CORTONA PROFILES - NO. 10

We are spoilt for choice in Cortona between so many fine restaurants, but Organika would seem to excel...

Throughout our travels to every region in Italy (except one), I have found some towns to be immediately captivating.  And within minutes of our first visit, maybe 20 years ago, Cortona captured my heart.  It’s a place where ancient meets modern and blends in a most enchanting way.  The people here and the comune rightly cherish their centuries of history but they aren’t bound by it to the point they live “calcified” in the past–like many small, dying Italian towns or ones overwhelmed by tourists crowding out the town’s heart & soul. Cortona thrives I think because it welcomes and embraces new ideas, new people and even new cuisine, yet it retains the traditions, life and rhythms of a true Italian città.
Nowhere is this “blending” as apparent as at a local restaurant called Organika.  Just a few steps outside the city walls, it is part of a spectacular ancient property, now named Fonte al Vento, that was once the monastery and stables for Santa Maria Nuova church.  Once you step inside the centuries’ old doorway of Organika, you immediately know this is not the traditional Tuscan trattoria you might expect in such a location!  The interior is modern, light, airy and chic.  The kitchen is sparkling and, through glass, visible to guests to see the creativity and effort behind every dish.  The photos and art on the walls aren’t modern but instead showcase the blend of old and new by honoring the parents and grandparents of the two visionaries who created this amazing addition to the local dining scene. 
This seamless blending of old and new was created from the shared vision of Francesco Bucaletti and Silvia Pescatori, both born and raised Cortonesi and the guiding force for all aspects of the restaurant–the design, the top-notch service, the menu, the wine and drink pairings, even the dishes and cutlery.  From the minute you arrive, you are surrounded by their well-executed dream that has come alive to the delight of everyone I know who has eaten there.  Their vision helped them recruit a fabulous team that includes Riccardo, a 23 year old (not a typo) chef that several “foodie” friends agree is clearly an upcoming Michelin star candidate which isn’t surprising given his experience at 2 other Michelin star restaurants, including one in Palermo.   
The Organika menu is always changing and dependent on what is seasonal, so it’s hard to describe beyond a choice of a 5 or 10 course tasting menu, with or without wine pairings. I always suggest the wine pairing with your meal, all of which perfectly complement the food.  The team spends their weekly days-off personally visiting small, unique wineries to learn more about their approach to creating their wines, ensuring guests will be tasting wines that are extraordinarily unique.  For the non-wine lovers, Organika also has an extensive bar with many types of inventive cocktail options, mixed expertly by Claudio, the maitre and sommelier. The range of international liquors and liqueurs offered is astonishing. 
Regardless of what’s on the daily menu, guests can be assured that Organika takes the Italian concept of 0 KM to the next level in that much of the produce comes directly from the gardens on the property, lovingly cultivated for decades by Francesco’s parents. Organika showcases elevated cuisine with inventive mixes like dried porcini mushrooms and pomegranate sorbet. A quick look at Organikaristorante Instagram page showcases some of Riccardo’s creations better than my photos over the years.
Of course, given the seasonal and “bespoke” nature of the menu, the small number of tables and the time that goes into the creation of the dining experience, reservations are a must. During our recent visit, the staff was able to expertly accommodate 3 different food allergies/preferences for just our table. When the weather allows, guests are treated to open air tables on the panoramic terrace with unbelievable views over the Valdichiana.  And guests at any time of the year, inside or out, will be treated to some of the most magnificent sunsets I’ve ever seen. The number of sunset photos from the property taking up space on my husband’s camera roll is a testament to the sheer beauty of the view. 
The experience of that view, the same for centuries, combined with the modern, elevated cuisine of Organika is yet another example of the perfect but unexpected “blend” that makes Cortona such a special place. And one that we are now finally blessed to call home almost twenty years after my first visit.
Karen Farabee, 15/10/2022 14:32:04
Other articles that might interest you
Excited at the prospect of finding novel and unusual fixtures and furnishings for our new home extension, I headed off to Gino ...[continue]
‘Al Tocco’ in Tuscan dialect refers to the hour after noon and after midnight.  It also denotes something special (extravagant or even a ...[continue]
For me, living in Cortona has meant enjoying the refreshingly different culture, community, cuisine and natural beauty.  But after a ...[continue]
Clelia Tondini, ceramic artist, clearly has the most enticing spaces in Cortona, and that is no easy feat. Many of her ...[continue]
It’s no coincidence that sculptor/designer Antonio Massarutto was celebrating World Earth Day – April 22nd – preparing a land-art project in North ...[continue]

SOMETHING
TO SHARE ?

Send us your posts, viewpoints
and/or personal experiences
CONTACT US NOW

MY CORTONA

OUR BLOG IS INTENDED AS A CENTRAL HUB FOR CORTONA LOVERS WORLD-WIDE, BRINGING YOU USEFUL INFORMATION, PROFILES OF THE MANY INTERESTING PEOPLE WHO LIVE & VISIT THE TOWN, UP-DATES ON LOCAL NEWS, SPECIAL STORIES & UPCOMING EVENTS


Have a story or an anecdote to recount? Someone interesting you’d like to profile? A place you’ve visited that you’d like to recommend? Whether it’s useful, funny or informative, why not share it on My Cortona blog and add your name to our list of regular contributors? We’d love to hear from you.

HISTORICAL HOME ***OFFER ACCEPTED***

Price: €.On request

SAINT MARY HOME

Price: €.360.000

IL TERRAZZO DI CORTONA

Price: €.On application