Our friend Lucio invited us to lunch at Aranci 67, a restaurant in Wilton, CT, owned by his sister and her husband, the chef Antonio Perillo.
We knew that Lucio came from a family of great cooks, since his late father had been the chef and owner of the now closed Bella Italia in Danbury, and together with his mother Anna, Lucio had once prepared a meal for us featuring some of his dad’s specialties.
Paolo Perillo, who shares front of the house duties with his mother Julia, greeted us. He showed us to our beautiful Amalfi style ceramic-topped table and we felt as if we had arrived on Capri.
Our lunch began with a Montanara pizza made by first frying the dough, then topping it with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil and then baking it until the cheese melts. Frying gives the dough added flavor and an evenly browned and puffed crust.
Next came perfectly ripe, peeled figs wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma a perfect sweet and salty combination.
Then the chef sent us deep fried zucchini flowers filled with ricotta and prosciutto,
and small arancini, crisp fried rice balls filled with cheese and ham.
Tender Potato Gnocchi in a light tomato sauce came next.
Sautéed chicken with mildly spicy vinegar peppers was the main course, accompanied by crisp sautéed potatoes and green beans.
For dessert there were Cannoli and Torta Caprese, a typical almond chocolate cake.
A homemade strawberry digestive beverage was the final touch on an outstanding meal. Lucky are the residents of Wilton and the surrounding area to have such a good Italian restaurant nearby.
Vecchie Terre di Montefili is located in Panzano in Chianti, Tuscany.
The wines were a gift from the former owner of the winery who is close friends with Lucio. I had tasted the 2015 vintages of these wines with Nicola Marzavilla, owner of I-Trulli restaurant in NYC and now the owner of the winery.
Bruno di Rocca IGT Colli Toscana Centrale 20 made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Sangiovese from vineyards planted in the early 1980’s. The soil is galestro and the training system is spurred cordon. Vinification is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging for a minimum of months 28 in tonneaux for the Sangiovese and for the Cabernet Sauvignon in barriques (350 liters). Nicola said Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be aged in barriques. The wine spends a minimum of 12 months in bottle before release. $ ? It is difficult to make a of thi type wine where the Cabernet Sauvignon does not dominate but this is a a soft elegant wine.
Chianti Classico DOCG 2009 made from 100% Sangiovese. The terrain is hilly and the vineyards are at 500 meters. The soil is galestro and alberese. The vineyards were planted in the late nineties and Nicola said these were the youngest vines on the property. The training system is spurred cordon. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging is for a minimum of 15 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and 6 months in bottle .
Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 made from 100% Sangiovese from a careful selection of grapes from vineyards with the best exposure. The vineyards were planted in the late 1980’s. The training system is spurred cordon and guyot. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging is in Slavonian oak barrels for a minimum of 22 months and 6 months in bottle.
Anfiteatro IGT Colli Toscana Centrale 2011 made from 100% Sangiovese from the Anfiteatro vineyard planted in 1985. The training system is bilateral cordon. Fermentation is in stainless steel with indigenous yeast. The wine is aged for 28 months in 5HL barrels and 10 Hl barrels and a minimum of 12 months in bottle before release. This is a very big wine that needs more time.