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“Elegant evening at the castle”

Ristorante Il Pievano
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$76 - US$140
Cuisines: Mediterranean
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

When a restaurant has a Michelin star, the exceptions going into a meal are very high.
The experience begins as soon as you park your car in the parking lot. As you walk up to this amazing castle on the hill overlooking Gaiole in Chianti, then you pass through the beautiful courtyard into the understated elegance of the main dining room. After the warm welcome, you are greeted by the staff that will serve your table. The attentive staff caters to your every need without intruding on your tables conversation and your tables conversations and overall relaxing atmosphere.
And now turning to the food. Our table selected the “Tradition” tasting menu with the optional wine pairing selected by your sommelier.
Started with a wonderful sparkling white wine and the Chef’s welcome, which was a work of art in its presentation and taste.
The first course, paired again with a perfect wine choice from the restaurants private label, was tomatoes five ways. Each way was delicious and a new take on the tomato.
The second course was a delectable large tagliatelle with wild boar ragout (Chianti is known for their wild boar), asparagus, and black truffle, all aromatized with coffee. The hearty tagliatelle pasta brought out the subtle yet wonderful flavors of the ragout.
Another perfect wine choice accompanied this amazing course.
As the the staff simultaneously lifted the silver domes, we were first greeted with the aroma of the main course of Pork cheek Tuscany old style. Then all your other senses took in the amazing, yet understated, presentation of this dish and the amazing tastes of this masterpiece of the senses.
Another amazing wine from the private reserves enhanced this culinary gem.
Typically a palate cleanser does not warrant a mention, but the lavender sorbet served with mint over a crunchy element was excellent.
The dolci course was served with synchronized and well placed tap broke open a crystallized sugar coating, spilling out the inside. The rest of this course has to be tried to believe for its complex flavors presented in a simple yet exciting manner.
A perfect desert wine paired perfectly with this delicious final course.
Our head waiter then tempted with the organic limoncello, which one has to just sample to understand how amazing this after dinner drink was.
While we were enjoying our after dinner cappuccinos and coffees the chef came by our table to ensure that we enjoyed our meal.
We then asked the head waiter if we could thank the kitchen staff who helped prepare this culinary delight. He graciously invited us to the back of the house to do so.
From start to finish the evening exceeded our expectations; the food, the service, the wine, the ambiance, and the setting in this beautiful castle.
This was a highlight to an already spectacular trip to Chianti.

Thank Jim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 145 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2018

First off, commendable service from the servers which leads us to question why we heard the manager telling off the staff loudly from the start till the end of our meal. it was not a translation problem as my husband from the south of Italy was with us translating.

I am sure Fabio was very charming with most patrons at your establishment as we saw him shaking hands and introducing himself to all the patrons except us. We could also not comprehend why he came to take our order, asked a repeat question if we had any allergies and walked away, coming back with not so much as an excuse me which is basic courtesy.

Having dined at many Michelin establishments, The "free" amuse-bouche and champagne is not expected but is pretty much the norm and does not discount if the food is bad. Having said that, the cones of the amuse bouche were soft when it should have been fresh.

Moving on, the mains that we did order ala carte- Yes, as you arrogantly pointed out to Daphne in her review below- we did select. We were not forced but we were under the impression that not just your tasting menu would be Michelin worthy.
The pasta with artichoke and red shrimps- was DISGUSTING! This was sent back to the kitchen after I had a taste and passed it on to my southern Italian husband to check if I was the one with the issue in taste. Any Michelin worthy restaurant would have asked us what was wrong and if we would like the dish replaced. I specifically told your waiter to please tell the kitchen that the dish is terrible and I can not eat it. It was promptly removed with no follow up.
Yes, the dish was removed from our bill BUT ONLY after we asked why it was still there. It is not a matter of paying or refunds as we are used to paying top dollar in Asia for Michelin food - As you may or may not know, these prices would have been a normal night out for us so there is no need to reiterate the removal of the dish from our bill after we enquired why it was still there.

