June 17, 2022 by Arden Montgomery
Summer Like an Italian at Hotel Il Pellicano
Hotel Il Pellicano. Where to begin? As I write this I’m reminiscing on the many slices of heaven I found myself uncovering while staying on property back in May. From the location itself, a sliver of the Maremma coastline, to the food, wine, and cocktail program. There was no shortage of ‘kodak moments’ or inspiration for pasta night back home. I left having a newfound enthusiasm for both martini’s and impeccably manicured plants!
There are two restaurants on property, one of which is a Michelin star. We enjoyed the more casual ‘Pelligrill’ and ended up eating here 2 nights out of our 3 night stay. If you like pasta and eat fish, you will have a hard time deciding what to order! It was difficult choosing between the gnocchi and spaghetti alle vongole with squash blossoms which is why we were happy to have a second night to explore the menu and get a taste of everything. A highlight was the sea bass acqua pazza (poached white fish in a broth with herbs, potatoes, vegetables).
We enjoyed tasting wines from in and around Maremma. Maremma is considered a part of Tuscany within the province of Grosseto. Despite the region being home to the world renowned wines of Sassicaia and Ornellaia (Bolgheri is geographically in the Maremma region but gained its own DOC in the ’80s), it remains a somewhat obscure region to the general wine consumer. We tasted vermentino, canaiolo, and trebbiano from the region. I think the vermentino is what will continue to make this region shine and put Maremma in the running as the ‘motherland of vermentino.’
To be honest, the most delicious – hit – the – spot – meal we had was a club sandwich down at “the beach,” which isn’t quite a beach as in a ‘sandy beach’ but I’ll take it any day, all day (see photo below). No sand, no problem. Just give me a club sandwich, a glass of rosé, and I’ll see you for dinner in 8 hours. Having started our trip in Rome where breakfast, lunch, and dinner consists of carbonara and amatriciana (no complaints whatsoever)…seeing a club sandwich on the menu was unexpected and so appreciated! The game changing ingredient and key to success here is the perfectly hard boiled egg. It should be required.
The beach club was a slice of heaven.
The hotel offers both a Cocktail Master Class and Wine Tasting Journey which are perfect to help break up the day, and get you off your bum down at the beach club. For the wine tasting, you get to see the Il Pellicano cellar and taste a lineup of wines not just from Maremma but from all over Italy. We tasted and then worked with the sommelier to select some fun wines for dinner.
Some wines from Italy I re-discovered during our tasting were from Sicily like the 2018 Girolamo Russo ‘A Rina’ Etna Rosso and the 2020 Caruso y Minini Catarratto Sicilia Naturalmente Bianco. Nothing compares to finding #hiddengems that become favorites like the 2016 Eraldo Borgogno Barolo.
A highlight of our weekend here was the Cocktail Master Class with Luca. We got to taste and discover small batch vermouths like NV Volume Primo Vermouth and alternatives to Aperol and Campari . We left inspired by the unique cocktails Luca showed us how to make. From Patsy’s Spritz to the Pelican Martini, I took diligent notes in hopes of finding some of the product back home. We might just have to import it ourselves because I now crave my aperitivo cocktail before my first glass of wine when the clock strikes 5:00. Our Summer Spritz Kit featuring Liquore Delle Sirene Aperitivo Americano Bianco will give you a few recipes inspired by my time spent with Luca.
I think of the laid back days and indulgent nights of wine and pasta at Hotel Il Pellicano often and hope to be back again soon, just so I can make sure it wasn’t all a dream.