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Oct 18, 2011 06:35 PM

Gambero Rosso 2012

Just out. Most of the "top" restaurants are the same as last year. Most all "cutting edge" with very little tradition in sight. Boo. But, that's how you sell guides.
Demoted from the "top" are Pagliaccio in Rome and Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. Added to "the top", among others, are La Stua in Corvara and Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole. Dropping fast, but still in the "top" is Combol.Zero and Torre del Saracino.

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  1. any indication as to the whys? Im wondering whether some of this isnt driven by their new scoring system.

    do you know when they actually publish the book? I want to update the Restaurant page ratings which are currently stuck in 2010

    1 Reply
    1. re: jen kalb

      The book was published yesterday. There is no new scoring system this year. Some restaurants go up, some go down. By far the biggest down is Da Vittorio in Bergamo.

      Da Vittorio
      Via Cantalupa, 17, Brusaporto BG, Bergamo, Lombardy 24060, IT

    2. Thanks for letting us know. Would you mind explaining the significance of the "3 Gamberi" ratings, as opposed to the "top" places?

      6 Replies
      1. re: erica

        Hello! 3 gamberi refer to a "trattoria" style, whereas the "forks" refer to high-end restaurants. I am not really sure why Allende (hope to interpret the post correctly) thinks that "Most all "cutting edge" with very little tradition in sight. Boo. But, that's how you sell guides.". I don't particularly agree and actually think the opposite. If you consider that the only new three forks have been assigned to traditional hotel restaurants....If you check the top restaurants score, you might agree with me that, yes, few traditional restaurants' scores have been lowered, but overall the traditional imprint of the editors can be perceived.

        1. re: cristinab

          One, two or three gamberi refer to the level of excellence (according to Gambero Rosso) for trattorie. As mentioned a number of times here, over a long period of time, we've found, with a few exceptions, the gamberi to be spot on. This is, of course, in contrast to restaurant ratings which over the twenty plus years we've used the guide, have been decent, but no more, if you know how to read between the lines.

          With regard to cristinab's comments am afraid I'll have to disagree. If you check the "top" 23 restaurants, five, at most, are traditional. The others are cutting edge or are selling highly inventive cuisine. This is the overall imprint of the editors. If you look at the cuisine at La Stua and Il Pellicano, or eat there, you will not think the food is coming from a traditional restaurant.
          When you read the guida over the last 10 years, you will see that not only are the scores of the "top" restaurants (they are not my "top" restaurants) skewed toward cutting edge and inventive cuisine, but it is starting to creep in to those restaurants scored 84-89. Fortunately, there are enough younger people in Italy who have recently started restaurants (and those who have had restaurants for a while) who have resisted the guida's prodding and really don't care what scores they get. It's called knowing who you are.

          1. re: allende

            Allende, I might agree with you that the situation is the one you described, but this guide is the product of two new curators and this is their second edition. We could actually say that this is their first edition in which they took care of the entire guide for the entire year. And infact, their view of the Italian cuisine (that is should be traditional or at least more traditional) is clear. Now, anybody is entitled to think their own way and I respect anybody who's go different views and taste, but I am of of those who prefers inventive cuisine to the traditional one. Don't get me wrong: I think that tradition should always be a reference to whoever wants to do creative cuisine, but if I had the opportunity to choose between a dinner at Bottura and the best of the traditional dinner at the best traditional restaurant, I have no doubt, I'd choose Bottura (or cracco or Alajmo or Genovese, etc).
            I found traditional cuisine best at home with my mother cooking. And, overall, less challenging for the cook.

            1. re: cristinab

              But aren't some people questioning the impartiality of the current editors rather than their traditionalist slant? For example, La Gazza Ladra has only one Michelin star; Duomo, in nearby Ragusa, has two but doesn't get Gambero Rosso's three forks. Do they want to be different from Michelin? Are they particularly fond of Accursio Craparo? Do they particularly dislike Ciccio Sultano? Who knows? And they did, after all, take away the three forks from the traditional Enoteca Pinchiorri (Stefano Bonilli, the former editor, is furious) and give three more points this year to the Osteria Francescana of Massimo Bottura, whom you greatly favour, making it the top restaurant, with Vissani, in Italy.

              1. re: zerlina

                @ critinab
                I don't see the more traditional slant. We've been reading it very closely for more than 20 years (since it started) and it has gotten more non traditional in the last 10-15 years. This year is no exception. As I said, just look at the "top" 23 and the ones scoring 88 or 89 (and those which were promoted to those levels this year).

                If you had the opportunity, you would choose a dinner at Bottura and Alajmo. I wouldn't. So be it.

              2. re: cristinab


                I read Allende's remarks as being upfront about his values. He boos the new edition. You are certainly entitled to defend or cheer the 2012 GR, but I don't find your post tracks (recent history, inside politics aside).

                What is challenging for the cook may be of interest to people who enjoy cooking competitions, but it is probably and rightly of little interest to eaters. But if the common situation is that traditional cuisine is best at home with a mother cooking, all the more reason to praise the chef who equals or betters that.

        2. I have a reservation next week to dine for the first time at Da Vittorio, and would greatly appreciate hearing both more detail on the Guide's latest assessment as well as the experiences of those who been there recently.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carlvin

            I don't have the guida yet. All I know is Da Vittorio went from 87 to 82. I've never seen a decline so precipitous of a restaurant of this reputation. Perhaps someone who has the guide can fill in the "why."