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Jun 24, 2011 04:54 PM

Recs for group dinner within easy driving distance of Preggio (Umbria)?

Hi all,

Thanks in advance for your help. We will be joining a bunch of friends for a week in Umbria this summer and are thinking about getting babysitters for one or two nights so that the adults can go out and relax over a leisurely dinner. We will be based in Preggio, but most of the recs for great Umbrian restos on this board seem to be 40 mins - 1.5 hours from Preggio. Any recommendations for great restaurants that happen to be closer? Or if we need to drive 45-60 mins for great food, which restaurants would you choose for a group dinner?

Thank you!

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  1. I'm having dinner tomorrow night at Il Postale ( in Castello di Monterone just outside Perugia, which Google maps indicates is about 50 minutes from Preggio. Don't know what kind of atmosphere you're looking for, but the restaurant has one * and is small -- just five tables. However, the tasting menu looks pretty nice at € 80.

    There are also several good options in Cortona, about 40 minutes away. I had dinner there last month at a restaurant whose name slips my mind. But its right on (actually, above) the main piazza, and you can eat outdoors overlooking the commune, the old municipal hall. Very charming. Also lower-key (and pp) than Il Postale.

    I can also highly recommend that you contact Judith Klinger at, with whom I happened to meet up with last night in Umbertide. Judith and her husband Jeff are based in Montone, also not far from Preggio. Judith is an accomplished cook, author and all-around good person. She's a font of information. She's also got a fine rep for her catering gigs. So if you want to skip the babysitter, I'm sure she'd be happy to cook for you if your accommodations come with a kitchen. At any rate, don't hesitate to contact her and pick her brain.

    Il Postale
    Strada Montevile 3, Perugia, Umbria 06126, IT

    3 Replies
    1. re: ghiottone

      Thanks so much for your recommendations - they are much appreciated. Il Postale sounds like a good choice - would love to hear what you thought of it.

      Il Postale
      Strada Montevile 3, Perugia, Umbria 06126, IT

      1. re: purplechedi

        It was excellent. There were two tasting menus -- "Sensazioni", sorta greatest hits from 1997 to 2008, and "Dall'Aqua", i.e. fish. My friend and I each ordered one and shared, meaning we got to try 10 dishes, plus aperitivo, amuse, dessert, mignardises, etc. I'll be posting pix and a write-up soon on another board. Highlights included a "Bavarian cream" of buffalo mozzarella (think flan) in a tomato broth, ox tongue with fois gras, anchoy tortelli with a sauce of ricotta, mint, and herring roe, and a poached pollack. Plus an extra midcourse of the "deconstructed" carbonara, which is not to be missed. The chef, Marco Bistrarelli, regularly passed by to see how everything was.

        Nice selection of Umbrian wines as well. As my dining partner doesn't drink, and since I was driving, I said I'd be happy to drink the open wines listed on the menu. That was waived off, and I was presented with two whites from the wine list to choose from. Later came a fine ciliegiolo-based red from Lautizio

        The space, indoors and outdoors, is beautiful. We ate inside, but I discovered they were serving a few tables outside under a fine portico. Really special place. Perfect for a memorable summer meal.

        Even with google maps, it can be a bit tricky to find. So be sure to have a good navigator.

        ETA: Dinner ran about € 200.

        1. re: ghiottone

          Thanks so much for the follow-up - it does sound spectacular! Will post if we wind up there this summer.

    2. If you're looking for something less creative and closer to home, head to San Feliciano for restaurants using the local lake trout. Da Settimio is recommended by Michelin and has a mini-review here, and there are two SlowFood recommendations: Rosso di Sera and I Bonci. For Umbria's land cuisine, try searching here for restaurants in Umbertide. In Preggio, there is La Castagna that you'll find a few references to by Googling.

      1. We stayed near Preggio several years ago, and had a very good meal at Gildo in Polgeto, on the edge of Umbertide. At that time, it was listed in the Slow Food guide. Though our experience is not recent, it is worth a try if you are in the area.

        We had a terrific meal at Il Postale on the same trip.

        Il Postale
        Strada Montevile 3, Perugia, Umbria 06126, IT

        1. am surprised no one has mentioned this, and maybe I am totally wrong, but: In Italy, even in a big city like Rome, finding a babysitter is not easy, usually this job is done by family (grandparents, sisters, etc...). I can't even imagine how hard it would be to get one in the countryside of Umbria. Do you know for sure you will be getting a babysitter to be able to enjoy all these recs?