In Italy it's rare that going to a truly great restaurant means detaching completely from the surrounding area. But this is the case in Sarmeola di Rubano (on the outskirts of Padua), where you pull off the busy State Road 11, park and enter Le Calandre passing first through Il Calandrino (which is, among other things, a very pleasant bistrot in its own right). Moving to the back you enter a "multisensory" dining room that's fantastically illuminated and adorned with a characterful mise en place: tables, glasses, cutlery, lamps inspired by the Alajmo brothers' own ideas and produced in collaboration with Italian artisan craftsmen The goal is to take guests on a veritable journey of the senses. To experience it, there's a nice rule that hasn't changed: three tasting menus (each 250), with the Classico, the Raf and the Max battling to be the best (ultimately, it's impossible to choose, even if it's understood that the first includes certain signature dishes). The common thread is Massimiliano Alajmo's ability as an "illusionist", a pure talent who at the age of 47 hasn't lost the pleasure of childhood, of discovery. Beyond the extraordinary aesthetics of the dishes, which play on intense colors and often surprising textures, he continues to explore his homeland of Italy(increasingly at the center of his cuisine) and the world. His dishes draw inspiration from everywhere, the Renaissance, contemporary and futuristic cuisine, but always with a keen eye towards delighting the palate. We mention only one from the new repertoire: risotto with coffee distillate, caper powder, anchovy bottarga and white truffle. An absolute masterpiece. You can also create your own menu, mixing and matching dishes for 150, 190 and 220, depending on the options chosen. As for the team that leads Le Calandre, it's among the strongest of its kind in Italy: Diego Magro has been the right hand man in the kitchen for many years, Andrea Coppetta Calzavara brings wisdom and the right smile to his work as maître and manager, and Matteo Bernardi manages a notable wine list, clearly organized by grape variety, region and price (their selection of spirits is also noteworthy). In any case, it wouldn't be an overstatement to say that everyone here works according to Max's famous principle "Treat each client as if they were you, without neglecting any detail". A cliché? Exactly the opposite.