BRANFORD — According to the Michelin guide rating system, a three-star rating ranks a restaurant among the world’s finest culinary destinations. It’s “worth a special journey,” indicating “exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly.”

The restaurant Don Alfonso 1890, in the sleepy village of Sant’Agata on the Amalfi coast, is among them. Known for specialties that blend tradition and innovation using seasonal ingredients, it also has locations in New Zealand, China and Toronto.

On Sunday, July 28, the culinary gifts of its chef, Alfonso Iaccarino, will be on display at Branford’s Strega Restaurant for its first annual “Dining with the Stars” celebration of Italian cuisine.

The meal will consist of six courses and wine pairings.

The star power doesn’t end with Chef Iaccarino. Giuseppe di Iorio, who heads up the Michelin-starred Aroma restaurant overlooking the Roman Colosseum, “has easily established himself as one of the capital’s finest young chefs,” as recently put it.

Then there’s Strega’s very own resident chef, Marco Giugliano, who added Michelin stars to restaurants in London and Brusciano, Italy, where he was executive chef.

Roughly four months after the 28-year-old’s arrival at Strega, Gambero Rosso, an international authority on Italian food, wine, and travel, recognized the Main Street eatery for its excellence in authentic Italian cuisine, marking the first time the honor was bestowed on an Italian restaurant in Connecticut.

“Marco has been pure magic in the kitchen,” Strega owner Danilo Mongillo said.

“Dining with the Stars” is the first in a series of events to further Mongillo’s mission to create dishes that you’d discover while traveling through Italy. A festival of Italian cuisine is slated for late September.

“We are so excited to have these chefs come to Strega to collaborate with Marco,” he said. “We will prepare authentic dishes from our regions that will be accompanied by the best wines from those regions. This promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

In other words, it definitely seems “worth a special journey.”

Strega Restaurant is located on 576 Main St. in Branford. 203-208-2744.

For tickets ($150 per person), call 203-208-2744. Space is limited.

Connecticut Media Group