Michelin stars come and go. Connoisseurs say it's worse to lose a Michelin star than to never have received one in the first place. Considering these wise words, all the Michelin starred restaurants in Southern Tuscany are on the safe side: nobody lost a star.
As last year La Pineta and Andana's Trattoria Toscana hold on tightly to one, Il Bracali, Il Pellicano and Da Caino to two stars. Nobody moved up, nobody moved down. Therefore the big (and positive) news this year are that there is a new entry. With the 2012 edition of the Michelin guide Southern Tuscany got a new Michelin star restaurant in Saturnia.
All'Acquacotta is the name of the freshly starred restaurant at the hotel Terme di Saturnia, a spa and golf resort. The name (acquacotta = cooked water) bears testimony to a simple but famous Tuscan dish - a bread soup. Marvelous Sienese food blogger Juls' Kitchen provides the recipe and a folk tale that goes well with it. My Tuscan mother-in-law cooks acquacotta regularly (it's perfect for leftover bread). Hers is star-free but nevertheless divine.
In case you're the type of gourmet, who only does restaurants with three Michelin stars, you'll have to travel on to Northern Tuscany. The Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence remains the only three-starred restaurant in Tuscany. It's part of Italy's small premier league: all over Italy only seven restaurants sport three of the precious Michelin stars. Nevertheless I'm happy to see that apart of Arnolfo in Colle Val d'Elsa (Central Tuscany) all of the region's two-starred restaurants are based in Southern Tuscany. So you may as well just stay down South.
Below the 2012 Michelin Guide restaurant list for all of Tuscany. There are six new one-starred Michelin restaurants (printed in red). Surprising, if you consider that the country's economy has come close to hitting rock bottom in the past 12 months.
To find all the Italian restaurants recommended by the Micheling guide, go to the ViaMichelin website or order the Italy 2012 edition of the hotel & restaurant guide on amazon.