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L'insegna si trova in posizione strategica, sulla provinciale che porta verso l'inteno e le Apuane. Il locale è piccolo, senza alcuna pretesa estetica, ma sempre affollato, in particolare la mattina per le colazioni. Valide le brioche (ma le ricordavamo ancora migliori), golose le sfoglie alla crema o alla mela. E ancora budini di riso, sfogliatelle con l'uvetta, strudel, lo scendiletto. Qui comunque hanno meritata fama i mignon: “mini diti” di sfoglia alla crema, bignè allo zabaione o ripieni di crema catalana, babà al rum, crostatine di frutta, mini éclair al cioccolato (fantastici). Altro cavallo di battaglia le torte di frolla con crema e frutti di bosco (o fragoline), un simbolo delle estati a Forte dei Marmi da almeno 50 anni, preparate espresse perché la farcia non bagni la frolla. Di qualità comunque pure le frittelle di Canevale, lo zuccotto, come creazioni meno tradizionali come le bavaresi alla frutta e quelle con cioccolato e nocciola. Da segnalare infine l'interessante produzione di cioccolato: squisito per esempio il nocciolato, sia fondente che al latte.

Un ambiente raffinato di ben 150 metri quadrati e dedicato solo alla vendita, affiancato dall'imponente laboratorio: una fucina di lecconie dolci e salate, un bel mix di efficienza e spinta avanguardistica che sono alla base dell'alta qualità dimostrata su ogni fronte. A dirigere i lavori del nutrito staff ci sono Marco e Davide, i figli del fondatore Ennio Antoniazzi: dal 1968 a oggi l'insegna è diventata un brand affermato, con varie sedi e un reparto banqueting che teme pochi paragoni. Il bancone ospita grandi e piccoli capolavori: qui si viene conquistati da una girandola di colori che preannuncia i riusciti accostamenti di sapori, dall'esecuzione perfetta dei classici e dai convincenti azzardi creativi. Tra i mignon ci sono quelli preparati con la zucca o con pregiati cru di cacao, oppure tartellette e bignoline. Non mancano monoporzioni, dolci tradizionali (sbrisolona, Elvezia, torta Greca) o rivisitati in chiave modena come la torta delle rose in vasocottura. Studio e ricerca superano i confini nazionali, tra cupcake, marshmallow artigianali e macaron (da quelli al caramello alla versione più fresca con mango e limone). A seconda delle temperature spazio al cioccolato o al gelato, mentre il Canevale profuma di lattughe e frittelle e il panettone c'è pure a Ferragosto. Packaging curatissimo. Servizio all'altezza.

We tried to disprove the saying that puts Tokyo as best dining city in the world. We failed. Merit for this also goes to those Italian restaurants that could rise above the rest even in Rome or Milan. The attention to detail, striving to perfection and an unrivalled gastronomic acuteness characterised some of the most memorable dining experiences we had during our travels. Plus, if you love Neapolitan-style pizza, you’re in the right place.

Thirty years ahead of the curve, you’ll need to travel outside of the centre to Hammersmith to reach this elegant restaurant. The wine list is undoubtedly brilliant, covering all Italian regions, with carefully sought-after bottles and featuring labels anywhere from small producers of Pigato in Liguria to the most famous producers of Etna wines. The menu changes according to the seasons and offers a creative twist on Italian cuisine that uses excellent ingredients for tasty dishes, though a tad less incisive as we would have expected. The kitchen is built on an open plan and boasts an authentic Neapolitan pizza oven. The outdoor space along the river is delightful.

Just follow the olive trees on Queen Street to find it. In our two times there we had contrasting experiences, starting from the wine list. What a wine list it is! Such great amount of research, small wine makers, fine natural vintners, many lesser known Italian wines and a good international selection. The prime quality nocellara variety olive oil was sublime, as was the prosciutto, both features in the starters. Among the dishes tasted, the Vitello tonnato lacked vivacity and we prefer not commenting on the cod served on a bed of beans, fennel pollen and pancetta. There was an excellent rack of Spring lamb, crispy shoulder, asparagus, morels, ricotta, and pine nuts. Superstar chef Angela Hartnett reinterprets Italian cuisine, so this may raise eyebrows among some Italians. Service was applause worthy.

Zafferano cannot fail to be included among the top Italian restaurants in London. Located in the fashionable Knightsbridge district, the price level is high and so is that of the cuisine. Zafferano clientele includes many well-known names of the London and international star system. Don’t let the elegant, sophisticated ambiance distract you: the ingredients – from Verrigni pasta to Taggiasca olives – are selected in order to serve solid cooking clearly rooted in tradition. Among the classics, the risotto Zafferano, the pappardelle with wild mushrooms and the braised veal cheek in Chianti with mashed potato and onion rings. This is a must-go place for wine lovers, who will find a truly massive list, with many old and rare vintage of iconic Italian wines.

Different location, same quality. Giuseppe Turi offers offer an appealing all-Italian cuisine. His preparations span regions, developing therefore specials such as Tuscan pappardelle with duck ragout simmered in red wine and herbs; pheasant with peverada, a typical Venetian sauce made with chicken livers. Gourmands flock to Turi mostly to enjoy wines from one of the best Italian cellars abroad. The wine list is encyclopaedic in its vastness of Italian labels alone, and which features big classics and newer wines with depth of vintage, prompting to ignore prices. Alternatively, glasses of fine Italian wines can be poured by the glass, pairing the regional origin of the selected dish. The technology of Coravin allows legendary wines to be ordered by the glass.

It’s hard to classify the cuisine at Rigò. The overall menu is not strictly Italian but tasting the various dishes it’s easy to spot the amount of Italian products present in the pantry, as well as the attentive culinary skills of chef Gonzalo Luzarraga. Born in Chile and raised in Piedmont, he blends his creative cuisine with French, Basque and Asian influences. The offer is therefore international yet with a solid Italian background. The choice of tomatoes and cheeses alone betrays the chef’s attention to detail. We loved the tomato tart made with Camone hearts, stracciatella from Bari and verbena extract; and the delightful cappellacci topped with fermented onions and 36 month-old aged Parmigiano Reggiano. The wine list, created by sommelier Federico Dadone is exceptional and containing lesser-known denominations.

Bruno Cernecca has managed to pull off a format unique in London, first as a retail store and then, while offering wine by the glass, he added simple, well-thought out cucina. Everything is Italian, from coffee to the Negroni sbagliato (mistaken, that is, with spumante instead of gin), to food products, and to pleasant, well-trained personnel.  His wine list offers over 500 labels, paying great attention to producers and to grape varieties that are not easy to convey, such as tintilia and pignoletto. He offers natural Etnean wines, as well as Masseto and Dal Forno – even by the glass, thanks to Coravin. Also on his list are a range of Prosecco labels and carefully chosen Franciacorta bottles to drink along with porchetta  or lasagna or crunchy bruschetta. The relaxed rhythms of South Kensington are a perfect setting, while the Covent Garden version is more lively and dynamic.

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