EASTON – Pasta made by hand, pizza from a wood fired oven, and a passion for authentic Italian cuisine on every plate. That’s what’s served at Corfinio. Located in Easton, Corfinio has quickly become one of the best Italian restaurants south of Boston, thanks in large part to not one, but two great chefs.
Maximillian Calise is the Chef de Cuisine.
“I come from a big Italian family and we cooked a lot, and we had a lot of family dinners, and I spent my entire life in restaurants and around food.”
Nicola Battistacci is the Executive Chef.
“Food for me is everything. I grew up in Italy you know. We have a big passion of food.”
Together, this Italian born chef and his American born counterpart make for a dynamically delicious duo.
“Our head chef here Nico, he comes right from Italy and he gives me a chance to learn traditional true Italian food and it allows me to learn, and to translate that to the guest as well,” Max said.
All of that authentic food comes straight from Corfinio’s big, beautiful open kitchen.
“It allows the customer to see everything that we’re doing, kind of get a touch of where their food is coming from,” Chef Max described. “Seeing the flames come up from the pans, it’s a great experience visually.”
In true Italian tradition, almost everything at Corfinio is made from scratch, from the light and fluffy gnocchi, to the crispy crunchy cannoli shells. What’s not made in house, is imported straight from Italy – like the meat and cheeses on Corfinio’s Antipasto, and the Carnaroli rice used in the crispy creamy Arancini.
The seafood is local, of course, like their big bowl of fragrant and flavorful mussels.
“The Mussels to me is a really beautiful dish,” Max said. “It comes in a white wine saffron broth and the we serve it with grilled focaccia with roasted garlic on the top. So you get to enjoy the mussels, and then at the end you’re left with this beautiful broth which you can take this bread and you can dip it in, and you can soak it all up.”
Pastas here are an absolute must., like the homemade Ricotta Cavatelli with mushrooms and truffle butter, or the simple, and simply sensational Capellini Cacio e Pepe.
“It’s a better, cleaner alfredo sauce. The dish starts out with some butter in the pan and some cracked black pepper, and we add pasta water to it which helps build a really creamy nice sauce,” Chef Max explained. “We emulsify it with some parmesan cheese. It comes together, it’s really creamy, it’s got a nice spice to it from the black pepper. I think this is a dish that anybody can come in and enjoy because it’s so simple, and I think that’s the embodiment of Italian food.”
For something a whole lot heartier, and made with a whole lot of heart, nothing beats the Bolognese.
“To me when you have a Bolognese, it has to taste warming. It has to taste like in my mind, love and family, because that’s what that dish means,” Max said. “When my grandmother made me dishes like that I felt love… so I want that to translate right to the customer.”
While the Bolognese reminds Chef Max of home, Chef Nico is partial to the homemade potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu, pine nuts, and sage.
“I grew up with my father, with my grandfather, they’re hunting the wild boar, and then cooking, and every Sunday sitting together at the table and eating gnocchi with wild boar. So it looks like if you are in Italy.”
Corfinio’s dining room is spacious and comfortable. There is a cool bar mixing up craft cocktails and a gorgeous chef’s table overlooking the open kitchen, where much of the cooking is done with live fire.
Meats like the bone-in Pork Chop and massive Tuscan Steak are wonderfully smoky thanks to a blazing hot Josper oven. Meanwhile, the Neapolitan style pizzas benefit from a well-seasoned wood fired oven.
“The pizza oven has been here since this building has been here, so it’s got a lot of years of what I call seasoning,” Max explained. “The bottom of that stone in our pizza oven has seen thousands of pizzas, and every bit of olive oil, every bit of cheese, every bit of everything that’s ever touched that stone has seasoned it and given it a really nice flavor.”
Just like the rest of your meal, the desserts at Corfinio are made in house. There is fluffy Tiramisu, silky Crème Brulee, and a classic Cannoli.
“We make our cannoli shells here in house, along with the filling. I think just taking the time to make a cannoli really makes all of the difference. It tastes fresh; it tastes crispy,” Chef Max described. “The filling is a ricotta filling and it’s crispy, creamy, and then you’ve got chocolate and candied pistachios that we also make here as well. It’s texturally a really beautiful dessert.”
It’s a beautiful way to end your culinary visit to Italy, at Corfinio. You can find this restaurant at 285 Washington Street in Easton, and online at corfinioeaston.com.
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