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kai-m

Gambero Rosso, San Vincenzo

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Hello,

as far as I could see Fulvio Pierangelinis very famous restaurant doesn't have it's own topic...

...and maybe it doesn't need one anymore, because I have read on an italian website (dated april 13, 2009) that the restaurant has been closed indefintely since october 08.

Can anyone confirm this?

Maybe some of the italy-specialists here?

Thank you!

regards

kai

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I ran through the Google translator a recent story in an Italian wine publication that semed to say that the restaurant has been closed, but without any insight as to why, or if and when it would reopen. In 1995 I had one of the top two or three meals I have ever had in Italy at the restaurant, but upon returning two years ago, my meal (and my wife's) were pretty much a disaster. The chef has no successor in the family as one of his sons was helping out in the dining room, which he told us he did from time to time. It sounds ominous to me. I am sure someone will have an better answer later. I, for one, will be just north of San Vincenzo later this month to have several meals at La Pineda in Marina di Bibboni. The article recommends doing likewise.

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and I have been trying to fax in a reservation request for two weeks. Each time the phone is listed as busy or unable to connect.

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This page has the guy who initially announced the closure apologizing for having mistakenly done so.

Meanwhile in the comments section another guy mentions that for a long time people have been having trouble contacting the restaurant through the phone number listed in most guides.

Phone number in my guide here is 0565701021.

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kai-m. You didn't miss anything re Gambero Rosso (see below from 2006).

After having a dozen meals or so at La Pineta, Robert is choosing the better restaurant. Just try Luciano's version of cacciuco and his gnochetti al nero di seppie and his millefoglia di baccala. Oh, and don't fill up on his sicchine (thin, thin foccacia) before the meal... totally addictive. Great restaurant... no. Very, very good... you bet and with no attitude. A happy place.

Gambero Rosso in San Vincenzo. This was originally written to a friend when my wife and I went to Gambero Rosso in early June, three years ago. Contrast Gambero Rosso, (which is one of the best restaurants in Italy according to the Gambero Rosso and L’Espresso and has two Michelin stars) to La Pineta, both restaurants in the Maremma just 20 kilometers from one another.

“What can one reasonable expect from a two star Michelin where we had a lunch bill of 275 Euros? Should one expect a nice, perhaps even warm, greeting…perhaps a buon giono or a buona sera? In this case we had a 300 pound maitre d’ in a tux who merely asked our name and escorted us to our table. No greeting… no nothing!

Perhaps one could expect that La Signora might be a presence in the dining room, perhaps even make one feel as if it were good to have them come to the restaurant that day. La Signora entered the restaurant at precisely one o’clock, dressed in Bermuda shorts, a fancy tee short, and a sweater thrown over her shoulders, almost as if she were going to the beach on that early June day. She was. There were 15 people at seven different tables (three others came in and sat at another table much later). La Signora took the orders from each table, and exited the dining room at 1:15. Seven tables, fifteen minutes! We saw her go to the beach after she left the restaurant. This left the maitre d’ in charge, a maitre d’ who didn’t care whether he poured our wine into the glass or on the table, and who left the dining room at two o’clock, never to be seen again. At 2 PM you had a situation in the dining room with no Signora, no maitre d’, no chef… no presence in the dining room except for two inept junior waiters.

Perhaps one might expect Fulvio Pierangelini to be a bit gracious. Not a chance. When we got up to leave, the last people in the restaurant, my wife nicely asked Pierangelini if we could have a menu (the computer insert which he had in profusion by the register). He refused to give it to her and was unbelievably rude. That was a first for us in a very long history of dining in Italy over the last 35 years. Pierangelini and we have a number of restaurant owner friends in common... he didn’t care. We were better dressed than anyone in the restaurant. We weren’t loud. My wife speaks perfect Italian. In the many times we’ve asked for a menu (and this was not even the menu, merely an insert), never once have we been refused. But then again, perhaps he doesn’t want or need repeat customers who are willing to spend 275 Euros for lunch.

Now the food. One dish was extraordinary, two were good, one should never have been served.

The ameuse was a very intense terrina di pesce with a basil sauce. It was delicious but looked atrocious; far too much sauce on a plate much too small. Plating in general was very poor and all the plates had flowers on them.

For an antipasto, I had the passatina di ceci con crostacei. This should never have been served. I don’t want to say that the gamberi at some point were frozen, but they had no taste and the texture was bordering on soft cardboard. The plate was overwhelmed by the passato of chick peas. My wife had a misto piccolo verdure, which consisted of several marinated vegetables. It had little taste and was served in a bowl.

For the primi: Lassagnetta alla marinara. Very thin eggless pasta (really excellent) wrapped around a mixture of seafood (good). The truly outstanding dish was the tortelli di cozze . The intensity of the mussels was not to be believed and the pasta was wonderful.

Secondi: My wife had the spigola con prosciutto, which although sounding strange, was okay. I had the maiolino “Cinta Senese.” This was, of course, a takeoff on the French serving all the parts of a duck. Here it was everything from salami to prosciutto to the liver. Ten different parts, served ten different ways. Very creative and served nicely (a platter held four small dishes which could be lifted out and replaced as the course progressed). Very creative, but with very little taste.

For dessert: Fresh figs with fig ice cream. So, so. The candied orange peel detracted from the figs. Also, a raviolo arance which was okay. Coffee that could have been from Starbucks.

Wine: The best wine list I’ve ever seen in Italy, with the exception, of course, of Pinchiorri (but why would anyone want to eat there?!). I think that is why so many people like the restaurant. They can do vertical tastings of Sassicaia, Solaia, Ornellaia and the “great” Barolos and Barbarescos (which are not so great) and then brag to their friends about what they had. However, even here, Pierangelini has a very bad affectation. For some of the wine, he has no price, only his initials FP. This is supposed to mean that it is wine in his cellar and not for sale. As one of the guides said... what a conceit. If you don’t want to sell it, don’t put it on the list.

Other strange things: The inept staff brings out bottled water and then in full view of everyone, pours it into a silver pitcher. Does the water get better when it is transferred, in the dining room, from a plastic bottle to a silver pitcher. Tacky. For 275 Euros, could they give us more than one breadstick apiece?

We’ll never go back. Way, way overrated, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

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Yeah, I had seen your review in that other thread, fortedei.

It was strange to read about your extremely negative experience, though, since I only know people who love the place and have gone there every year on their holiday, for years...

Italian diners, on the other hand, didn't seem to love it that much, either.

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A friend of mine tells me that the actual restaurant was demolished due to the enlargement of the port of San Vincenzo and Pierangelini was supposed to move to another location. There were even plans for a famous architect to construct the new restaurant. In the meantime he's been doing consultant work for a few large hotels. It still remains unclear whether or not he'll reopen later.

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and this was confirmed by a friend of mine who called the local tourist office and said it was closed for restoration and do not know when it will reopen

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