Italy Trip Report: Tuscany & Umbria
Piazza Duomo, 13
Our take-out lunch here were two porchetta (roast pig) panini. The sandwiches were simply a few thick slices of cold porchetta between two slices of fresh bread. I could have used a little sauce or something, but it was still tasty. And at something like 5 euros each, the price was right.
Il Medioevo (at the La Costa hotel)
Via Coppoli, N. 11 al N. 27
This was the restaurant in the small hotel where we stayed. They have a huge terrace with an amazing view down in the the valley (the “Valdichianna”). One Tuscan specialty is pici, which are thick, hand rolled spaghetti. If you’ve ever had Chinese “hand-pulled” noodles, the texture is similar. For primi, we got a plate of pici with porcini and truffles and a bowl of porcini soup. For entrees, rabbit medallions stuffed with truffles served with balsamic-glazed pearl onions, and ravioli stuffed with ricotta and truffles in a butter parmesan sauce. The portions here are sized for doing the whole four course thing. I especially like the pici, for its texture and the truffle flavor. The rabbit was good, but very rich.
Dinner for 2 before tip – 51 euros
Caffe di Perugia
Via Mazzini, 10
We had a decent lunch here. The pizza was very good with a good crispy/chewy balance and good toppings (buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil). A lasagnette di verdura was small, even for lunch with strangely crispy noodles pasta. This place was alright, but a little expensive for what it was.
Lunch for 2 including 5 euro service charge – 30.50 euros
Latte di Luna
Via S. Carlo, 2/4
If you like roast suckling pig, you must go here. It’s a small, casual place near one end of the town. They have quite a few other things on the menu. And we made the mistake of ordering a pasta dish each before the pig. The portions here are enormous, and a single pasta dish could have easily fed both of us. The pici al’aglione (with garlic tomato sauce) was very good. The tagliatelle with mushroom sauce was actually kind of gloppy and nasty. But if you go, just order the roast pork (“maialino al forno”) with a couple of sides. In retrospect, just a salad and some roast potatoes would have been perfect. Let me tell you about this pork. The skin is crisp with a sometimes chewy center, and well seasoned. It rests atop a layer of barely-solid fat. And underneath the fat lies meltingly tender pork. I liked it so much that I asked the owner if he would show me how they make it. The old Italian ladies in the kitchen were only too happy to oblige.
Dinner for 2 including tip – 36 euros
Osteria della Logge
Via del Porrione, 33
A little bit expensive, but worth it. We had an amazing avocado salad with shaved scallions and tomatoes. It was light and fresh and tasted like summer. One of the best pasta dishes I had in Italy was the taglatelle with asparagus and truffles in a light cream cream sauce. The Chianina filet was good, but I’m not a huge filet fan. We should have ordered more food, probably two salads, two primi, and the steak. For desesrt, a few scoops of gelato with strawberry “soup”. The dessert was only okay.
Dinner for 2 (but really only enough food for 1) before tip – 70 euros