Valeria Ristorante Italiano offers a slice of Italy in Boerne

Chef Keith Kuhn followed his dreams four years ago; left the wine industry and opened his first restaurant. Kuhn and family escaped San Antonio and moved onto a farm near Pipe Creek so Boerne served as an easy selection for his restaurant.

“We chose our current location because of the price of real estate in Boerne,” said Kuhn. “Four years ago, the first review declared the location as a great place to expire.”

Now Kuhn began construction on an expansion and a banquet hall in the space next to the restaurant to provide overflow seating on Friday and Saturday nights. The new hall offers a location for events, receptions, and seating for large parties.

For those who have not traveled to this little Tuscan gem, they have missed an exceptional culinary event. Kuhn refused to use any ingredients processed in cans. “Our tomatoes arrive from Italy packed in glass jars,” added Kuhn. “According to our supplier, we are the only restaurant in South Texas and maybe only one of three in Texas to use the quality of ingredients in our kitchen. Our San Marzano tomatoes are packed in water and imported from Italy. They are grown in the San Marzano sul Sarno area, near Naples, Italy. They were first grown in the volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

The tomatoes are less acidic and sweeter than most tomatoes used in tomato sauce, puree, and canned goods found in America.”

Patrons travel to the restaurant expecting the freshest ingredients. “We strive to be known for the quality of our cooking and the ingredients we use to prepare a meal. We raise the heritage pork on our farm. Our beef is grass fed. We buy our produce from locally trusted sources. We import our flour from Italy because it is non-GMO. Our bread, all of our meals are prepared with non-GMO ingredients. “

Kuhn and his family enjoy dinner together each night at the restaurant. “Quality and healthy ingredients remain a mainstay here,” said Kuhn. “I would never ask my customers to dine where I would not serve my family.”

Kuhn brought his years in the wine industry to Valeria Ristorante Italiano to pair the perfect wines with the menu. As a former owner of Serendipity Kuhn has traveled into Europe and across the country visiting with wineries and vineyards learning about the varietal of grapes and the winemaking process. As with the ingredients in all dishes for Ristorante Italiano all wines are selected for quality of ingredients.

Wednesday, Chef Kuhn hosted the first in the Bellissimo Boerne Wine and Dinner series. The event offers five courses and wines paired with each course. The event offered different times over two days for those opening a true epicurean experience.

To showcase the event, Kuhn invited the heir to the iconic Ferragamo fashion brand and owner of the II Borro Winery in Tuscany, Italy as his special guest. The chef married each course of the meal with a wine selected from the winery.

Guests of the event had the opportunity to visit with Salvatore Ferragamo, Jr.

Dave Gast offered the following, “Completely humbled by the experience of world-class recipes and preparation by Chef Kuhn and his team. I was 100% sold at the first dish of marinated mushrooms with the Balsamic reduction and fresh Basil touches. Everything was spot on and the company of Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn made me want to call the whole family to get up there for the quiet, relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

Also, Mr. Salvadore Ferragamo Jr.and his lovely wife made this simple country boy feel like he was sitting amongst old friends with their casual conversation about important and entertaining matters. And I’m speechless over the presentation and taste of the featured wines. Perhaps the food or the company or the combination, but Mr. Ferragamo’s explanations of each one and its making had me convinced that after 52 years of life, I was tasting the best it had to offer. Absolutely superb, light, crisp but fully flavored Rose and Chardonnay to start the evening was the perfect teaser. His featured organic and 100% Syrah left me intrigued and speechless. Combined with Chef Kuhn’s Chocolate Mousse cake, I commented, “This could go on for hours.”   Such a fine relationship!! However, following Mr. Ferragamo’s recommendation, I could not resist myself bringing home a few bottles of his Il Borro Tuscana 2014. I will take a third job, so I too can enjoy this as my every day fresh, and superbly balanced blend.”

Valeria Ristorante Italiano is opened daily from 11:30am until 9pm. It is located at 109 Waterview Pkwy, Suite 105 Boerne, Texas 78006. Entrees range from $19 to $42. A full wine list is available to complement any meal. Wines are available by glass or bottle.

In a Texas pecan nutshell as they might say: A simply superb evening and exquisite experience to not be soon forgotten.

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