Il Sesto Canto
Ristorante Il Sesto Canto, dicono di noi

Visions of perfection

When planning to celebrate a special occasion, our imagination takes flight in its visions of perfection. In not only the major, important factors but also in the myriad of tiny details, it conjures up pictures of the perfect ingredients that will make the perfect day. Yet, in practice, nothing is perfect, nothing can be so. Or can it?

With, to us, two landmark anniversaries occurring this summer, my husband and I decided to combine celebrating them both in one day, through two very different events: a formal luncheon, followed by a barbecue and disco in the evening.
Finding a good, or an excellent restaurant in this area is no problem. Even if a previously untried, untested venue is considered, all one needs to do to check it out is go there and eat. One can try the food, see how this is presented, observe the service and sense the ambience. We did have a problem, though; we wished for the luncheon to be catered for at our home, in our garden. Finding that good or excellent caterer is a different matter altogether – all one can do is ‘ask around’. And hope.
The mobile phone number of one recommended external caterer was no longer in existence. We learned of the restaurant of another recommendation, so took lunch there. The food was adequate; the service was not. However, we couldn’t complain, as they had kindly accommodated us in seating us outside. We were out of sight and, as such, out of mind. With no other options presented, this caterer was asked for a quote.
Being English, our vision for our luncheon was of more traditional British summer festive food, set in an Italian atmosphere. Consequently, when the caterer came to visit the site, he was given a very specific menu, and was asked to quote in a specific way for a specific number of guests. He made no notes and, although the quote was received promptly, it was for the wrong number, presented in the wrong way, and for a very typical Italian menu – which was known a number of guests would not enjoy, nor would the hostess. This was unimpressive, depressing and worrying. Our ‘special day’ was drawing ever more quickly closer, friends and family had booked flights, and all we had was a caterer in whom we had no confidence...
There must have been an angel, or a good fairy waving her magic wand over our celebrations, because we were led to what must be one of the region’s best-kept secrets: Boriosi Catering, a family business, run from a restaurant that not we, nor any of our guests knew about (not even those local and Italian), despite many of us having driven past it a number of times.
This restaurant, ‘Il Sesto Canto’, is on the Zona Industriale, in Citta’ di Castello – right by the small roundabout as one enters. A newspaper kiosk hides it; as does a road sign shield its attractive signage. It has been there for more than thirty years, and is a very large concern with having not only the restaurant but also a self-service restaurant and bar, and the external catering. It’s quite impressive. It is more impressive on realising that those running it, Federico and his sister Beatrice, and their cousin, Donatella, are young, and, further, on learning of the changes they have made in its operations since their parents handed their long-standing business over to their care.
During the lunch period, it services the workers on the industrial estate and is known as Il Ristorante Nord. The food is typical of the region, of a good standard, at a reasonable price and the menu is changed daily. On a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening all changes, as it is transformed into the elegance and sophistication of Il Sesto Canto. Lights are dimmed, banners are let down, and the menu is unusual and interesting.
None of this was known, when Federico came to our home to discuss our event. He arrived, immaculately dressed in black and white, brought pen and paper and his copy of the quotation he’d given. He sat, relaxed and confident, writing – in great detail – everything that we discussed. Although we had not then tried the food at the restaurant (under either guise), he had been highly recommended and his sheer professionalism and easy, earnest manner inspired confidence. A telephone conversation with Beatrice a few days before had also been encouraging. It was felt that if this young couple could deliver on the promise that was sensed from them, then we would be lucky. We felt so much trust in them that, untried, untested, we even decided to ask them, at short notice, to cater for our originally planned self-catered barbecue.
We were very lucky, indeed.
We had wanted to give our guests the pleasure of a short, personal concert by a professional tenor, but couldn’t find one. Through Federico, this vision was met. Our DJ for the evening had to cancel on us. Federico found us a replacement, Luca, whose choice in music had so many, many of us dancing throughout the whole evening. With our adequate, but limited Italian, Federico acted as liaison with both our tenor and DJ.
The day before our celebrations, team member, Franco, made two trips to our house with tables and chairs, umbrellas and supplies. Both deliveries caused very little in the way of distraction or disruption – as did the removal of these. On the day itself? Federico and Christina, our waitress, arrived before ten in the morning, with Franco and Beatrice following behind a little later, as well as Marissa, the cook. Despite being extremely busy himself, in setting up for lunch, Federico fielded our telephone – giving us much needed time and space to finish our own preparations, or to be able to greet our guests as they arrived. The team did not stop working until most of them left after one o’clock the next morning.
Throughout all this time, the manner of each and all was superb. They were relaxed, calm and friendly. They would make a few moments to chat with our guests, if that was what our guests wished for. If another bottle of wine was called for (which was often), it was immediately brought. If a problem loomed, a quiet word with Federico resolved it – if he hadn’t dealt with it already. Nothing was too much trouble. As they served, every time either Federico or Christina passed, they would catch the eye of my husband or I, with a glance of ‘Everything okay?’ Everything was so much more than okay. The food was absolutely delicious, the service excellent, and the pleasant professionalism with which the team met their responsibilities was commented on by every single one of our guests. One of these has spent many decades in the hospitality industry – and is exceptional in his profession – and his compliments were of the highest.
It is rare for anyone to experience but, for my husband and I, on this very special occasion, we really did have the wished for perfect day – when all those ingredients were perfect. Federico says it was our vision that made it such a wonderful occasion. We know that vision needs to be put into practice to bring it to life: we know it was Federico, Beatrice and their team that gave our day its perfection.

Boriosi Catering can be contacted through Il Sesto Canto/Il Ristorante Nord , at Piazza Giovanni XXII, 06012 Citta’ di Castello. The telephone number is: 075 855 3251

J.A. Storey-Taylor, San Leo Bastia, Città di Castello

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