La Leggenda Dei Frati

Acciughe al verde su patate schiacciate con peperoni e cialde di mais
Filippo Saporito
Country: Italy
City: 53011 Castellina In Chianti (SI)
Address: Casina Dei Ponti, 58
(+39) 0577 301222
Closed: Mondays (summer), Mondays and Tuesdays (winter)
Price: 65 €
Tasting menu:: 55/70 €

Just after opening his new restaurant in summer 2011, located in a wonderful landscape of the Chianti region (Siena), Filippo Saporito, aged almost 40, shows he feels sure about his constructions and his ideas. He is precise and meticulous with his preparations and is aware of his possibilities, his motivations, his courage and of the positive and optimistic vision of his work.
Trained in the kitchens from Arnolfo (Colle Val d'Elsa, Siena) in Italy and then abroad (France, Germany and the United States), his cuisine is focussed on local raw materials, which have been integrated into a gratifying menu that never turns to be rhetorical. This clearly appears as soon as the feast begins. The rabbit kidneys with baked aubergine (perfect) and veal broth served with the cooking fat of the kidneys are really delicious. The flavours of the anchovies with green sauce over mashed potatoes, peppers and sweet corn pie are frankly intense. The classic of the house is unbelievable: terrine of little livers and figs served with a country salad and liver cream; a typical dish from Tuscany that, made and served with this chef’s mastery and perfection, won’t laps into banality nor déjà vu.
After the starters, you must taste the pici, a local variety of traditional fresh pasta that reaches stratospheric levels here. We tasted it in two versions: a homemade and rustic one, together with a green pesto made of marjoram and parsley, sardines and slices and crumbs of dry bread; and another one presented in a more precise and minimalist way, whose pici were slightly cooked with olive oil and served with pesto, anchovy and dry bread fried in a pan and coloured with charcoal. This combination between pasta and the crunchy crumbs that tasted slightly burnt was really great. The local land was also present in the main courses: pigeon breast and leg with fried polenta or rabbit coated with almonds and fried chickpea balls, delicious, made with finely chopped chickpeas mixed with cardamom and herbs.
The desserts are made by Ombretta, Filippo’s wife: impeccable, very classical but memorable flavours. The soufflé with Chiboust cream (pastry cream with Italian meringue, whipped and inserted into the pie and baked) and blueberries is a clear demonstration of savoir-faire: delicacy in the construction and in the Chiboust cream, served lukewarm, with all its aromas. What a refinement of fragrances! The Valrhona chocolate cake filled with rum ice cream is also refined: not too sweet nor too sour, served lukewarm; ideal.
The bread chapter deserves to be mentioned, too: all the varieties are made with mother yeast. In the dining room, the other Saporito brother, Nicola (aged 37), knows a lot about his land and about the best wines of this exceptional region.
Filippo Saporito has found himself. With the motivation and the passion he transmits through his cuisine, he can’t but propose us great ideas in the future.