Alberto Faccani has hospitality in his blood: the new Magnolia brings to the table dishes with an impeccable technique, satisfying the palate and celebrating great ingredients. All in the bucolic enchantment of Villa Margherita.
The magnolia tree recurs often in Alberto Faccani's life: "It has always accompanied me for twenty years of my life; every time I opened my window I found it in front of me, with its velvety, emerald leaves."
This is Villa Margherita, a pleasant spot in the hills of Romagna in Longiano where Alberto moved his restaurant, born in 2003 in Cesenatico. It is a relais with a few rooms of understated elegance hidden in the green. The spot with large windows in which the new Magnolia is located is also elegant and essential: Two Michelin Stars that satisfy both eyes and palate alike.
"The restaurant had given everything in Cesenatico, it had been squeezed and the spaces were no longer adequate. I was sorry to have to move, but here in Longiano guests enjoy a different atmosphere, they have more intimacy and can have a 'total' experience, disconnecting from everyday life, enjoying the view and the botanical park." Alberto is right, because it's worth getting up early up here - sleeping in maybe - and taking advantage of the large pool overlooking the hills. The first star came almost immediately, in 2005, and twelve years later, the second one.
Well-deserved, because this smiling 47-year-old chef (he doesn't show it, though) has always been quite determined:" I feel more like an entrepreneur than a cook, but you have to be one: I'm constantly investing in the customer, after twenty-one years in theory you don't make many changes anymore, but as far as I'm concerned every move has to be a plus for those who come to us."
With experiences at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence and in Castrocaro at the historic La Frasca. Also, declared professional inspirations from El Bulli of Adrià and Massimiliano Alajmo's Le Calandre, who just earned the tenth spot on the World’s 50 Best, it seems that Alberto Faccani already had it in his head to do this job from a very young age.
There is little doubt about the fact that Faccani has hospitality in his blood, , especially since he has been able to equip himself with a first-rate team that takes care of guests with what is not just diligence of the trade, but is really the pleasure of it.
Like Debora Fiumi, maître, or the great Andrea Fiorini, one of those sommeliers who far from showing off with snooty oenological arrogance can offer pairings in which one can go from Romagna to France or Germany with always brilliant suggestions. And then behind the scenes, directly in touch with the dishes, young expert chefs of the caliber of Andrea Vailati and Marco Garattoni.
Here, then, at Magnolia you can't help but feel good, from the moment you arrive to the moment you get up from the table. The rules are not many: great ingredients (now even more earthy elements are added to the fish, which was preponderant before), impeccable techniques, a well-governed complexity that is never over the top, aimed more at pleasure than thought. With results that leave one decidedly satisfied, from very elegant amuse bouche like the herb flan with bottarga and lemon to the steamed bao, fried fish and mullet.
The peach salad with almond ice cream, lemon and basil is very fresh. The meunière Gilardeau oyster with puffed amaranth, chives and parsley oil is elegant. Of remarkable finesse is the langoustine cooked in butter and accompanied by pods and 'spheres' of peas, served with caviar and coconut sauce.
Gilardeau oyster 'mealy style' with puffed amaranth, chives, and parsley oil
Waffle, deer chop, foie gras and truffle
The roasted cuttlefish with praline and pistachio ice cream, lemon, capers, asparagus and squid ink are very tasty. The bottoni stuffed with mantis shrimp with beurre blanc, bread sauce, parsley, green oil and 'cappuccino' of the same crustacean is magnificent.
Buttons of canocchia, parsley and lemon
The 'Riviera Adriatica' rice, made with seafood broth, mussels, seaweed, and squid ink, is always a little masterpiece, as much to look at as to taste it. The squid carbonara tagliatelle with yolk, Pecorino, roasted guanciale and truffle – lots of truffle – is also very good. The roasted mallard, regenerated over charcoal and served with ramsons, asparagus, morels, its livers, champignon mushrooms and sorrel is succulent. And on the succulent end is also the sweetbread fried in butter and served with mint, almond and roasted salad.
Squid carbonara noodles with yolk, Pecorino, roasted guanciale and truffle
Sea bass, bagna cauda, bottarga and artichokes
Back to freshness with the raspberry and red fruit predessert, rhubarb and red turnip. We get petit fours just before the grand finale: 'tropical coconut', caramelized pineapple, passion fruit ice cream and coconut and lime mousse.
Raspberry and red fruit predessert, rhubarb and red turnip
A new restaurant in Cesenatico under Alberto's watch, as he heralds it: 'a classic seafood restaurant in a modern setting.' will open this fall.
Viale Trento, 31 – 47042 Cesenatico (FC)
Tel: +39 0547 81598