My favorite restaurant in Italy is...

Old Apr 27th, 2006, 07:28 PM
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My favorite restaurant in Italy is...

Where have you had memorable meals in Italy? What is your favorite dining experience?
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 08:59 PM
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In Rome near Piazza di Spagna
Place: Il Gabriello
Good quality food;romantic ambience;extensive wine selection -
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 09:05 PM
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Is this going to be another one of these "favourite" threads which elicit hundreds of responses? Well since I am first on, let me say one thing, in my experience living in Piedmont, its very hard NOT to have a memorable experience at virtually any little trattoria or osteria in these parts, and I dare say the same for anywhere off the tourist beaten track for anywhere else in Italy, where enjoyment of good food is taken seriously (but in a light way). Of course in the big cities which attract the crowds it's it bit harder as people are more discerning, and there is this tendency towards "international Italian" cuisine.

My current memorable places in Piedmont (and it changes from year to year): Rabaja in Barbaresco (superb even by local standards), L'Angolo Beato in Asti (hard to beat on a good night), Cascina Rosengana in Cocconato (22 euro gets you 7 courses of farm produced food you have to cry uncle)plus a supporting caste of dozens more. In Rome I had a memorable dinner at Hotel Eden, but that was before I came to live in Piedmont, it would be interesting to try again.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 01:50 AM
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A little off the beaten path but my vote would be for:
Veccha Ostaria Toni Cuco...... www.vicenzae.org/pages_142.html
located near Vicenza in the Veneto. The owner/chef was trained in France and he cooks a fusion of Italian and French cuisines, a somewhat unusual find in Italy. "Cuco" is the Italian word for cuckoo and he is also more than a little cuckoo himself. I have a picture of Toni standing on our table holding a dead chicken in his hand. Not your everyday meal.
www.angelfire.com/film/casale
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 03:15 AM
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So many memorable meals...hard to choose, but always at the top is a Sunday afternoon lunch at Osteria La Porta in Monticchiello....we arrived late on a picture perfect day, warm and balmy, and were seated on the terrace...the Val d'Orcia was breathtaking....the waitress advised us to try the Caprese salad as the mozzarella was special that day...understatement...never has it been that good before and never has it been that good again...this was followed by melt in your mouth ravioli filled with cheese and butter, the tenderest of grilled meats, and last, but not least, vin santo served with contucci soaked in coffee and cream....but the real stars of the meal were the scenery and the other diners....we appeared to be the only non-locals, and as the day became late, we looked around us, and understood what it means to have a "perfect" moment....a simple country restaurant in a most glorious setting, delicious food, and the good fortune to share it with others who knew how to truly savor the moment...I have tried to recreate that afternoon in my mind many times, but..if it doesn't seem real when you are right there, it surely doesn't when you are far away..
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 04:00 AM
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Yes sampa, it is going to be one of these "favourite" threads. There must be some 1'000's of correct answers, I presume...
Here are mine!

Where have I had memorable meals in Italy?
Wherever I did the effort to get off the beaten track, way out of the tourist zone. In every restaurant where I looked before entering if locals go and eat there, where I was the rare tourist.

What is my favorite dining experience?
The simple trattoria, the onces with the ugly and cheap 'bronze' window/door frames, with no menu or price list, with an only italian speaking waiter or waitress coming to recite today's choice, with some grandmas in the kitchen... a slow turning fan on the ceiling,... a fresh and fruity housewine,... A trattoria where the local priest comes to eat, as it an earthly pleasure he can indulge in...
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Sampaguita! Aren't you the lucky one. I remember the Piedmont as one of our best times in Italy. Had lunch at a restaurant I think was named Bella Vista (because it had just that) but don't remember where it was.
Otherwise, our first lunch at Corte Sconta(Venice)...way back in the 80's. But in the long run... I can't really remember a bad meal in Italy. If I start to think...well, there was Lucca, Cremona, Parma,Urbino...... etc. etc etc -
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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I may be starting to sound like a broken record but here's mine. A picture's worth a thousand words, but even the pictures can't give the feeling of the candlelit open air cave with the Adriatic crashing below and behind us on the rocks as we ate perfectly grilled fish and wonderfully prepared foods. It was magical.

http://www.grottapalazzese.it/intro.html
 
Old May 1st, 2006, 05:16 AM
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Sampaguita,

Have you eaten at Il Bardon between Calamandrana and St. Stefano Belbo? We have only gotten there twice and it has been really extraordinary both times. Some of our guests actually turned us on to it early on, and since then I have heard that it is supposed to be one of the most authentic Piemontese restaurants this side of the Langhe. I an going to write down your suggestion of Cascina Rosengana.

We also love La Curia in Acqui Terme, and da Fausto outside of Acqui in Cavatore. We are so spoiled for choice in Piemonte....!!!

Diana
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Sostanza in Florence. Not fancy, communal tables and a small menu, but the specialty of the house is a butter chicken and its fabulous!
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Old May 1st, 2006, 07:26 AM
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Antica Osteria da Divo in Siena, make sure you get a table downstairs in the cave rooms.

www.osteriadadivo.it

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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:55 AM
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There are so many that it's really hard to nail one down. My answer may not be helpful, but probably reflects my attitude about Italy's restaurants:
My favorite is my last one.
If I had to break it down, I found Tuscan food/restuarants fit what I like more than Rome, northern Italy,etc.
Most of my trip reports reflect them.
One restaurant I never miss (if in the area) is Grappolo Blu in Montalcino.
It's not the pretiest and really doesn't have the best overall food, but I love their pici, their prices and the service.
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