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Oct 17, 2011 02:21 PM

In Love with FVG and Veneto!!

We just returned from a wonderful trip to Italy, which included a week in FVG and Veneto. We had a great time, ate amazing food, met wonderful food artisans and would return in a heartbeat (and will). I will write a report in the coming weeks (months) but wanted to give a quick heads-up to anyone who might be considering the region in their upcoming trip planning!

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  1. ekc ~
    Any chance I could convince you to share a condensed report of your top picks in FVG? I'll be visiting FVG for 3 nights in May and am trying to make restaurant decisions.
    Given what I've read on these boards and from Fred Plotkin, I'm trying to narrow it down from the following:

    Campiello in San Giovanni Natisone (#1 pick thus far given the focus on fish on rave reviews)
    Trattoria al Giardinetto (#2 pick thus far. I hope gnocchi di susine are "in season" in May. Would you happen to know if they are?)
    Restaurant Salon - (#3 pick thus far as Plotkin says this place is a must for trying the cjarsens.)

    Enoteca di Cormons (for wine tasting only and making snacks, but not for a meal.)
    La Subida had been tops on my list until reading of the decline in food quality. Did you go? If so, what was your experience?

    Any thoughts or advice on the above restaurants? Am I missing any great finds? Is it a mistake to rule out La Subida?

    Additionally, do you have any advice about wine tasting? Did you go? If so, did you find it easy to make reservations for tastings? Any words of wisdom on that front?

    Many thanks for your input and I was delighted to read that you had such a wonderful trip!

    3 Replies
    1. re: blacklicorice

      Hi BL - so glad you are going to visit the area! Of what you have listed above, the only 2 we visited were the Enoteca in Cormons (fantastic) and La Subida. We went to both La Subida and the trattoria and enjoyed both. We had a fantastic meal at La Subida and would return again in a heartbeat. We thought the food quality was very high (and we eat out alot) but have only eaten there once so I don't have anything to compare it to.

      We had a fun and casual (but tasty) dinner at a restaurant just over the border in Slovenia. As for wine tasting, most of ours we scheduled appointments up in the Amarone region. It should be pretty easy to schedule a tasting at Livio Felluga, as she invited us for a tasting after meeting us having lunch at her restaurant down the street.

      I will try and dig out my notes of where we ate tomorrow and get stuff posted. Where will you be staying?

      1. re: ekc

        Hi ekc ~
        Still undecided about where to stay. I'd like to make that determination based on proximity to dining and wine tasting bookings. I'd imagine somewhere in or near Cormons, though. I'd been thinking about staying (and dining) at La Subida until I'd read from a few others (clearly not your opinion, though) that the quality had declined there of late.

        1. re: blacklicorice

          Well, if you have any interest in tasting Russiz's wines, it sure is handy to be staying just up the driveway! :-) And it is literally 5 minutes from La Subida (which also has cottages for rent).

    2. ekc ~

      I meant to ask if you made it to any of the following as I'm trying to determine if I should bump something out of the top 3 for one of these?

      La Frasca
      Da Nando
      Antica Trattoria Boschetti

      We'll likely only have time for 3 sit down meals while there and there are so many tempting choices. Since my partner only eats seafood and chicken, I'd be interested what the choices were at the meat centric La Frasca, if you ate there.

      8 Replies
      1. re: blacklicorice

        CampiellO a must! Also, frasca has enough seafood to keep your partner happy ( and is very good, too. I'd ditch subida as well as da nando, which used be our hidden gem for years but has terribly declined.

        1. re: vinoroma

          Thank you so much for your guidance, vinoroma.
          Campiello & La Frasca will be definite stops then - assuming I can get reservations.
          I'm also very interested to taste cjarsens and gnocchi di susine (though I might be there a bit too early in the season to find the latter) so I'll likely try to add in Albergo Ristorante Salon in Arta Terme and Trattoria al Giardinetto into the mix as well.

