Just came back from a two week Liguria-Tuscany-Umbria road trip. In Umbria we based in Villa Zuccari near Montefalco. Overall very satisfied with the food. A lot of meat, chicken, pecorino, salumi, surprisingly all kinds of parmigiana. Not much vegetables or fish other than lake trout. Summer black truffles heavily featured but come grated (they shave only white) and not very fragrant or super flavorful. A few exceptional meals, no bad ones. The four of us shared a variety of dishes everywhere. Here's a recap... I'll try to keep it shorter than usual and list the highlights. (Edited: Well, I tried my best ;))
Al Palazzaccio, near Spoleto
A local old legend run by three sisters. Rustic, no frills, homey comfort food. The star was the Antipasto misto minimum of 2 orders which easily feeds 4. A mini feast of exceptional Norcia 24 month Prosciutto , Mortadella, local salami, crostini, delicious eggplant parm, and a some sliced zucchini concoction. Umbrian sausage was the most memorable secondi, and the Semifredo slightly less frozen than usual with Mellon and mint was perhaps the best I ever had. Enjoyed this one.
Osteria Baciafemmine, Scheggino
This is perhaps the best small village/dining combination out there. It’s worth going just to see this tiny village. We liked it so much we came back again. But the restaurant, decorated head to toe with food and drink stuff did not disappoint. Rustic, all in the family, Slow Food fixture. The pureed chickpea soup was a standout. A fragrant and delicious gnocchetti with sheep meat ragu and tomato sauce, much better than the Strangozzi with truffles. Excellent pork cooked with beer, apple and honey. And the lone fish in the region (as far as I know), a local lake trout crusted with crunchy breadcrumbs and parsley. Highly recommend this one.
Ristorante Coccorone, Montefalco
Another excellent meal. They pretty much tell you what they are known for which makes it much easier (and a bit more expensive).
Best dish was the Zucchini and zucchini flowers parmigiana. Excellent Pappardelle with Sagrantino and mushroom sauce. Their main specialty is the Bistecca Florentina (Chianina they claim) which two of us shared. Not the best quality I ever had but perfectly cooked and satisfying. You season it yourself with the variety of accompanied fancy colorful salts and pepper. A fine meal all around.
Enoteca L'Alchimista - Montefalco
This was the best meal of the entire trip. Refined, traditional with all sorts of twists, and impeccable attention to detail. All facing this most atmospheric square. Very packed every night (I'm told). Mother, daughter and boyfriend running the place, but its all about the mom Patrizia Moretti, and her dazzling recipes.
Outrageous onion Parmigiana. Sweeter than sweet onion from nearby Cannara works wonderfully. Delicious Ravioli with goat cheese. Burrata with 24 month Norcia Prosciutto. Red wine marinated Tenderloin so tender you can cut with car keys. But the star, and perhaps the dish of the trip was the Pigeon. It comes in a variety of ways - pigeon breast, pigeon sausage, pigeon stuffed with pigeon, liver.. amazing. Fantastic Tiramisu too
Antiche Sere, Bevagna
Super casual, homey, the opposite of L'Alchimista pretty much in the looks department. Like eating in someone's home. One of the best and most complete meals of the trip. Simply grilled beefy local mushroom. Chickpeas and clams from Ancora soup - delicious very flavorful chickpeas, much sturdier than what we are used to. But the star and best dish of the trip nominee was a rabbit rolled Porchetta style. So tender and flavorfu ... angels singing variety. Excellent eggplant parm and Cappelati with cheese and tomato. I would order everything again. Delicious local beer too.
Other food highlights:
Cooking class with Wendy at Antonelli winery
Porchetta sandwich at Antica Salumeria Granieri Amato in Perugia
One day we drove to Norcia, and picked up Salumi and Pecorino from a Norcineria on the way, F.lli Ansuini. A grumpy old man got grumpier by the minute while I was desperately trying to remember the Italian term for 100 grams (Etto). I kept saying "Netto" and he got more and more frustrated. We drove all the way to the battered Castelluccio for more shopping and a picnic overlooking the fields. Norcia itels felt like a ghost town. Very sad situation. We also stopped by at Cioccolateria Vetusta Nursia for a tour and tasting. One of the most memorable days.
Thanks for reading. Hope it helps
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