Following a short visit to Abruzzo, my husband and I continued Northward to Marche, where we spent 3 days and 2 nights, based in Senigallia.
For our first night's dinner, we chose Vino e Cibo, a simple trattoria with a short menu of excellent seafood. Stanley had the pane e sgombro, bread topped with a mixture of mackerel and tomato (a huge portion), while I started with the tuna tartare. Next I had small sardines coated with bread crumbs and he had triglie (similar to red mullet or rouget) with a spinach puree and grilled endive. We shared a mixed salad. With a bottle of Pecorino, which we have never had before (very good) the bill was 72 euros.
The next day we backtracked to tour the Southern Marche, where we had lunch in Ascoli Piceno, a beautiful medieval city. My original choice, Nonna Nina, was closed for vacation, so we ended up at Caffe Meletti, which turned out to be excellent.
We started with buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto and tomato, then had pappardelle stuffed with rabbit and ricotta, saffron potato cream and truffles, and for the main course grilled veal topped with truffles, and glazed roast pork on potato puree, both served with a side of broccoli. You might wonder, as we did, how pappardelle could be stuffed. Well, this is not what we normally think of as pappardelle, more like elongated ravioli. It was delicious. With a wonderful bottle of Rosso Piceno (which I later realized they forgot to charge us for, but I think was 15 euros), water, and 2 coffees, total was 62.50 euros.
Back in Senigalli, we had dinner at Pagaia. Our first 2 courses, seafood salad and spaghetti with seafood, were superb. The main course was less successful. We had fried calamari and shrimp, and breaded shrimp and calamari spiedini. Not bad, but with no sauce of any kind they quickly became boring. Portions are so huge it would have made sense to share one dish. What we really should have done, as evidenced by what we saw being prepared for other tables, was to order a whole fish, filleted before serving. We were envious. One really special touch here is that at the end of the meal they bring a small bottle of limoncello and another of amaro, and you can drink all you want, no charge.
Leaving Senigallia the next day, we stopped in Urbino, where we had lunch at Trattoria del Leone. It was excellent. We started with tagliatelle with game sauce and juniper berries, then stewed wild boar and roasted rabbit stuffed with olives and bacon. With a bottle of Rosso Conero, water and coffee, the bill was about 65 euros.
A detailed report on these, with photos and hotel and touring information, is in my blog post:
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