Italian wine, particularly from Tuscany, is the first wine that I’ve fallen in love with since I regularly started drinking wine. The deep flavor of chianti and other sangiovese varieties has long been one of my favorite sensations to my taste bud and, not surprisingly, I made a point to spend at least a full day visiting the wine country of Tuscany after a couple of nights in Florence. My girlfriend and I decided to stay one night in San Gimignano after the wine tasting tours, which turned out to be the right choice as I was a huge fan of the lovely town with old castle walls still very much intact from which you can view the absolutely beautiful scenery of the countryside. Our way to San Gimignano was, however, very rough as we went through the thunderstorm on a rental car before finally making it to the hotel we were staying at. Obviously, we were starving by then and a dinner nearby the hotel would’ve been a nice break. Luck has it there was a charming restaurant nearby the hotel and we went through the rain to check it out.
Perucà’s cuisine is classic Tuscan from top to bottom; everything is just straightforward rustic cuisine from the region. I’ve always been pleasantly surprised with how moderate the kitchen at a restaurant in Italy is when it comes to seasoning, instead focusing on the freshness of ingredients and consistent execution. A simple dish of burrata with caramelized cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and basil was such a welcome start to the meal after our ordeal that we started zoning into the food despite the exhaustion. Pici (a type of thick, spaghetti-like pasta) came with sauce of wild boar, which seems to be the staple in the Tuscany region everywhere (on the stroll around San Gimignano the next day, I’ve spotted at least a half dozen places displaying wild boar-based paninis and other food). It was delicious without extra seasoning, allowing the wild boar sauce to really shine as it is. But the better dish was the risotto with black truffles, ham and zucchini flowers. Maybe I was being generous at the time due to my hunger from long drives, but I really struggled to remember a better risotto dish. It was creamy in the most delightful way without overwhelming your palate, and the combination of ingredients made for a very rustic dish that you just can’t drop your fork off of. After splitting the dish in half, I ended up stealing most of my girlfriend’s portion too! Dining in the Tuscany region, we knew we had to try the famed Florentine steak. To this day, I’m still very shocked that the steak was the only weak point at this otherwise enjoyable restaurant. Yes, I saw the meat was cooked more or less perfect medium rare, and the judicious use of salt or other seasoning meant that the meat’s texture really had the opportunity to shine. The biggest issue, however, was the temperature. My girlfriend and I almost felt that the kitchen brought a steak dish that was left outside for an hour instead of one that was just grilled. Had the steak dish been more memorable, I would’ve given a lot higher score to Perucà. Maybe, our sense of food’s temperature became dull after freezing in the thunderstorm, but we wished we ordered a different secondi dish, even though we were hungry enough so that we still devoured most of the giant meat.
I really loved the dining space of Perucàthat makes you feel like you’re dining at a basement cellar of a charming winery. If you’re looking for a romantic dinner after wine tasting tours, Perucà’s vibe is exactly what you should be looking for. Make sure to complement your meal with a bottle of wine (there are so many solid choices at affordable prices starting at approximately 20 euros); I would suggest trying one from the Tuscany region and there are also local selections from San Gimignano. Other than the steak, Perucà offered pleasant dining experience that makes you feel good after a tour around the Tuscany region; I’ll remember to try other secondi dishes on my next visit.
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 7.5/10
Address: Via Capassi, 16, 53037, San Gimignano, Italia