La Buon Ricordo Restaurants Guide 2024 was presented, as every year, at the Officine del Volo in Via Mecenate on 28 November 2023. A splendid location, a former factory that built aeroplanes during the First and Second World Wars in which a top-notch conservative restoration was carried out. This guide is even more special because it celebrates the 60th birthday of the association, which was founded by Dino Villani in 1964. The gala evening was an opportunity to discover new Buon Ricordo dishes during the traditional show cooking after the presentation of the restaurant guide.

Good things drunk at the Buon Ricordo Gala 2024

The company I did not know that impressed me the most was this one: DiBaldo Spirits. The master perfumer from Romagna, Baldo Baldinini, creates essences that to the sensitive nose of a sommelier are pure magic. Two in particular impressed me: Paracelsus Gin and AU79 Saffron Gin.

Happy memory ofbaldo gin

AU 79 I found it amazing because very little is needed and with a little soda you get a pleasant cocktail with a wonderful authentic saffron scent.

Good gala memory

Of the wines of dear Claudia Del Duca of Podere Marcampo (Volterra, Tuscany) I have often spoken about it, but this one I particularly re-praised. Right at the crags is a Toscana IGT Merlot in which the vine is vinified in purity after the grapes are hand-picked in small crates, with care and careful selection. Fermentation with maceration lasts 25 days, followed by malolactic fermentation in barriques and then resting in first and second passage tonneaux for 12 months. An important wine, but one that maintains an extraordinary drinkability and is suitable both for the whole meal (obviously combined with tasty and structured recipes) and for meditation.

Happy memory Marcampo farm

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Buon Ricordo 2024 dishes (in order of tasting)

Of the dishes in the Guida Ristoranti del Buon Ricordo I have tasted many and I must say that the quality is overall very high. These are not recipes born to do research or to amaze for their complexity, on the contrary, it is often the taste of simplicity that is proposed. The common thread is the quality of the ingredients combined with the proposal of comfort food, food that can excite, sometimes reawaken a memory, sometimes simply accompany a nice evening in company.

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #1: Calamari ripieno | Ristorante Armare (Rome, Lazio) ❤️

The squid is cooked to perfection and is not easy as it is often chewy. This one is meltable and the filling of breadcrumbs, clams, mussels, garlic and chilli is also very tasty.

Good memory squid dishes

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #2: Spaghettoni di Gragnano IGP with fresh anchovies, traditional Cetara colatura, black truffle and buffalo butter | La Bettola del Gusto (Pompei, Campania) ❤️❤️+

Wonderful spaghetti cooked just right and seasoned to perfection. The colatura di alici is magnificent with the truffle: both are very tasty, but do not overpower each other. Enjoyable.

Good memory dishes spaghettoni

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #3: ravioli del duca with pigeon, pear cream and wild fennel | Ristorante Enoteca Del Duca (Volterra, Tuscany) ❤️❤️❤️

Perfect dough thickness and cooking. The pigeon filling could be distinctly felt and the fennel provided a fragrant touch. 

Piatti del buon ricordo ristorante del duca

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #4: Persicotto | Ristorante La Baia (Cremia - Lake Como, Lombardy) ❤️+

Mouth-watering risotto whipped to perfection with a dash of Timoncello, the liqueur from Lake Como that is a reinterpretation of the more famous limoncello with the addition of thyme. The perch is fried well and is very dry and goes well with the creaminess of the risotto.

Good memory risotto dishes

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #5: Courgette flower and truffle risotto | Salice Blu Restaurant (Bellagio - Lake Como, Lombardy) +

Risotto cooked and whipped well even if the squash blossoms get a little lost because the truffle scent is very intense.

Truffle souvenir dishes

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #6: Caserecce al pesto di limoni con tartare di gambero | Ristorante Filippino (Lipari - Aeolian Islands, Sicily) ❤️

The caserecce have a nice texture and are cooked to perfection. Lemons and prawns are two Sicilian ingredients and this is an added value to a dish that is in itself good and well executed. One just has to be careful with the quantities: the lemon flavour is very intense and if the prawn tartare - very delicate - is too little, it risks being overpowered.

Dishes of good memory

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #7: Peasant meatballs | Hotel Barbieri Restaurant (Altomonte, Calabria)

Meatballs are a recipe that can be made in so many ways, with so many different ingredients and so many different cooking methods, and that is what makes them special. You only need to change the amounts or the procedure slightly to get completely different results. The meatballs of the Barbieri family are very tasty and the idea of locking them into a slice of bread (with which to make the scarpetta) pierced with a pasta cup to fit the meatball is also nice.

Meatball souvenir dishes

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #8: 'O Scarpariello del Principe 1968 | Osteria Famiglia Principe 1968 (Nocera Superiore, Campania) +

Scarpariello is a first course that originated in the Spanish quarters of Naples to repay the scarpari (shoemakers) with the little they had at home. It is prepared only with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, pecorino cheese and grated grana-type cheese. A very simple, homemade recipe, however well executed and which I ate with pleasure.

Good memory dishes spaghetti with tomato sauce

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #9: Paccheri with red prawns and cherry tomatoes | Ciccio in Pentola Restaurant (Palermo, Sicily)

The quality of the prawns chosen was excellent, shame about the wrong cooking of the paccheri which - as can also be seen from the photo - made them dry in places. Unfortunately, handling some pasta dishes in show cooking is not easy and some are penalised, but errors of concept remain. Personally I would separate the body of the prawn from the head, which I would leave as decoration and to suck out the humours, while the meat is better served in tartare so that the customer savours it forkful by forkful and not separately, perhaps at the end. Or maybe I should have diced the shrimp?

Good memory pacchero dishes

Piatti del Buon Ricordo #10: mezze maniche di Fornio dal 1928 | Osteria di Fornio (Fidenza, Emilia-Romagna)

No enthusiasm, on the other hand, for Fornio's mezze maniche: I understand wanting to offer a traditional country dish, but I did not find it 'restaurant-like'.

Dishes of good memory

Buon Ricordo dishes #11: Bonet | Bon Parej Restaurant (Turin, Piedmont) +

The bonet is a traditional Piedmontese spoon dessert with PAT recognition that contains milk, eggs, rum, cocoa, sugar and amaretti biscuits that originated in the 1700s. I found this one distinctive and tasty.

Sweet Souvenir Dishes

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Buon Ricordo restaurants: those I have already visited

  • Restaurant Shardana (Paris - France): the best dish of the Buon Ricordo Guide 2023 was the culurgiones ogliastrini with veal demi-glace, cannonau and truffle I ate both at the gala dinner and when I went to Paris!
  • Ristorante Manuelina (Recco, Liguria - Italy)I have been there not once, but twice, and the last time for my birthday this year. The focaccia di Recco, even the versions with Culatello or 'nduja are fabulous! The Buon Ricordo dish is the salted moron with local lemon sauce, potato puffs and caviar I also liked it because I don't like cooked barbed fish.
  • Restaurant La Posa (Livigno, Lombardy - Italy)It is impossible not to fall in love with Luca Galli's hospitality and cuisine, with a Buon Ricordo menu that is perfect from starter to dessert! Fabulous the pine needle risotto with hare ragout.
  • Lokanda Devetak 1870 (Savogna d'Isonzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Italy)a warm and cosy inn serving drumsticks, sausage and Jamar cheesebut above all that it stores 12,000 bottles from all over the world in a cellar carved out of stone.
  • Restaurant Enoteca Del Duca (Volterra, Tuscany - Italy)unforgettable truffle carbonara, but this year's Buon Ricordo dish (ravioli del duca with pigeon) was the one I liked the most!