Valentino’s dishes are a free expression of Italian cuisine, with an unrestrained creativity, drawing inspiration not only from his own life experiences, but also the rich biodiversity surrounding the coastal town of Forte dei Marmi.
Inspiration too comes from his close collaboration with Maître Sommelier Sokol Ndreko, with dishes often beginning with the flavor profiling of particular wines. The results are menus that are delicately balanced and elegant, happily journeying from land to sea and delivering the very best in seasonal ingredients. This unconditional partnership between cellar and kitchen, flawlessly interweaves the restaurant’s carefully curated selection of fine wines and vintages with the kitchen’s natural storecupboard, perfectly enhancing the intricate flavors of Valentino’s dishes.
Situated on the rooftop of Hotel Principe Forte dei Marmi, in a stunning landscape caught between mountains and sea, the 28-seat restaurant is ideally positioned to capture the aureate evening light, offering panoramic views over the town’s stone pines to the Apuan Alps in the east and westwards over the Tyrrhenian Sea. The dining space is surrounded by glass floor-to-ceiling windows, and features an open kitchen and marble sculptures by Korean artist Park Eun Sun. The tailored tablecloths emphasise the table design, part of the Maxalto collection by Antonio Citterio, with their characteristic parallel legs.
A more intimate and exclusive dining experience is available at the Chef’s Table, featuring a more informal seat on a stool and the particularity of being served directly by the chefs. The seven-course journey is expertly paired with wines and cocktails by maitre sommelier Sokol Ndreko and barman Omar Caceres, and reserved to a maximum of four guests per service.
On the same rooftop, the award-winning 67 Sky Lounge bar offers a magnificent setting for aperitifs and after dinner. In addition to an extensive drink list comprising distinctive twists of Tuscan classics and original cocktails, during the winter season, the bar hosts the “Taste of Lux Lucis” menu, a more casual and streamlined selection of Lux Lucis‘ iconic dishes.
In a joint effort with the whole team of Principe, chef Cassanelli and his brigade continuously implement practical steps to become fully sustainable, paying homage to the surrounding smaller realities. Their commitment includes – and is not limited to – the elimination of single-use materials, installation of implants for renewable energy, and reduction of waste throughout the hotel. Valentino is also involved in conversations with his suppliers to select and ensure that what arrives in the kitchens is as much as possible “zero kilometers” and are sourced only from producers who respect the local environment, with the related government certifications. In his creations, there are ingredients unique to the territory, some of which have become more popular especially thanks to the collaboration with chef Cassanelli, like the Pastinoncello di Seravezza. The carrot, which was lost in the region’s agricultural practices, was preserved only as study samples for the University of Pisa. After tasting it and hearing about its story, Valentino fostered a broader production of the rediscovered vegetable by making good use of it in his dishes.