Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Umbria Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


  • Please log in to reply
93 replies to this topic

#31 fredbram

fredbram
  • participating member
  • 345 posts
  • Location:Denver, Colorado

Posted 19 October 2003 - 08:43 AM

It personally love the Orvieto/Todi area for a base.  Spoleto, a great town, is at your fingertips, you can scoot up 45 to Spello,Bevagna, Montefalco, or down to Narni, taking a dip into Lazio, visiting the interesting Viterbo, Tuscania, Bomoarzo, etc.  And then, to the north, you have the best part of Tuscany -- the Sienna province -- with Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, etc. -- all within easy A-1 daytripping distance. 

Also, the area around San Casango di Bangni (sp?) is some of the most beautiful countryside I've ever seen.  Ditto the drive between Todi and Spoleto.  Do not miss.

R.G.

R.G.--Thanks, I am really leaning to the Orvieto/Todi area. It just sounds like a nice region with a lot of options for day trips. There is a villa that we're looking at just outside of San Casciano Dei Bagni, although that's a little farther removed from Todi/Orvieto.
Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

#32 R.G. Diamond

R.G. Diamond
  • legacy participant
  • 22 posts

Posted 20 October 2003 - 11:24 AM

I don't know your price range or the number in your party, but the nicest villa I have ever rented was called the Villa Molninazzo, from Daniel Morneau at Vacanza Bella. It sleeps 10, all with en suite bathrooms, and it's near both Todi and Orvieto. The pictures on the internet don't begin to do it justice. I wrote a review of it on the Slow Travelers web site.

R.G.

#33 fredbram

fredbram
  • participating member
  • 345 posts
  • Location:Denver, Colorado

Posted 20 October 2003 - 12:08 PM

Although it is the right size, Villa Molinazzo is a bit more money than we are hoping to spend. Too bad, because it looks perfect, but we are footing the bill for this one on our own rather than sharing with the other folks involved. I think I had already read your review of it on Slow Travel, small world eh.
Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

#34 YKL

YKL
  • participating member
  • 383 posts
  • Location:Leeds, UK

Posted 21 April 2005 - 01:13 AM

Was hoping for some advice / recommendations for restaurants in Umbria?

Specifically, we (large group of friends) have hired a holiday in mid-June in Umbria. My geography is pretty poor but I think that the nearest village is called Collazzone (sp?) and so therefore we're very close to Perugia (35km?), Assisi and Spoleto - and Deruta. It's my first visit to that region so we're planning various day trips to those places (assuming we can drag oursleves away from the poolside!)

I'm hoping that the quality of basic ingredients in Umbria will mean we don't get any awful meals - but am interested in what is considered particularly good. Particularly as we are a large group (15 adults - age-wise anyway if not in behaviour) ... and it can be really annoying to spend hours pffaffing about where to have lunch.

Does anyone have any recommendations? Think most of the time, we'll be looking for good reasonable food in a mid price range for lunch (random guess of 20 - 30 EUROS - without drinks) - but info on stellar establishments would also be appreciated - there are a few of us who will be glad of the chance for some indulgence.

Any guidance will be much appreciated!

Cheers

Yin

#35 marons

marons
  • participating member
  • 14 posts

Posted 21 April 2005 - 02:20 AM

We have eaten twice (over a 10 year inerval!) at Taverna Del Lupo in Gubbio (not incredibly far from Assisi) . Both times the meal was excellent. It is rated in tourist books, but not crowded for lunch and large enough for a good sized group. Also, we find Gubbio well worth a visit. The details are:

TAVERNA DEL LUPO: V. Baldassini 60 - 06024 - Gubbio (PG) - Tel: (+39) 075 9274368

Mike

#36 cinghiale

cinghiale
  • participating member
  • 578 posts
  • Location:Le Marche/Italy

Posted 21 April 2005 - 06:51 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed I Sette Consoli in Orvieto (Piazza Sant'Angelo). The kitchen is run by a talented woman, who until recently had a *.

