IL Falconiere

ilfalconiere-46Cíntia pretty much summed up everything about the wonderful hotel that served as our refuge in a short trip to Cortona in her last article (see). So now we’ll be talking about this classic Relais & Chateaux starred restaurant.

When Silvia, born in a family of restauranteurs and a trained cook, decided alongside her husband Ricardo to recover the old family house and create a restaurant, she was far from dreaming the repercussion that same opening would have.

ilfalconiere-40The executive chef Richard Titi joined Silvia, who in a rare exercise of sharing and cooperation, heads the stoves since the conquering of the first Michelin star in 2002. After the restaurant came the hotel, and then a cellar, a wine brand and a milestone in the lives of those visiting this refuge “under the Tuscan sun”. 

ilfalconiere-76Siliva’s vision is betting on the Tuscan cuisine and in particular of the Abruzzo region, with local produce allied to a techincal refinement in an accurate combination of comfort food and fine dining.

But on to our experience, arriving at the room – unfortunately the weather wasn’t invinting to eat in the lovely garden – we are surprised by a magnificent ceiling and the paintings representing the architectural history of Tuscany.

ilfalconiere-77Already at the table, wide and comfortable, we are confronted with an unlikely list, the water menu, a wide selection of Italian and foreign waters, natural, sparkling, with options for every taste.

Follows a wide selection of breads, with tomato focaccia, olives or spinach bread, to name a few – highlight to the focaccia and the great olive oil they produce at the farm.

ilfalconiere-78Amuse bouche

As chef welcoming, arrived an hazelnut cream with toast and a pecorino cheese cream accompanied by a glass of the sparkling bruto 100% Trebbiano, 2013 produced by the Baracchis.

After a good start we went to a trip around the tasting menu, named “Hunter’s diary”.

ilfalconiere-79Game Tureen, pumpkin, rosemary bread and purple cabbage 
A tureen of correct flavor and texture, with a nice balance between the sweetness of the pumpkin, the flavor punch of the pomegranate and the caper. A starter that altough not surprising was able to accomplish its purpose in an interesting combo of flavors and textures.

ilfalconiere-80Mushroom soup, egg and truffles 
A light and comforting mushroom soup, enhanced by the adding of scrambled eggs and summer truffles. A simple and comforting dish, and a winning classic combination of ingredients and great seasoning. Delicious!

We left the sparking and passed to a white from the producer, the Astore 2015, also produced with Trebbiano grapes. A wine with great structure and body, due to its stage (sur lies), with notes floating among citrus, white pulp fruit and flowers. Its intensity and ending soon made a great pairing with the soup and its flavors and aromas.

ilfalconiere-81Pici, boar ragù and syrah sauce
This was the dish of the night – once again inspired in the Tuscan region, first by the use of Pici – a thick and artisanal type of pasta, and secondly by using boar as protein. A dish that brings us everything that makes success in the Italian cuisine, allied to the refined techniques of fine dining, perfectly cooked pasta, amazing ragu and all that elevated by the delicate red syrah wine sauce, with juniper berry notes. A great dish!

On the glass a Baracchi Smeriglio 2013, 100% Syrah, a robust wine, full of ripe fruit, spices and wet soil. In the mouth it connected very well with the syrah sauce and the structure of the ragu. A beautiful wine!

ilfalconiere-82Pheasant stuffed with Finocchiona and potato and broccoli
At first sight, the pheasant seemed to be overcooked, but it was just appearance, a great and very well accomplished filling in which the finocchina (type of Italian sausage) gave more greasiness and flavor to the pheasant. Excellent was also the sauce, with the sides being the least interesting of the dish.

Harmonizing, the choice went to, imagine!…, another Baracchi, this time an Ardito 2011, produced with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. A complex top of the range, rich, profound, full of dark and very ripe fruit, balanced by pepper and tobacco notes. A wine that could easily overlap the delicacy of the dish, but its dimmensions enhance its entire structure.

ilfalconiere-85petit fours

Followed the petit fours, in the good Italian way arriving before the dessert, in a crazy, but “healthy” combination of classical sweets, with the great cantucci, the mousses, the tiramisu, and even roasted chestnuts, so typicall of Autumn.

ilfalconiere-83Chestnut Mille feuille, bay leaf and persimmon 
A puff pastry different from the French, sweet enough and very crunchy, nicely accompanied by a chestnut cream and a marron glacé, where the spotlight clearly goes to the persimmon cream. A super right combo that resulted in a great ending.

The Service was very well conducted by the master Luigi Pipparelli, making it seem that nobody is really occupied with anything, but when we start noticing everything is in the right place, at the right time, with no detail left to chance.

Final Remarks
It’s easy to realize why Silvia and Ricardo were forced to create (and gladly so) the bedrooms and the hotel, after opening the restaurant. First it’s not easy to drive around the roads of Tuscany after a dinner, and also after entering that vila nobody really wants to leave, like Frances in “Under the Tuscan Sun”, everybody, at some point, wants to stay there forever.  And if the views, the calm and comfort were not enough, the food also proves you can do great cuisine without the most far-fetched tricks, preserving the authenticity and transporting some rusticity of the classic cuisine of the region to the dishes, without forgetting the use of great produce!

Summing up, if you stay at the Hotel, you must also visit the restaurant, or if you’re visiting the region and Cortona, the detour says you’ll find another great monument of the city!

Il Falconiere – Relais & Chateaux
See the article about the hotel
Loc. San Martino a Bocena, 370 – Cortona
+39 0575 612 679

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

We were at Il Falconiere by invitation, whereas this not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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