Dining at Meo Modo

Andrea Mattei’s growing activity in the gourmet restaurant at Borgo Santo Pietro, surrounded by a farm

26-07-2017

Andrea Mattei, to the right, with sous chef Andrea Ferrari, left, and pastry chef Diego Poli in the middle. The other sous chef Simone Di Maio completing the team at Meo Modo al Borgo Santo Pietro in Chiusdino (Siena) is missing

Photogallery

Our dinner at Meo Modo starts with various appetizers: hake tartare, gel of black olives and lime, sheep’s milk cheese with extra virgin olive oil and cypress, oregano and cheese cracker, black tomato with saffron mayonnaise, fermented tomato with crispy millet, pearls of crispy codfish
Celery sorbet, barbe brunoise and hazelnuts
Fantastic salad made with 25 vegetables from the kitchen garden, with beetroot cream and cereal biscuit served with mushrooms, mushroom sponge, musk aroma and tomato infusion
The mushrooms sponge, aroma of musk and tomato infusion served with the salad

Andrea Mattei says everything is great at Borgo Santo Pietro, a prestigious Relais & Châteaux in Chiusdino, 40 minutes from Siena, going towards the sea. Then he lists this year’s many projects: «We doubled the farm’s size, from 40 to 80 hectares [out of the total 200 of the estate], with a farm, a huge organic vegetable garden and we also make cured meat now! We have completely renovated the area dedicated to the traditional restaurant offer: we now have a real farm where we serve hand-cut Tuscan prosciutto, pappa al pomodoro, risotto with squid ink, steaks from our pigs... This is where chef Stefano Pezzini works». Then there’s the snack bar offering pizzas (read here: La pizza al Relais di Andrea Mattei), hamburgers, club sandwiches. And chocolate. Plus they make honey too.

Il Borgo Santo Pietro

Il Borgo Santo Pietro


E il Meo Modo

E il Meo Modo


«We’ve opened 4 more rooms, 2 with a private swimming pool. We’ve finished planting our vineyard. We have 300 sheep, so we can offer lamb and cheese aromatised with herbs from our garden, as well as homemade robiola and yogurt for breakfast». Then we have oxen, pigs, hens, alpacas, and peacocks: Borgo Santo Pietro, owned by a couple of building entrepreneurs from Denmark, has 5 gardeners, 10 farmers, and a total staff of 65 people. «We even have a sailboat, Satory by Borgo Santo Pietro, 42 metres and 5 cabins, if our guests want to enjoy the sea as well. The wine list required a big investment and we now have some 1100 wines», with sommelier Marcello Corradi. In Florence, there’s urban Borgo Santo Pietro in the City; and we could go on and on.

Crispy courgettes with saffron

Crispy courgettes with saffron


Crispy oak leaf and spelt preserved in vinegar

Crispy oak leaf and spelt preserved in vinegar

Carrot cannolo

Carrot cannolo

«Most of all, our style is becoming fully accomplished, both in terms of overall concept and of each idea and detail – adds Mattei – I’m working with oak, cypress and pine leaves, as well as with cherry tomatoes from our vegetable garden [which supplies 200 species of vegetables, 20 of tomatoes alone, and 40 types of flowers and 50 of aromatic herbs]», and he lists some old and new dishes: Smoked chicken sweetbreads, eel and vermouth from Prato, «inspired by the Tuscan cibreo», Squilla mantis, peas and cypress, Lamb, courgettes, elderberry, Black cod, chargrilled aubergine and fermented plums, Crispy oak leaf and spelt preserved in vinegar, Risotto, buttermilk and tomato

Strawberries and peppers

Strawberries and peppers


An intense period: in his third year in Chiusdino (he arrived in the spring of 2015) this calm and enthusiast, rigorous and brilliant, talented and modern chef, feels he’s in the middle of a career explosion. Born in Pietrasanta in 1979, a career that had him debut as commis at Hotel Byron in Forte dei Marmi in 1996, where he returned as chef in 2003. In between, Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athenée in Paris, «Jean-François Piège was the sous at the time», and Angelo ParacucchiValentino Marcattilii, as well as Enoteca Pinchiorri.

Risotto, buttermilk and tomato

Risotto, buttermilk and tomato

A very sound curriculum, keen on France rather than the Spanish avantgarde: but Mattei at Meo Modo – the gourmet restaurant within Borgo Santo Pietro – presents most of all a 100% Italian personal interpretation, with a strong Tuscan and totally contemporary influence that enhances the products from the estate, especially the tons of vegetables and herbs that grow here.

Black cod, chargrilled aubergines and fermented plums

Black cod, chargrilled aubergines and fermented plums

Meo Modo is really a great place for Italian cuisine. Mattei guides a team that runs as smoothly as a Swiss watch: Andrea Ferrari and Simone Di Maio with him in the kitchen as sous chefs, and the excellent pastry chef Diego Poli, born in 1988 in Pietrasanta. In the dining room, there’s Andrea Salvatori, born in 1986 and previously at Dal Pescatore, Perbellini and Enoteca Pinchiorri, and Nicola Di Lieto, same age as the latter, but from Nocera Superiore.

Chocolate in the Tuscan countryside

Chocolate in the Tuscan countryside

During a meal we had some time ago, the salad with 25 vegetables from the kitchen garden, with beetroot cream and cereal biscuit served with mushrooms, mushroom sponge, musk aroma and tomato infusion was delicious. The same applies to the Verna wheat tagliolini with a cream of the same wheat and apple geranium, mackerel cooked at low temperature and hemp seeds, as well as the Roasted seabass with seabass carpaccio, chard, oats and peanuts from Venturina. Not to mention the meat, we’re in the heart of Tuscany. In the photo gallery, all the dishes we tasted. What a great dinner.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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Carlo Mangio

An outdoor trip or a journey to the other side of the planet?
One thing is for sure: the destination is delicious, by Carlo Passera


Photogallery

Our dinner at Meo Modo starts with various appetizers: hake tartare, gel of black olives and lime, sheep’s milk cheese with extra virgin olive oil and cypress, oregano and cheese cracker, black tomato with saffron mayonnaise, fermented tomato with crispy millet, pearls of crispy codfish
Celery sorbet, barbe brunoise and hazelnuts
Fantastic salad made with 25 vegetables from the kitchen garden, with beetroot cream and cereal biscuit served with mushrooms, mushroom sponge, musk aroma and tomato infusion
The mushrooms sponge, aroma of musk and tomato infusion served with the salad
Squilla mantis, its crispy legs, cream of potato and lemon, crustacean bisque, cream of Palazzetto saffron
Chicken entrails, chicken liver pâté, smoked eel, puffed rooster crest
Excellent Verna wheat tagliolini with cream from the same wheat and apple geranium, mackerel cooked at low temperature and hemp seeds
Cereals cooked as with risotto: Cream of pumpkin, toasted sunflower seeds and sunflowers
Agnolotto with rabbit alla cacciatora, cream of Parmigiano, rosemary sauce, black olives and tomato
Roasted seabass with seabass carpaccio, chard, oats and peanuts from Venturina
Pigeon breast, crispy bread, spinach and cracker filled with pigeon
Wild boar glazed in a sauce of red wine and ginger, cabbage cream, sorrel and linden