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Enoteca “Del Duca” Restaurant Review – Truffles, Wild Boar, and More

By Amy Munice with Photos by Peter Kachergis

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He doesn’t do house calls but he does take emergency calls…

 

No, Genuino Del Duca isn’t a doctor.  The calls he takes come from his former cooking class students from across the globe asking for advice and tips on what they can do better.  Perhaps his business card should not only list his family restaurant’s name “Enoteca Del Duca” but also “Long Distance Culinary Hand-holding”.

 

Those calls come from graduates of his cooking classes, each lasting about four hours, that typically start with learning how to make focaccia from scratch, pasta in all shapes, and the recipes of the day.  In the fall it may also include a foray into the woods to find mushrooms or truffle hunting. 

 

 

A former policeman, Genuino is obviously among the most social of men.  In fact his cooking career started as an avocation when he would gather his buddies and they would cook up a banquet for their wives.  Most of what he learned about cuisine he picked up on his own, ever studying the techniques and recipes of other chefs from books, magazines, TV and travels.  His wife Ivana, also a chef, is in the Del Duca kitchen too.  Their daughter Claudia, when she isn’t traveling to promote their vineyard’s wines, is the restaurant’s sommelier.   The elegance of the décor in what actually was a former horse stable might not equate in an American’s mind with the phrase “family restaurant”, but that is what it truly is.

 

 

The restaurant opened in 2001, the family’s second, and is located in the very center of historical Volterra near the Piazza dei Priori. 

 

 

Their wine cellar, excavated in sandstone, boasts more than 600 wines, among them bottles from their own production at Agriturismo Winery Podere Marcampo.

 

Del Duca strives to serve traditional and seasonally-based Tuscan fare but with a twist of what Genuino calls “modernity”.   There were so many stand-out dishes in the feast he served that could be well-described by that moniker.   

 

 

It was all good, but favorites included:  foie gras with dried figs and orange; pecorino mousse made with cheese from nearby Lischeto Farm; hand-rolled ricotta and spinach gnocchi with Volterran truffle that seemed to sensually explode in our mouths as if timed to do so; and the very juicy stuffed guinea fowl breast with savory olive oomph.

 

 

Del Duca is part of the worldwide Buon Ricordo network of restaurants that are dedicated to their meals creating good memories for guests.  You will get a ceramic plate memento of your meal, as you do at all Buon Ricordo restaurants. 

 

 

If you’ve had a long day touring Volterra this is a recommended spot to relax in elegant surrounds and have a very satisfying meal.

 

Call ahead to make reservations or schedule a cooking class—(+39) 0588 81510.

 

For more information visit the Del Duca website

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published on May 02, 2015

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