La Bucaccia is a typical Cortonese restaurant, located in via Ghibellina, right in the heart of the town of Cortona. The affable Romano, and his wife Agostina run this restaurant as a family business. Great passion and care is placed in every detail, from the ingredients, to the truly traditional dishes of the past, the wine list, and of course the warm and personalized service offered by Romano and his team.
Orders are taken directly by Romano, who will explain all the cooking techniques and even spoke to us about the various suppliers which he visits weekly to buy all the best quality ingredients. In fact, La Bucaccia is the only restaurant in Cortona certified as a typical restaurant for Tuscan cuisine. This means that all the recipes must be made with ingredients typical of the area and purchased directly from local producers. He even showed me the certificate for the Chianina beef that I was eating. The flavours are fabulous, the wine selection is excellent, and not too expensive. Romano also gives great advice on combining the right food to the right wine. He’s a true connoisseur. Try the ravioli with chestnuts, the warm tuscan crostini, the succulent Chianina steak or the Pici all’Aglione and you will be not disappointed.
L’Antica Casina di Caccia, is 4 km from Cortona. The property is surrounded by tobacco fields and you come through a long avenue of cypresses. It’s like being in a place forgotten by speculative building where the man has managed to preserve the environment with love and respect.
On the second night in Cortona, I received a tip to go down and have dinner at L’Antica Casina di Caccia, the restaurant of the Hotel Villa di Piazzano, just 4 km from Cortona proper. This restaurant is part of a hotel complex in an absolutely breathtaking location. To reach the property you drive down a typical cypress tree lined viale surrounded on both sides by what seem to be neverending fields of tobacco and sunflowers. Whilst driving down this road I felt like I was venturing into a fairy tail. In speaking to the owner, Alessandra, she explained that they have been fortunate because the entire area is rigidly protected by the local authorities in order to preserve its unspoilt natural beauty.
The restaurant L’Antica Casina di Caccia benefits from a beautiful panoramic terrace overlooking the Tuscan countryside. The glorious view looking up towards Cortona at sunset is absolutely breathtaking. I found Cortona to be lacking in restaurants offering eating al fresco, so I really craved for this setting and atmosphere.
The service is elegant but not overly fussy. The waitresses, all women, are friendly, beautiful and professional. The menu is prepared by Chef Gabriella, who favours the more traditional flavours of the Italian tradition. The restaurant offer a daily menu which is not always appreciated by the more difficult palates, however, I was glad of this opportunity because it forced me to try a variety of dishes which I would not normally choose but which I thoroughly enjoyed: prawns in a chickpea soup, homemade Pici with fresh tomatoes and crunchy bread crumbs, not to mention the limoncello tiramisu.
During dinner, I had the opportunity to speak with some guests of the hotel sitting at the table next to mine. They were Americans, for the second time in Italy at the Villa of Piazzano. They told me that this is their preferred place to spend their holidays in Italy, and that the chef this year is the best that the house has ever had.
I asked to have a few words with the chef who was obviously quite busy that evening in the kitchen. She spared a few moments to come out and say hello and invited me for breakfast the following morning promising to reveal some of her culinary secrets.
In the next post Chef Gabriella’s interview…….
Filed under: Cortona Restaurants | Tagged: l'antica casina di caccia cortona, la bucaccia cortona, restaurants cortona, restaurants pergo, restaurants tuscany, typical tuscany restaurants, villa di piazzano cortona | Leave a Comment »