Story by Carol Stigger
Photos by Barbara Angelakis
Why is a Michelin Plate Hanging
in Treviso’s Le Beccherie
L’Assiette Michelin, or Michelin Plate shows that the Michelin inspectors enjoyed food that was not only of good quality, it was also notable. This restaurant might have a Michelin Star on the horizon.
Treviso, Italy, known by Italy lovers as “the city of art and water” should add “fine dining” to its moniker. Le Beccherie, the birthplace of tiramisu, was awarded a Michelin Plate in 2022 and not just for its famous tiramisu. This beloved dessert has a twenty-year history of experimentation that ended in 1975 with the inspired addition of fresh mascarpone instead of zabaglione. Espresso was an ingredient from the beginning. The dish was created to give a young mother additional energy to care for her growing family. Having only six ingredients, it is also easy to prepare.
In 2010, the recipe for Le Beccherie’s Tiramesu was deposited with a notarized deed at the Italian Academy of Cuisine. The restaurant and its tiramisu were featured in the New Yorker magazine. Now world famous, the dessert has been personalized by hundreds of chefs, each adding their own twist. I cannot add “improvement” because I have never had a tiramisu as tasty as the original. Le Beccherie has perfected the balance of the bitterness of the espresso and cocoa with the sweetness of the custard.
Tiramisu Day is celebrated worldwide on March 21. The dessert been served on the International Space Station. Astronaut Luca Parmitano asked for tiramisu to top off his Italian dinner. A renowned chef created a space-ready dehydrated version, but the taste is not recorded.
The restaurant generously shares its recipe on its website, and I have made it several times. Younger guests lick the bowl; adults wish they could. The recipe is in Italian. Use Google Translate and convert the European measurements.
More Than Dessert
Do not go there just for the dessert. That Michelin Plate is for much more. The restaurant entrance, conveniently located in the city center, is inviting but unpretentious. You won’t feel you need to dress up, and outdoor seating is available. The ambiance is intimate with touches of elegance. Window tables overlooking a small canal are one of Treviso’s hidden delights. Lights beneath the canal change in color serving as an amuse-bouche for the eyes before all attention is on the food. Tableware rests on colorful marble slabs. House-made breadsticks have an unusual and inspired hint of fennel.
The cuisine mingles some of the finest native specialties with products originating in distant lands. For example, Chef Manuel Gobbo serves Verdon beans with oysters. This is a legume that originated in Brussels and is produced in the Veneto village of Quarto d'Altino, population 8,000, in quantities too low to qualify for Slow Food Presidium. The bean has a mild but satisfying taste and its thin peel makes it easier to digest than more familiar varieties.
We also ordered calamarta with cacio-pepe and green curry. Who would ever think of curry in Italy! Pepper cheese made more sense. The pasta, calamarta, was also familiar and made in house. It uses durum wheat semolina flour and humorously resembles calamari squid rings. The combination is surprisingly awesome. After enjoying and sometimes enduring oral injuries from curries of all kinds in India, I had a full water goblet in hand. The dish has a curry flavor but no hint of heat. I would have ordered seconds, but I needed to save room for the main course, or as they say in Italy, secondi.
Second to none
Agnello e lampone (lamb and raspberry) is browned lamb ribs finished in the oven then glazed with raspberry vinegar, raspberry sauce, and black garlic gravy. The meat is served with Belgium endive dressed with raspberry vinegar. Severed aside, and advised to enjoy after the main dish, is a bite size piadina filled with lamb shoulder cooked with Moroccan Ras el Hanout spice; salt, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, black and white pepper, coriander, cayenne, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Piadina is a classic unleavened flat bread that has been made in Northern Italy since the Middle Ages.
I have found Belgian endive to be an acquired taste, but it works well as a counterpoint to other sweet and sour flavors. It offers a crisp texture and a refined look when plated. The piadina was a spicy, unexpected finish to a memorable secondo!
For dessert, of course we had tiramisu. It tastes like the dish I make from their recipe, but the presentation is more professional. At my house, it’s best to turn the lights low and concentrate on the flavor, not on custardy jumble served with soup spoons.
The restaurant offers surf or turf tasting menus in addition to a la carte. Selections make the most of local produce in season and traditional regional foods with surprising international twists.
Thanks to Chefs Manuel Gobbo and Beatrice Simonetti and to the staff of Le Beccherie for a memorable evening in Treviso!
For more information, you may visit their website: https://www.lebeccherie.it
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