In Torgiano, near Perugia, the restaurant in the Hotel Tre Vaselle was quite good. Torgiano is also home to the Olive Oil Museum, which is worth a visit.

At any moment, you're sure to hear from DaleJ, who will rightly sing the praises of Taverna del Pescatore, just south of Trevi. Pretty difficult to find, but definitely worth the trip.

€30 won't get you very far, but Vissani (**) is on the road from Orvieto to Todi.

If you make it as far east as Norcia, be sure to try Granaro del Monte (lentil soup rocked).

Edited by cinghiale, 21 April 2005 - 06:52 AM.


#37 vigna

vigna
  • participating member
  • 61 posts

Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:50 AM

I also can highly recommend I Setti Consoli in Orvieto, which has excellent food and very gracious service. I cannot understand why they lost their Michelin star. This is a very fine place.

My absolute favorite (so-far) in Umbria is Il Postale di Marco e Barbara in Cittá di Castello. The tasting menus are superb -- very fresh ingrediants and innovative, and is a very good value for what is offered (a well deserved Michelin one star). If the weather is nice, you can eat in their pleasant garden.

On the outskirts of Perugia, I can recommend the restaurant Gîo Arte e Vini, which is in a modern hotel. They offer regional menus and also great wine pairings, also a good value.

In Assisi, I had a very nice meal at San Francesco, located just across the piazza from the Basilica di S. Francesco. What I remember most about this place is having a wonderful antipasto plate.

(All the above suggestions are based on meals I've had in the past 20 months.)

#38 hathor

hathor
  • participating member
  • 2,691 posts
  • Location:New York, Montone, Italy

Posted 21 April 2005 - 03:01 PM

Ciao! Have no fear, you will eat very well in Umbria. We tend to get short notice in cook books, but trust me, we eat very, very well! :cool:
Vigna: where exactly in Citta is il Potale?? We are there all the time and I just can't seem to find it. Ridiculous I know! If you wind up near Citta, stop in to Montone. Its a very beautiful, walled medival village, and you can eat extremely well at Erbe Luna which is one of the 2 bars in the Piazza. The front is a regular, but very fun and colorful bar, with a restaurant in the back. Depending on what's happening in town, lunch in the piazza is entertaining as well as tasty! My husband has a long pony tail, and speaks terrible Italian to everyone, you can't miss him!! :laugh:

#39 emmapeel

emmapeel
  • participating member
  • 627 posts
  • Location:Manhattan

Posted 21 April 2005 - 03:10 PM

I'm embarrased to say I cannot name any restaurants, but everything I ate in Orvieto was outstanding, to say the least. We were there for one week in late winter, and never had a bad meal. Umbria is so beautiful, I hope you enjoy your trip. Check out Civita di Bagnoregio if you have the time. It's a fun day trip. We ate in the lower town and it was good too!

Edited by emmapeel, 21 April 2005 - 03:10 PM.

Emma Peel

#40 Jim Dixon

Jim Dixon
  • participating member
  • 1,327 posts
  • Location:Portland, Oregon, USA

Posted 21 April 2005 - 05:59 PM

I'd recommend a trip to Norcia. It's a longer drive (maybe a couple of hours from near Perugia), but well worth it to visit the town of pork butchers. The dining room in the Grotto Azurro (not sure if that's spelled right, but it's the main hotel in the little town, just off the central piazza) is quite good. If you're willing to go farther, a pilgrimage to Castelluccio for lenticchie is also time well spent.

Jim
olive oil + salt
Real Good Food

#41 kellytree

kellytree
  • participating member
  • 264 posts
  • Location:Italy

Posted 24 April 2005 - 01:58 PM

I second that emotion of the Taverna Del Lupo in Gubbio

#42 Joe H

Joe H
  • legacy participant
  • 695 posts

Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:12 PM

Il Postale is one of the best restaurants in Italy. It has a Michelin star and a Gambero Rosso food rating of 51 from their 2004 guide. For the level this restaurant is on it is a remarkable value; were it in, say, Rome or Florence it would cost at least twice as much. This is a post of mine about it from another board in December of 2002:

http://www.chowhound...ages/15993.html

In reading the above post I note prices at Il Postale in dollars. Please bear in mind that the exchange rate in December of 2002 was about .93 to the Euro. Today it is 1.29.

