Vinci’s Enoteca Borgo Allegro Restaurant Review – Fine Fare Made with Good Cheer

Co-owners Samuele (left) and Fabio (right)

 

Either Samuele or Fabio will likely greet you as you arrive, and steer you to one or another table in their cheerful Enoteca-Restaurant decorated with paintings by Samuele’s mother, a painting and sculpture teacher.  

 

 

Samuele and Fabio are close friends, like brothers, and both chefs in the Borgo Allegro kitchen, a restaurant they founded together in 2002, after developing a close bond in prior restaurants where they worked.

 

 

Immediately you feel the cheerful surrounds, and then Samuele shows you the menu with a mischievous glint to his eye. 

 

 

Of course you can’t read it because it is written backwards and only viewable in a mirror, in dedication to the writing habits of the town’s most famous citizen, Leonardo da Vinci.  As the courses come, you too may find yourself checking if Samuele or Fabio are skipping to the table. 

 

 

They are having so much fun, how could you not?

 

 

Sipping a tasty prosecco, we first had a small savory frittata made with taleggio cheese from the north of Italy.  This was the first sign that unlike many restaurants in Tuscany that we sampled, Borgo Allegro seems to reach beyond the Tuscan borders for its recipe inspirations. 

 

 

 

Continuing to eat at an allegro pace, we then had “Acciughe marinate con cipolla fresca su insalata di puntarelle”.  This was a crunchy chicory salad with very fresh anchovies, barely salted.  The plate also had a strip of colorful and sweet flower petal pieces and a second appetizer of “Turbante di gallinella con passtina di ceci”, a rolled sweet fish in a puree of garbanzo beans.  These three elements combined to create great interest—both on our taste buds and visually—intriguing for the meal to come, as appetizers should.

 

 

The favorite appetizer though was “Fonduta di formaggi con tartufo di S. Miniato”, a melted pecorino cheese thick with earthy truffles that you spoon onto breads.  This is a top recommendation for any visit to Borgo Allegro, and if paired with a green vegetable dish of some sort would be a tasty meal en toto.

 

 

“Gnocchetti al cavolo nero con baccalà e ciuffi di porro fitti” was unlike any other gnocchi or gnocchi derivative we had tasted in Tuscany.  Gnocchi textures are always exciting but this also titillated with the crunch and appealing taste of the fried leeks on top.  The cod was subdued by these ingredients and a sprinkling of dried kale in a welcome way.

 

 

We had never experienced anything like “Misto di pesce al cartoccio con pomodorini all’origano”.  This was an assortment of seafood seemingly baked with spices and tomatoes in a clear baker’s paper.  Fabio came from the kitchen to instruct us to first smell the dish as we opened its packaging.   We were met with a bouquet of rosemary perfume that then gave way to oregano.  The tomatoes remained fresh as did the fish, but perhaps best of all was the sweet, sweet langostino in the mix. 

 

 

We had no room for dessert but it did not matter when dessert came.  There were two on our sampling plate:  “Peccato di gola ai 3 cioccolati” (a cake of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate) with “Cheesecake con scorze di arancia candida” (a cheesecake with an orange zest marmalade).   If you are a chocolate lover you can’t beat this three chocolate combo.  The orange zest marmalade, with long two inch strips of candied orange peel, was especially distinctive and delicious. 

 

Don’t skip the dessert liqueur—in our case a sweet wine from the Dolomites made from both Chardonnay and Cana grapes.

 

Borgo Allegro often also serves a dinner buffet.

 

Summary:  Go to Vinci to marvel at all things Leonardo and go to Borgo Allegro for a an upbeat meal per its name.

 

Enoteca Borgo Allegro

Via Renato Fucini n.20

50059 Vinci, Italy

 

(+39) 0571 – 567866 or visit the Enoteca Borgo Allegro website.

 

Closed Tuesday

 

7:30 PM – 1 AM Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

 

1:00 PM – 1 AM Saturdays and Sundays

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