients transforms into extraordinary dishes in the hands of the young and brilliant chef Valerio Maceroni.

Our journey to discover Italian culinary delights takes us today to Colle di Val d'Elsa, a charming village nestled between the cities of Florence and Siena. This enchanting jewel of the Tuscan countryside is embraced by ancient city walls, and its medieval atmosphere transports us back in time through picturesque streets near the Cathedral.
The town is known primarily for its craftsmanship in producing exquisite crystal, the breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside, and its high-quality restaurants, including our destination for today: Il Barbagianni.
Don't be fooled by the name because Il Barbagianni, despite sharing its name with a common owl in Tuscany, proves to be much more extraordinary than one can imagine. Initially conceived as a simple trattoria, the restaurant has undergone a surprising evolution under the visionary leadership of its owners and its young chef.

Its unique nature is immediately evident when you gaze at the grand tree that stands majestically in the elegant dining room, with branches extending along the ceiling, offering a truly unparalleled atmosphere. And just as the nest of the Barbagianni is found in the heart of the tree, a high-end culinary laboratory is hidden in the heart of this anything but typical restaurant!

Periodically, Michelin-starred chefs come together with Valerio to explore innovative dishes and highlight the essence of the surrounding territory. For them, the finished dish represents a combination of essential elements that reflect the flavor of each individual ingredient used, which, when combined, give rise to a fifth "ingredient": a perfectly balanced gastronomic harmony, the result of an evolutionary union of flavors.

SanBenedetto%20FoodExcellence - Il Barbagianni, a fine dining laboratory in the heart of the Tuscan countryside

So, let us embark on this innovative journey through the lands of Tuscany, filled with zero-kilometer biodynamic ingredients. We start with the amuse-bouche composed of a cacio e pepe meatball with rosemary mayonnaise, accompanied by a red turnip taco, pecorino mayonnaise, and sautéed black cabbage, as well as a pizzaiola pillow with amberjack tartare and pine nut cream.
Next, we continue with a goat cheese and lime foam taco alongside a braised beef dish, enriched with the unexpected combination of roasted papaya and raw purple shrimp.
A warm and delightful first course follows: Tortelli filled with Roman-style artichoke cream, hazelnut cream, bog butter, and sage. The second course showcases pigeon, a typical Tuscan delicacy, paired with mandarin, ancient mustard, and Swiss chard: breast glazed with butter and thyme, marinated fillet, grilled leg, liver terrine, wing consommé with lemon thyme.
We conclude on a high note with the dessert: a triumph of nature enclosed in a flavor sculpture shaped like a tree, composed of chocolate, chestnut mousse, and vanilla cocoa ice cream.

For the wine list, sommelier Tommy has dedicated special attention to the search for wines from the region, undiscovered gems that effectively represent the great potential for growth and evolution. Simultaneously, we are taken on a journey through wine cultures that encompass well-established European wines, extending overseas to New Zealand, Oregon, China, Japan, to discover rare and precious wine productions from distant lands.

To complete the concept of Il Barbagianni, even the choice of water is considered: San Benedetto Millennium Water Antica Fonte della Salute, originating from a millennium-old aquifer, takes pride of place, balancing innovation and creativity with its light taste and a nitrate content of only 0.0001%. The glass packaging is a choice that continues to be rewarded for its elegance and refinement, perfectly suited for such refined tables.

Our experience at Il Barbagianni was a unique journey, where each dish revealed a culinary treasure prepared by Chef Valerio Maceroni and his team, who managed to express the essence of the territory using cutting-edge techniques and enhancing the local zero-kilometer ingredients.
At Il Barbagianni, innovation, culinary skill, and the authenticity of the territory blend into an unprecedented gastronomic experience. Every dinner spent here is never ordinary but an exciting adventure that pleases us amidst the enchanting Tuscan hills.

Il Barbagianni, Colle Val d'Elsa (SI)

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