A charming medieval village that opens up in the heart of the real Tuscany. Further along, a narrow road winds through the trees to the small village of Pescina. There, where the posthouse once provided travellers with refreshment, Roberto Rossi’s fine Silene restaurant employs all the ancient knowledge of good food to create excellent engaging cuisine, the perfect combination of the vital energy of modernity and the timeless elegance of tradition.
Stretches of woodland and olive groves lead the eye towards Seggiano.
The essence of goodness.
The finest basic ingredients for maximum quality.
The fragrances of the forest and olive groves invite us to Roberto’s table, where each product is carefully and wisely selected to achieve only the highest quality cuisine. The two most crucial components in Silene’s cuisine are the simplicity of the precious basic ingredients and strong roots in the Seggiano territory. Roberto has been able to find a deep and visceral bond with the environment and its products. He has developed a great respect for the basic ingredients, and the preparation and cooking techniques.
He is guided solely by the will to arrive at the true essence of the food, going back to basics to rediscover an intimate and ancestral relationship with the land. If the first fruits of Tuscany definitely have the leading role in the dishes at Silene, the tradition of other Italian regions is also central to Roberto’s interests. He has developed a careful selection of products from all over Italy, convinced that “when we talk about good taste our nation undoubtedly holds first place in the world”.
Between the avant-garde and tradition.
Bold but also delicate combinations.
At Silene, diners seek both tradition and an avant-garde approach in Roberto’s creativity. With his artist’s touch, he knows how to propose combinations that are both bold and delicate simultaneously, surprising any palate. At Silene, the history of Tuscan cuisine is not expressed through traditional dishes, but as a humoral and highly personal revisitation of that which cannot be corrupted over time.
A cuisine that has renounced fashion to become a great classic.
Mushrooms, truffles, the finest quality meats and fish, the freshly picked vegetables: everything at Silene is rigorously seasonal, a guarantee of product freshness and a testimonial to Roberto’s profound respect for his chosen environment.
A territory that the Tuscan chef knows intimately thanks to his parents, who instilled passion for cooking and nature in him, teaching him the secrets of the earth that cannot be learned from books, but only from the great experience of the people who have always lived in those places.
Skilled hands that know how to prepare carefully chosen ingredients. This is how homemade pasta was born at Silene, the symbol of a cuisine that is shaped by the know-how and experience of the people who gradually made this restaurant what it is today: a place where the art of cooking has made ‘doing a lot with a little’ the cornerstone of every substantial gesture. The first rule for Roberto, in fact, is to never use too many ingredients, so that each flavour can always be traced to the basic ingredients that combine to make the dish.
«Mine is a very simple and very consistent philosophy, which satisfies me and makes me happy to be a chef in Tuscany. Cooking is an applied art and so it is important to have a deep knowledge of the basic ingredients, their origin and the gestures required to work with them».
The ultimate expression of bread.
The fragrance of the wheat that fills the air and the unmistakable aroma of freshly baked bread. Ancient gestures that are still repeated today at Silene, where bread is not merely an accompaniment to the dish, but an integral part of Roberto’s culture, a surprise complement to each recipe, down to the choice of the flours that the chef selects depending on the menu of the day.
The main element is the leavening starter, which due to its microbial biodiversity provides a natural leavening, giving the bread a unique flavour and fragrance, in addition to always ensuring full digestibility. The ultimate expression of the bread’s quality can be enjoyed fully even in its simplicity, accompanied simply by a drizzle of harmonic and intense extra virgin olive oil like the oil produced at Silene.
Slow cooking studied to enhance the characteristics of each product. Great cuisine also means great working tools, the pots and pans that Roberto wanted as they used to be, in beaten copper, a valuable material that can ensure an even cooking that preserves the nutritional and organoleptic characteristics of the ingredients. The shape and thickness of the metal layer are created by the expert hands of an artisan who has been able to forge precious pots for Silene, the final detail of a cuisine that aims for perfection.
A selection of wines to enhance every dish. This choice of Roberto's, over time, has allowed him to create a valuable wine cellar, consisting of important bottles, including some exceptional old wines, in some cases now true rare jewels.
«Old wine is not only a pleasure for the palate, but also for the mind. The very thought that a wine lay there waiting for decades, while life flowed on, is something that goes beyond the ordinary. This is one of wine's great powers: it can sometimes go beyond man's very lifespan».
Roberto and Lella.
An effervescent couple.
Twenty years at each other’s side creating cuisine that gives great satisfaction. The relationship between Roberto and Marinella, known as Lella, his right arm and irreplaceable executor of each recipe, is undoubtedly one of Silene’s great secrets. Like a dish where the contrast of strong and decisive flavours can create a surprising encounter, so the union of Roberto, proud and stubborn, and his Lella, tenacious and outspoken, has created a close-knit and vibrant working couple, where Lella’s dexterity gives Roberto’s cuisine that extra something in the quest for excellence.