Italy is one of the world's premier destinations for foodies, and the country consistently ranks in the upper echelon of Michelin-starred restaurants. Many are housed in luxurious hotels, from charming converted monasteries to big-city 19th-century grande dames. Chefs turn out classic Italian dishes with signature twists in dining rooms that are simple and traditional, or lavish and created by renowned interior designers. From Rome to Sicily and locales in between, here are our picks for the properties with restaurant establishments that have been awarded the coveted nod.
Magnolia earned its first Michelin star in 2017, with previously awarded Michelin-star chef Franco Madama at the helm. He artfully plates inventive, modern cuisine, including starters such as codfish and tripe with pecorino cheese and mint, and fried rabbit with figs, pine nuts, and olives. First-course pastas include spaghetti with foie gras and red prawn tartare, and mains comprise pork belly with curry pineapple, asparagus, and fennel. The restaurant is open for dinner only and has a la carte and tasting menus. Outdoor seating is available in a lovely, cloister-style courtyard.
Il Mosaico re-opened in 2016 and was awarded one Michelin star in 2017. The new menu is created by chef Giovanni De Vivo, who focuses on meat and fish and uses seasonal and local ingredients. With modern takes on traditional dishes from Campania, expect to see offerings such as pasta with sea urchin, clams, and beluga caviar, and entrees like beef with buffalo cheese and truffle, lamb with hazelnut cream, and the house special soup. The restaurant is open for dinner only, and meals can be served on the terrace, or in the garden.
Chef Sebastiano Lombardi, who has headed the kitchen since 2015, earned one Michelin star for his cuisine, which has heavy influences from Puglia and Tuscany. He whips up traditional dishes with a contemporary spin, made with mostly organic ingredients. The menu is predominantly meat and fish, organized by region and focus. Tuscan specialties include risotto with crab and passion fruit. On the fish menu, expect to find red mullet with rhubarb, potato, and clams. The meat menu features items like suckling pig with sweet and sour peppers, spring onions, and capers. You’ll want to save room for desert — there’s buffalo ricotta and pears with cinnamon ice cream, as well as bread with olive oil, chocolate, cardamom cream, and strawberries. Reservations for a table on the terrance, which offers sea views, is highly recommended.
Principe Cerami, named after the prince who converted the old Dominican monastery into a hotel in 1866, is the only restaurant on this list with two Michelin stars. Chef Massimo Mantarro turns out refined Sicilian cuisine, with an inventive yet unfussy menu (don’t let the two stars intimidate you) that includes his signature take on dishes you’ll recognize. There’s antipasti, like squid cannelloni filled with prawns and tomato, as well as ravioli with saffron, ricotta cheese, and anchovies tartar. For mains, you might see items such as veal with sweet ricotta in a pistachio crust, or duck breast with rosemary, Marsala wine, and pears. Four- and five-course prix fixe menus are also available. The restaurant is open for dinner only, and in the summer, there’s a terrace for alfresco dining overlooking the Ionian Sea.
With one Michelin star and interiors from renowned restaurant and hotel designer Adam D. Tihany (responsible for La Coupole in New York, plus hot spots like Per Se and Daniel, to name a few), Oro will not disappoint for gastronomy and aesthetics. Executive chef Davide Bisetto’s modern Italian dishes are featured on a well-rounded menu that includes choices like Jerusalem artichoke gnocchi, glazed lamb with black garlic and pistachio, and blue lobster cooked with cocoa butter and baby crab. There’s also a tasting menu and an expansive wine list with more than 1,000 labels. Picture-perfect views of the lagoon can be enjoyed from the outdoor terrace.
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