          1. re: blacklicorice

            There are very, very few people in Friuli who know as much about food and wine as Rinaldo Krcivoj of Antica Trattoria Boschetti. It is a wonderful restaurant.

            1. re: allende

              Oh yes! Thank you for the reminder, allende! I'd seen your post in another thread and I meant to explore Antica Trattoria Boschetti further. Somehow it slipped off my list, though. Based on the website, it appears there are three menu options - "Work menu" (likely not a great translation - Menu di Lavoro?) "Tasting Menu" and "Fish Menu." Would you happen to know if fish is always an option as my partner eats no other meat?
              When you've been in the past was there always a "fixed" menu course like this?
              Given that you've explored this area for many years I'd be curious to know what 4 restaurants you'd select if you had limited time in FVG.
              Many thanks in advance for any further information you can share!

              1. re: blacklicorice

                I would not expect to find gnocchi di susine in May.

                La Subida is very meat-centric. Campiello is marvelous for a fish eater and for its wines.

                Salon is a lovely place for cjarsons. They have some outdoor tables if the weather is sunny.

                I was intrigued by the areas near Gorizia and around the Isonzo river. I would like to back and spend more time there and at the sea.

                1. re: barberinibee

                  @ blacklicorice

                  Fish is always an option at Boschetti, at least all the times we've been there.
                  Don't be worried by the "set" menus. Unlike some restaurants in major cities (e.g. Rome), Rinaldo aims to please and there is no attitude. When you want something, menu or not, you can have it. That's how he is. You won't have any problem if you go. A few months ago, we had a friend come back from Tricesimo
                  and he said "I should have eaten all my meals at Boschetti."

                  Two other things. Rinaldo speaks very good English. A number of years ago Piero Selvaggio, of Valentino in Los Angeles, wanted Rinaldo to open an Italian restaurant in The States. Rinaldo and his family spent six months in Los Angeles.

                  Rinaldo's duaghter, Susanna Krcivoj, is the sommelier at the Michelin one star, Hisop, in Barcelona. Food and wine run in the family.

                  We've spent considerable time in Friuli over the years, but are not currently up to date on any restaurants other than Boschetti where we ate this past spring (and then stayed with Italian friends near the Italian/Austrian/Slovenian border and just cooked... why not, if you can get those marvelous ingredients).

                  If you ask Rinaldo, he'll be only too happy to tell you which restaurants he likes best ... and he'll be very honest. As I said earlier, he knows everyone involved in the restaurant/wine world in Friuli very well.

                  Best days to go are Friday and Saturday evenings, but any time is good.

                  Hope this helps a bit.

                  1. re: allende

                    It not only helps immensely, it makes it all the more difficult to wait to get there.
                    Your detailed insights are greatly appreciated! I emailed yesterday to make a reservation.
                    Thanks so much to all for all the input!

                    1. re: blacklicorice

                      Now just remember. Boschetti today, in contrast to the two Michelin stars that Rinaldo's uncle held forever in the same location (and the only place in Friuli that had them), is really a trattoria.

                      It is in the back of a bar. A very nice, well decorated room; simple. It is all about food and wine and gracious service. If I had to make an analogy to restaurants past, it is similar to the late great two star Michelin (when Michelin stars actually meant something in Italy) Cantarelli in Samboseto in the 70s, which was in the back of an alimentari. Or, more currently, Hosteria Giusti in the back of another alimentari.

                      Have fun.

      2. EKC -- did you ever write that report on your week in FVG? We're in the very early planning stages of a trip to the region in September and I'd love to hear about your experiences.

        1. Cindy, I did write a report for that trip (still working on the report for my 2012 trip). I am fairly certain I posted it - if not here, than likely on slowtalk. I can email you a copy also if that would help!

          2 Replies
          1. re: ekc

            I'm not familiar with slowtalk. Is there a link?

            1. re: CindyJ

              I was referring to the Italy forum on - very informative site!

              email me at ekc at brownrask dot com and I will email you a copy of my report.