What we hope is that you will review the service and food internally- an arrogant response (which is also a further bad reflection on yourselves) is not required as our only fault was that we wasted one precious meal that we were looking forward to in your restaurant.
we would also like other patrons who might travel as far as we have to be aware that this has happened.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CrystallyS1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alessandro e, Direttore generale at Ristorante Il Pievano, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2018

Dear Mrs Crystallyshi,

this is a 'copy' of your reviews 'Average restaurant - below average staff' and 'Terrible food and service'

Regards

Alessandro Ercolani
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2018

After dining there with my wife and some friends, we were all very surprised of how this place could possibly have a Michelin star.
The food was average with some dishes that were justok and some that were simply inedible (pasta with artichoke and prawns). The service started off quite well with a gentle offer from the chef of champagne and appetizers but very quickly dropped to an all time low after hearing the manager scolding his staff in the dining room and creating an even more awkward environment (the waiting staff were constantly on our backs with the intention to politely check on us but only ending up in disrupting what should have been a familiar and friendly dinner). The lowest point was when we sent back the aforementioned dish mentioning we did not like it and the staff just took the dish away without any follow up: taste is of course personal and I am sure many other people have found the dish lovely but in any restaurant - even more in a starred one - I do expect the manager to follow up on a Client: just thinking that it was not good enough is not a plausible justification to drop the matter. The manager closed it off with a master piece saying that there was no follow up as we just simply did not understand and like the dish as it was a dish from Southern Italy (I live in Singapore but was born and raised in Avellino, 470 Kms south of Tuscany - not exactly northern Italy) and that this simply was it. He kindly agreed to waive the 2 terrible dishes' cost and kept his quite rude attitude towards us (maybe because of our tattoos, maybe because some of us are Asians: we are still wondering how come we were the only table where he did not come to introduce himself and who did not get an intro of the various degustation menus but I do remember that we were indeed asked twice if we had any allergies) until we finally - and happily - left the place. Knowing the Tuscan standards, this was an extremely disappointing experience which I do not recommend to anyone: we have had the pleasure of being hosted in various starred restaurants across Europe and Asia and unfortunately Il Pievano does not deserve to be in the company of names such as Don Alfonso, Le Rhubarb, Corner House, Shinji, Locanda Don Serafino just to name a few.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank antocaro85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alessandro e, Direttore generale at Ristorante Il Pievano, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2018

Dear Mr Antocaro 85,

this ai 'copy' of your past review 'Terrible food and service'.

Regards

Alessandro Ercolani
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2018 via mobile

I had dinner at this restaurant one night as I stayed at the hotel the restaurant is at. We all had very high expectations because it has a Michelin star and it is located in a great hotel. My family and I had the tasting menu (€110 per person) and it was very bad! None of the plates are worth the price, the taste of some of them was terrible while others were ok, but not great. The service is great but the food is the worst we had in Tuscany.

2  Thank albertgale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alessandro e, Direttore generale at Ristorante Il Pievano, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2018

Dear Mr. Albertgale,

Thank you for choosing our Michelin Starred Restaurant Il Pievano and for your feedback.

We regret to know that you were not satisfied with your dinner. We understand that you may like or dislike our gourmet cuisine, this is your personal opinion, food after all is a matter of taste, but the products used in the kitchen for each different outlets (La Terrazza, L’Osteria and Il Pievano Restaurant) come from the best local producers that are operating in other part of Tuscany and Italy as well.

Concerning the prices, a tasting menu with 8 course at € 110,00 per person in a Michelin Starred Restaurant is a fair price, in line with the other fine dining restaurant in this area.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further enquiry and information .

Hoping to welcoming again at Castello di Spaltenna, with best regards remain

Alessandro Ercolani
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2018 via mobile

Ambience - formal,stuffy,claustrophobic. We could hear the manager, Fabio, scolding his team from the start to end of dinner.

Food - presentation deserved an A+. Taste wise, the food was below average to average. There was one exception - see picture - which deserves special mention because it was so bad. I have never tasted pasta so bad I had to gulp it down with water. It was a red shrimp with artichoke pasta dish. I think they used a fish broth to make it because that fishy taste was SO STRONG. Obviously the seafood was not fresh.

