The Ristorante Cavallino has officially begun a new era, hosting a lunch for Scuderia Ferrari people both past and present. They included Chairman John Elkann, Vice Chairman Piero Ferrari, the drivers currently flying the Prancing Horse colours in Formula 1, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and a whole host of past champions and other people who played their part in the history of the Maranello marque, from the management side, team partners and journalists who have chronicled the team’s journey in print and on television.
The Cavallino re-opened its doors on 15 June, having been completely renovated by the famous Franco-Iranian architect, India Mahdavi, who attended to every detail of the project. It can also count on the multi-award winning chef Massimo Bottura, who chose this historic venue to offer “a new perspective and a new way to bring Modenese cooking to life.”
The Cavallino holds a special place in the history of Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari would regularly lunch here with his colleagues and it was usually here that he would meet potential new drivers and engineers to recruit them to the team. The walls of this restaurant could tell the tale of handshakes that were then formalised as contracts, they witnessed discussions, often animated, during lunches with journalists at the end of or prior to the start of the racing season. At these meetings, Enzo would defend his Ferrari from criticisms that appeared in the daily and weekly papers. It was from here that Enzo also followed what was going on at the track, watching the races live on television in the restaurant’s private room which now bears his name.
Today, seated in the Ristorante Cavallino, drivers, managers, marketing guests and journalists rediscovered the warmth of the place, but with a different vibe: a contemporary trattoria, but firmly rooted in its territory, just like Ferrari, which over the years has increasingly opened its doors to people from all over the world, while still remaining very much Italian and true to the Emilia Romagna region. Inside and out, every design detail and furnishing has been tailor made, taking its inspiration from the traditional Italian trattoria, at the same time exemplifying the world of Ferrari, which is why, to all intents and purposes, it is yet another example of the brand’s excellence.
This special reunion was a wonderful opportunity to relive tales of bygone days, revealing the importance of the Cavallino to the younger diners. There from the Seventies were Jacky Ickx, Arturo Merzario, René Arnoux and 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter, who found themselves explaining to Leclerc and Sainz what the place was like when Maranello was their home. And the veteran journalists had a tale or two to tell the present day TV reporters. Also present was Gerhard Berger, who along with Michele Alboreto, made up the last Scuderia driver pairing personally chosen by Enzo Ferrari prior to his death in 1988. Giancarlo Fisichella was also present, the last Italian to race for Scuderia Ferrari as well as Luca Badoer, the long time test driver during the golden Michael Schumacher era.