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FVG short-trip report

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FVG short-trip report

vinoroma | Sep 11, 2011 05:41 AM

Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of our favorite regions for wine & food, we have been visiting for 12 years now (even before we moved to Italy), we recently (at the end of August) spent 4 days in the area again.

Terra e Vini in Brazzano. We had a wonderful first dinner here. There is a small, often changing (we are told) menu, with very good and mostly local products (the meat, for example, is supplied by Jolanda di Colo) and the prices are perfectly ok. We ate everything on the menu (not always full portions but tastes) and spent ca. 40 euros per person. The dishes were all based in local traditions, sometimes with modern twists, but not too elaborate. The gnocchi with susine (a primo, not dessert!) is to die for. All wines are by Livio Felluga, as the osteria is a side-business of them (there are also very cute, clean and rather big rooms, so you don't have to drive after dinner) and you can have all wines by the glass. We were sorry they didn't offer older vintages, as some of their wines have great aging potential, but this might happen in the future. Inside and outside areas are both very nice. Disclaimer: I have a business relationship with LF winery (I am a customer) and our wines were comped, but we paid for everything else (food & room).

Trattoria Barcaneta in Marano Lagunare. This was recommended to us by locals for a special occasion lunch, and after finding almost only positive reviews online (from italians, and the negatives were only about the slowness of service at peak times, which was something we were ready to risk), went there for sunday lunch. It was one of our worst experiences in Italy to date, and not because of the service but the food & wine. After a completely taste-free tuna, still frozen slices of a 2-fish "salami", uninteresting pan-fried fillet of branzino w/ redcabbage(!), and very sandy mussels with polenta (these were all part of the antipasti), we stopped the lunch. This lunch cost us an unbelievable 125 euros. The wine was also a disaster, as the owner, who takes care of wines, completely ignored our style preference and gave us something which was diametrically opposite. I have to add we are both sommeliers and usually know how to get wines we don't know but are interesting for us in any restaurant.

Campiello in San Giovanni Natisone. The highlight of this trip. Pricey (ca. 80 euros for a 5 course menu) but totally worth it; as (almost) only local, seasonal, fresh and un-endangered fish is served. This was another recommendation and we were a bit vary, as it was also a monday, but we needn't be. They get their fish daily. very interesting was the in-house warm-smoked salmon. Very good wine list, too. Nice modern art in the dining rooms. They also have rooms for the night.

We also had some smaller meals at various small places in Cormons itself, nothing worth mentioning except the unexpectedly bad price/quality ratio of the cold platter at the Enoteca di Cormons (positive: you can have almost any wine of the region by the glass); and the rather nice atmosphere and acceptable simple food at the informal Osteria Caramella.

Also want to mention three other experiences/opinions of restaurants in the area, not from this trip but last year:
Bibendum in Remanzacco has nice, ambitious food with some ups & downs and a very good wine list. Da Nando in Mortegliano, a big favorite of ours and a reference point for many many years, has lost its quality level, in food & service, and is at an unacceptable price/quality ratio. They seem to be concentrating more & more on catering. The wine list is unbeatable, though. La Subida in Cormons is following suit and is not a place we recommend anymore (although I do love sitting in the glass room and look into the woods while munching on Osvaldo prosciutto as an aperitivo). If anyone has newer experiences with these three, I'd love to hear it, as we are going to the area again soon.

Edited to add:
two helpful links for finding good food & wine in the area:
http://www.friuliviadeisapori.it/?sec...
and
http://www.mtvfriulivg.it/index.php?l...

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