Service - this too deserves special mention. We sent the terrible dish back to the kitchen after politely informing the staff that we didn't like it. There was no follow up. We expected the staff to ask what was wrong etc. Nothing. One waitress tried to ask but her colleague said something to her in Italian and she kept quiet after that. When we were about the pay the bill, we again informed the manager that that dish was terrible and we were appalled by the lack of follow up. I suppose he saw that we were Asian and tried to fool us by implying that we didn't understand the dish because it was a Southern Italian dish. We then emphasised that what we didn't like was the service and we were just giving feedback. He got defensive and just said he would take it off the bill. We tried to explain that we don't mind paying, it's not a money issue but he continued being defensive. Eventually the terrible dish was taken off the bill, which we paid and then left.

The whole meal was about 80 euro per pax for 1 starter and 2 mains. We wanted to leave the moment we sat down because of how stuffy the ambience was. After having the starters from the chef we knew this was one of those restaurants that will make you query the quality of Michelin starred restaurants -things which should have been crispy were soggy, the chocolate foie gras had no foie gras taste.

As a restaurant in a hotel, the level of hospitality that was offered to us was appalling. In particular,the level of service which Fabio the manager offered.

This restaurant does not deserve a star or any of the raving reviews from the other diners here. I strongly wonder if we were simply dining in a different restaurant bearing the same name and located in the same hotel. Truly appalling.

3  Thank daphneadrienne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alessandro e, Direttore at Ristorante Il Pievano, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2018

Dear Mrs. Daphe,

Thank you for choosing our Michelin Starred Restaurant Il Pievano and for your feedback.

We regret to know that you were not satisfied with your dinner

To be completely honest we are not really surprised to read your comment here on Tripadvisor but we will take this chance to clarify something about your experience at Il Pievano.

First of all the ambience , you have defined it as formal, stuffy and claustrophobic. Our restaurant has been built from a refectory of a monastery of the XI Century, a unique place with an important historical value,
Despite being a Michelin Starred Restaurant I wouldn’t call it formal, being in the countryside we don’t even request a formal dress code to our guests and the personnel is always at disposal without being too stuffy.

Let’s now talk about your special mention : our “Pastificio Leonessa’s past in fish stock”, a greatly enjoyed dish from many guests before you.
First of all is important to point out that you chose that plate yourself and it was not suggested to you by any means. At the beginning of every dinner our qualified staff explain thoroughly the whole menu, to help our guests with the choice.
This plate in particular, a pasta cooked in the Caciucco soup was definitely a fresh seafood. We can assure you that we use always the best selection of food available in our market and this is one of the reasons why our restaurant has a Michelin star.
That’ s where your comment is getting surprising. Our attentive staff has noticed that you were not eating and when you were questioned about (I wouldn’t call it a lack of follow up then), you simply asserted that the taste was too strong for you. This complain is understandable, food after all is a matter of taste… but what you never told us was your concern about the freshness of the fish.
For this and as per standard our Michelin Starred Chef Vincenzo Guarino and our Restaurant Manager Fabio Santilli have tried the same pasta and have ascertained the quality, we can assure you that the plate was flawless. Furthermore other guests have ordered the same plate the same evening and we did get many compliments about it.

This plate is indeed from the southern italian tradition , but what I find almost insulting is your thought that we treat our guests based to their nationality. That would be racist and thankfully it doens’t reflect the reality of our Restaurant. We can proudly say that we have guests from all over the world and the fact that is our well loved menu is based on the traditional italian cuisine is what makes us proud.

Fabio Santilli is our valued Restaurant Manager, he is used to work in fine dining restaurant and he is always attentive and caring with our guests, no need to say, of every nationality.

It’s also worth to mention that while paying the bill, even if we didn’t have to (I remind you the Pasta in fish stock was flawless by our standard, just a matter of taste) the 54 € were immediately taken off from your final bill. Furthermore you omitted to say that we offer you some welcome Champagne and finger food and also the amuse buche even before knowing about your complain .

Lastly 80 € per person in a Michelin Starred Restaurant is a fair price, in line with the other fine dining restaurant in this area.

Hoping to welcoming you once again at our Restaurant Il Pievano , we continue staying at your disposal for any further enquiry and information

Best Regards
Alessandro Ercolani
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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