by Marco Bellentani, ph. Simona Palumbo
Gaio’s winter proposal in his luxury trattoria
Brunch. A custom of an international stamp which unites typical elements of breakfast and lunch, has taken on even on the boot. In Versilia, with summer now behind our backs, some restaurants by the seaside close and it can really be gratifying to discover alternatives on a coast that is still magic, with the help of beautiful weather and the class of some restaurant owners able to revive brunch time with local fragrances and tastes. Gaio Giannelli, talented chef/landlord of Pozzo di Bugia at Seravezza comes from Bruno Vietina’s school, well-known for his Maitò at Forte dei Marmi and refines his knowledge both on site and with experience abroad. France and the United States are the fundamental stops for a creative and practical cook. Substance, value and quality are his essential coordinates, always renovated by a continuous study of tradition and modernity. The spirit remains that of the trattoria. Luxury, for the level of what is served. This cultural baggage is elevated in the dishes of il Pozzo, be they starters dedicated to the cuisines from all over the world, first courses of a Versilia stamp or meat –from beef to duck passing through lamb and pigeon – of renowned value. Recently, Gaio, the landlord, opened his doors to a succulent Sunday brunch, welcoming us in warm comfortable rooms of a refined rusticity. The service is courteous and informal and the tastings, whether they are knifed-chopped or directly on the plates, enthrall. The formula leaves free choice to choose a more traditional lunch but reveals, on the menu, the brunch time selection seeing Giannelli busy at the table of cold cuts – from Joselito ham to Italian salamis – and to the sumptuous trolley of French and local cheeses, with homemade pies of a “Lunigiana” inspiration. The eggs Benedict are sinful: juicy and lingering, followed by a sesame-seed bread roll with wild salmon, robiola cheese and truffle honey. A play on contrasts making it all the more mouth-watering with bufala mozzarella with anchovies from Cantabrico or with the spicy chicken wings matched with local potatoes cooked in duck’s fat. Tuscan livers become a hit and run on brown bread. Omelettes are not lacking and neither is the classic hamburger with chips, made from excellent raw materials. Finally, the habit of proposing some impromptu dishes, according to the fruit in season and the customers’ instant desires, made on the spot, is somewhat extravagant. Gaio Giannelli pampers and amazes with his great care for detail, research of the materials and a class with no cloying, at the hob. An unbeatable place for meat, now also for your brunch, but only on Sundays.