simple good food with great wine in Verona?
- Willem Mar 21, 2009 05:26 PM
Dear All, we're going to Verona for a long weekend. I'm looking for spots with good tasty honest food, doesn't need to be complicated, but needs to have great wines.
Searching the boards Il Desco pops up (is it truly worth a visit?), Tre Marchetti, and Bottega del Vino (is the winelist truly good?). Are there any other suggestions?
You may find this previous post helpful, especially the comments from Joe H. At Tre Marchetti, I spotted a '97 Aldo Conterno Dolcetto on the list, which I had enjoyed once before and think it is the best Dolcetto I ever had. After a long, ceremonious search, the wine could not be located, so I asked for a recommendation of a nice Volpolicella Ripasso. I was given an excellent, boutique version at what I believed to be a reduced price. I left happy.
Yes, we ate twice at both Taverna di Stella and Al Pompiere and loved them. Also loved Ristorante Antico Tripoli. Here are my reviews of all three from a post that I can't get to open anymore:
Ristorante Antico Tripoli, Via Spagna 2, Verona, tel. 045/803.5756 (no note of closing day) (very near Basilica di San Zeno). This is a very attractive restaurant in a renovated stable – large space nicely broken up with gauzy white curtains here and there. It stars a huge open hearth where most of the cooking occurs over wood coals – ask to be seated near the fire unless you are there in very hot weather. I had an amazing fish carpaccio (three kinds of fish, each marinated in a different dressing to achieve a sort of ceviche effect) followed by revelatory baby lamb chops cooked to perfection over those coals and accompanied by roasted potatoes and an eggplant caponata that was both fresh-tasting and incredibly rich and luscious. Lovely service. Would go back in a heartbeat. Fairly expensive.
Trattoria Al Pompiere, viccolo Regina d’Ungheria 5, tel 045/8030537, closed Monday lunch and all day Sunday. The big deal here is their incredible selection of salumi (cured meats). A corner of the small restaurant is devoted to shelves of the stuff, together with a gleaming slicer, all presided over by the boss of the restaurant (we dubbed him the slicing chef) who also seemed to be the father of the main waiter. We asked for a selection of the salumi for a starter – the waiter asked if we wanted ham only or everything – everything we said. (Turns out “ham” in this case meant what we Americans think of as prosciutto and what Italians call prosciutto crudo. You are going to get pork of some sort when you order salumi.) The first time we got lardo, sopressa, porchetta, and prosciutto – the slicing chef delivered them and told us where each was from. Each was the best of its kind we’d ever had – the sopressa was particularly amazing – melt-in-your mouth tender – we flagged him down and asked him to repeat where it was from. “Di nuoi” he said, jabbing his finger at his chest. Wow. Ravioli filled with caramelized onion and tagliatta (sliced beef) with potatoes and baby salad were also excellent. Second time there we asked for a selection but please include the sopressa di vuoi. The slicing chef showed up this time with his sopressa (another poke in his chest) plus a “flight” of Parma hams: crudo, cotto and pancetta – excellent again. They also have an amazing cheese selection which we did not explore, but similarly the cheese waiter will put together a selection for you and discuss it at great length when he delivers it. This is a small place and packed at lunchtime – reservations are essential. Moderate to moderate plus.
Trattoria di Via Stella, via Stella 5c, tel 045/8004824, closed Monday. A casual spot popular with locals for Sunday lunch. Some of the very best beef I had on a trip full of good beef – in this case sliced over rucola salad, the warm beef a lovely contrast with the crisp greens. Pastas also good. Moderate.
Thank you, BN1 for the nice words.
Willem, Osteria La Fontanina is a Michelin starred literal temple to wine (yes, literal) just on the far side of the river from the center of Verona. http://www.ristorantelafontanina.com/ I believe it is the most romantic restaurant in Italy. When you look at the photos on their website please bear in mind that the only light is from candle light. These were lit and are brighter than what you will actually experience. My comments about "a temple to wine" are not an exaggeration. An absolutely outstanding wine list along with an incredible passion and respect "for the grape." I cannot rave about this enough. If you have the opportunity you really should go. If you do, please post your thoughts on here.
I am not a fan of Il Desco. Yes, two Michelin stars, but it is not one of my favorite restaurants in Italy.
Verona is a special city, one of the most beautiful and least discovered in Italy.