The Selvatico restaurant is located only 60 kilometers from Milan, in the famous hot springs town of Rivanazzano Terme, in the Saffora Valley. The venue is immersed in the green hills of the Oltrepò Pavese, rich in artistic and cultural testimonies. Here the Selvatico family offers stays in their hotel and restaurant, fully dedicated to the local food and wine tradition.
This family’s adventure in the restaurant industry began a century ago: “In 1912, my grandmother decided to transform a country house into an inn with livery. Over the course of the decades, the building passed hands, from my grandmother to my mother-in-law and then to me and my children.” So recounts Piera Selvatico, a passionate lover of the typical cuisine of this territory.
In addition to the classic dishes, the restaurant offers the traditional specialties paying particular attention to the use of the best and most genuine ingredients. Piera’s daughter Michela works in the kitchen with her, while her other daughter Francesca and her husband Sergio work in the dining hall, both wine stewards who assist their guest in choosing the wines available in their prestigious wine cellar, a true paradise for enologists and gourmands.
The raw materials used in their cooking are connected to the season and to the territory: “Our desire is to promote the food and wine products from the Oltrepò area, with the aim of raising the awareness of its different known souls: the soul of the mountains, which we have nearby, and the soul of the flatland and water. Our menu is created based on the supplies from our local producers, whom we have a close collaboration relationship with.”
“For example, for the meat and cold cuts, we use local producers, who raise their own free-range animals, supplying us with excellent zero-mile products. We have also maintained the territorial connection as far as fruits and vegetables are concerned, part of which we grow directly, utilizing the excess for jams and preserves.” Another example is the cheese made with the milk of the Varzese breed of cows. This indigenous breed is noted for its longevity and does not have particular dietary needs. Research conducted at the University of Milan revealed that the milk produced from this breed of cows contains a particular enzyme that is not found in other types of milk.”
Piera’s ability to convey her passion for the tastes and the traditions of her territory is undeniable: “At different times of the year, during certain recurring events, we dedicate ourselves to the recipes of long ago. For example, for the Feast of Saint Anthony, we prepare the chestnut soup – zuppa di castagne, or the regional raviolis called ‘agnolotti’ for Carnival, traditionally the dish of abundance. At Easter, we make Cavagnô dl’öv, which translates as ‘egg basket’ in the local dialect, prepared the same way our grandmothers did.”
The second course meat dishes are connected to the lower court, such as stuffed rooster or capon, goose served with cabbage or honey fungus, an autumnal mushroom, as well as mixed boiled meats, which are typical of this area. We make our roulades the old-fashioned way, with pine nuts, raisin bread, cheese and scented with a bay leaf.”
Via Silvio Pellico, 19, 27055 Rivanazzano Terme PV
Phone: 0383 944720