Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A meal at Podere Terreno in the Chianti

“The best compliment I ever got,” said Roberto Melosi, passing around the homemade lasagne and Chianina steaks from his seat at the head of the communal dinner table. “Was when I asked some American guests whether it was a bother to keep driving back and forth to Florence every day.”

He paused to top off the glasses around him with more of his farm’s peppery but light Chianti Classico

“The Americans said ‘No, because when we drive back at the end of the day, it’s not like we’re taking an hour to reach our hotel. It’s like we’re driving home.’” Roberto chuckled. “And then they asked if they could stay two weeks next year.”

An elderly German gentleman, sitting at the other end of the table near Roberto’s Paris-born wife, Marie-Sylvie Haniez, nodded gravely. He had been returning to the agriturismo Podere Terreno every summer for twenty years and was in the midst of a record-setting stay: 35 days straight.