Maremma, part 1: an unforgettable evening at La Pineta

Above: enologist Luca d’Attoma, restaurateur and chef Luciano Zazzeri, and winemaker Cinzia Merli at La Pineta in Marina di Bibbona (Maremma, Tuscany).

La Pineta
57020 Marina Di Bibbona (LI)
Via Cavalleggeri Nord, 13
tel. 0586 600371

The celebrated Trattoria La Pineta in Marina di Bibbona (Maremma) needs no plug from Do Bianchi. No visit to this stretch of the Tuscan coastline is complete without a meal there. I had the good fortune to dine there in September with my friend Cinzia Merli and her enologist Luca d’Attoma, one of the industry’s hottest and most colorful characters and a former rugby player.

The crudo — so fresh — rivaled the best sushi I’ve had in California and included “extreme” entries, like whole, melt-in-your-mouth raw shrimp.

The baby moscardini were perfectly tender and their savoriness was wonderfully balanced, as if chef Zazzeri had used sea water to season them.

Cinzia graciously treated us (my buddy Ben Shapiro was with us, too) to a bottle of Leflaive 2005 Bâtard-Montrachet, opulent and decadent (especially considering its youth).

You can also rent cabanas and beach chairs etc. during the day at La Pineta (and they have a classic 1960s-era snackbar). Ben and I had a walk around before sunset and I did some thinking about la dolce vita.

Up next: bistecca alla panzanese in Bolgheri… stay tuned…

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