On the outskirts of Treviso, in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, is a small restaurant housed in a former winery. I hadn’t heard of it until two days earlier, but then, I’d never been to Treviso.
Earlier in the week, I was helping in the kitchen at a pop-up lunch in Faenza with a group of talented chefs, sommeliers, and various other food professionals and enthusiasts. Having just stepped into the kitchen the morning of, I knew nothing about the two men behind the menu. One of the two featured guest chefs was a young man who had come from Treviso. On this day, he was sporting a Spider Man mask. Why would a man cooking a pop-up lunch in a twelfth-century church be wearing a Spider Man mask? Well, that’s a story for another day.
As it turns out, that young man was Francesco Brutto, a chef I was soon told was an “absolute genius.” As luck would have it, the primary kitchen of said genius is in Treviso, and I was headed there the very next day. When I learned that Undicesimo Vineria held a Michelin star, and offered a much more modern menu than most of what I had seen in the Veneto, I paused. Having only two days left before returning to New York, and having enjoyed several chef’s tasting menus in a similar style while in Emilia Romagna that week, I wondered if perhaps I should opt for something more traditional in Treviso. By the end of the lunch, there was no doubt, we needed to find this restaurant.
Upon arrival in Treviso the next evening, I looked up Undicesimo Vineria. That very day, Agrodolce had named Brutto one of the two Best Young Chefs of the year. Having enjoyed his meal the day before, it was not surprising. What is surprising is to learn that at 29, Brutto is not only quite young to be heading up a Michelin-starred kitchen, but he is also doing so without a line of cooks. The team of two consists of Brutto and one assistant/dishwasher.
On a fairly plain-looking building that once housed a winery, a simple black and white sign emblazoned with a turnip indicated that we had arrived. The inside walls are lined with panels from wine crates. The menu options include an a la carte section, as well a chef’s tasting menu of four, seven, or twelve courses. Wine pairings are offered for each. I decided to split the difference between the amount of food I WANTED to eat, and the amount of food I SHOULD eat, and I opted for the 7 course menu, with pairings. Chef Brutto came out of the kitchen and greeted us, and confirmed that there wasn’t anything that we couldn’t or wouldn’t eat.
The meal that follows is reason enough alone to be pleased with the decision to include Treviso in our travel itinerary.
Tacos, purple hood, lime, and fermented blackberries
Almond pod, celeriac, black garlic and coffee
Hazelnut wafer, black truffle, chestnut and chicken liver pate
Alice marinated, crab and chamomile
Squid, leche de tigre, corn and coconut
Grey Mullet, Pomegranate and wild chicory
Chlorella tagliatelle and Adriatic oyster
Tortellini with fermented tamarind, double cream, and angostura
Guinea fowl cappelletti and bergamot broth
Yakitori Guinea fowl, potato and sansho
Lamb, spinach and almond
Lemon, white chocolate and licorice
Green apple and “Strega” liqueur
Marshmallow with basil
To visit, advanced reservations are recommended. Not headed to Treviso? On his off-days from Brutto also heads up Venissa, on the island of Mazzorbo in the Northern part of the Venetian lagoon.
Via Della Quercia 8, 31100 Treviso
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday 12:00pm - 2:30pm, 6:00pm - 11:30pm
aturday 6:00pm - 11:30pm