The centre of Gaiole is made up of a small main “corso” with a mix of bars, shops and restaurants offering regional fare. If you are entering from the east side of Via Bettino Ricasoli you can’t miss LE COSE BUONE, one of the first establishments you’ll encounter. Though it’s labeled “alimentari” (Engl. deli), that’s what it used to be before Andrea Pavia converted into a small but inviting trattoria.

It was the first restaurant we visited while in Gaiole for the week and we wound up eating there five of the seven nights. The way I see it is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: all dishes were cooked spot-on, fresh and regional. And since Andrea is also an accredited sommelier, his small but fine wine list doesn’t disappoint.

Andrea greeted us openly and offered many suggestions from cold antipasti to freshly made pasta, meat and fish dishes. When it came to the antipasti, he even gave us a medley of treats to taste before ordering: homemade porchetta, sott’aceto (pickled veggies), Parma ham and cheeses. What more can one ask for?

After returning a couple of times and finding the trattoria fuller and fuller every evening as more L’Eroica participants were arriving for the big event, he didn’t turn us away… he actually set up a table for us in the kitchen. So without any planning, we enjoyed an entire evening at the “chef’s table”.

The Chef's Table at Le Cose Buone in Gaiole.

Stefano preparing our next dish as we enjoy the view and the aromas from the chef’s table.

He asked if we’d like to order from the menu or whether he should just surprise us. We chose the latter and surprise us he did. Every 10-15 minutes he would present a new dish until we literally had to beg him to stop.

Pice cacio e pepe

Pici cacio e pepe (pronounced Pee-Chee, with cheese and pepper)

Pappardelle con ragù di cinghiale (Pappardelle with wild boar ragu)

Delicately braised Branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) with shrimps on salad

Grilled steak from a regional, happy cow… well, he was happy once.

The most enjoyable part of the evening at the chef’s table wasn’t just the culinary orgy and numerous vintages of Bricciano wine he would uncork, it was watching him and his colleague Stefano go at it all evening. Needles to say, the two should have their own reality cooking show.

One of the things I love most about Italy is the fact that you enter an establishment for the first time as a stranger and often leave as a friend. That was definitely the case at LE COSE BUONE. And if you wind up visiting, make sure you ask for the “chef’s table”! You won’t be disappointed.

Contact information:

Le Cose Buone
Via Bettino Ricasoli, 71
53013 Gaiole
Tel. +39 0577 749 085

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.