Restaurants & Bars

Cucina Tipica

cmben | Apr 28, 200308:21 PM

Returning from 17 days and memorable meals in Rome and Siena but the point of this posting is to encouage travelers to go outside the guidebooks; even my favorite, The Gourmet Guide to Italy, and try the ristorante, Osteria serving "Cucina Tipica". These establishments serve the food of and prepared in the style of the region and is a great way to learn about the indigenous food. Two stand outs from this trip.

First is "Il Gatto & La Volpe" in Formia (half way between Rome & Naples on the ocean. This was one of the best evenings & dinners of the trip. Warm greetings from our waiter,Paulo (in season he is the Sommelier)with helpful hints to best local wines and pairing with the outstanding fish prepartions "Il Gatto" specializes in. The pasta was Le Liguine con Capetroccole e olive di gaeta {baby octopus w/ black olives},followed by two grilled items, I calamari imbottii alla grglia {stuffed squid} and Le Seppie alla griglia {cuttlefish}. Every dish was perfect in its simplicity. Fresh ingredients, simply prepared with just right amount of olive oil and spices. The wine was a 1997 Mastetroberardino More Maiorum, clean and refreshing, it matched the food. My notes don't cover the antipasti or the desert but I seem to remember marrinated anchovies and my wife,the desert specialist, remembers the "lemon something" was exceptional.They have a branch in New York but I would find it hard to believe that you could get a better meal than the orginal.
"Il Gatto ..." has a website: www.ilgattoelavolpeformia.it

Tomorrow, I'll follow up with a find in Frascati.

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