I believe that my wife and I were the first to visit it and to write about it. Since then I've seen many, many people on several websites rave about their experiences there. You should give serious consideration to visiting it. And, don't miss DeRuta either, which, with the current exchange rate may be nightmarishly expensive.

Edited by Joe H, 27 April 2005 - 12:16 PM.


#43 YKL

YKL
  • participating member
  • 383 posts
  • Location:Leeds, UK

Posted 28 April 2005 - 07:53 AM

Thanks to all for their contributions and advice thus far - it is very much appreciated.

Had seen mention of Il Postale elsewhere - and have now located Citta di Castello on a map so that's a start. However, have not had any luck in googling for a website - does anyone have a direct link?

Gubbio sounds like a good idea - may have to work on some friends to persuade them to Norcia if a little further.

I can see I am going to be very well-fed this holiday!

Further thoughts still welcomed

Yin

X

#44 Joe H

Joe H
  • legacy participant
  • 695 posts

Posted 28 April 2005 - 08:25 AM

Thanks to all for their contributions and advice thus far - it is very much appreciated.

Had seen mention of Il Postale elsewhere - and have now located Citta di Castello on a map so that's a start.  However, have not had any luck in googling for a website - does anyone have a direct link?

Gubbio sounds like a good idea - may have to work on some friends to persuade them to Norcia if a little further.

I can see I am going to be very well-fed this holiday!

Further thoughts still welcomed

Yin

X

View Post


This is their website. The first page is in English although the menu (E 50 is the most expensive prix fixe!) is not:

http://www.ristorant...t/index_eng.htm

#45 DaleJ

DaleJ
  • participating member
  • 324 posts

Posted 28 April 2005 - 11:09 AM

As noted above, I heartily recommend Taverna del Pescatore in PIgge. We were there a couple of weeks ago for both lunch and dinner a couple of days apart. The restaurant is now operated not by Sr. Menichelli, but by the son of the man who built the restaurant. So it is no longer closed on Wednesdays but now, I believe, Sunday evening and Monday.

The current chef is, I think, trying very hard to please and the outdoor dining area under the big tent is still spectacular.

Please also consider my current favorite restaurant in all of Italy: I Sette Consoli. We lunched there again a couple of weeks ago, too. In fact, I rented a Hertz car instead of Avis because Avis has closed their Orvieto office. Orvieto is a perfect place to return a rental car because the train ride to Rome is only an hour long.

I Setti Consoli is, for my money, the best in food, wine and service. The chef is an aquaintance and fan of Lidia Bastianich and her presentation (and product) is sensational. Unfortunately the outdoor dining area was not open this early in the year, but its worth asking for when the temperature rises.

#46 DaleJ

DaleJ
  • participating member
  • 324 posts

Posted 28 April 2005 - 11:26 AM

Now that I have your attention I will nominate another enjoyable dining experience: Il Bacco Felice in Foligno. I don't have the address, but its in the center of the town. I'm sure most anyone can direct you since Salvadore is a memorable man. His exuberance is legendary and his tiny place hums at lunchtime. Everything is local from the olive oil (from a friend of ours) to the Sagrantino from nearby Montefalco. Worth looking into.

#47 YKL

YKL
  • participating member
  • 383 posts
  • Location:Leeds, UK

Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:43 AM

Thanks to Joe H for the website link, and to Dale J for further recommendations.

Hope to try and make a booking for Il Postale next week (will I be too late for a mid June booking?). Am hoping their website front page in English means they can cope with taking my reservation in English - am afraid my Italian is non existent unfortunately.

re: I Sette Consoli - Orvieto seems eminently reachable from our villa - and therefore it sounds like another great option for later in the week. Suspect more of the group will join us here since Citta di Castello is probably about 1.5 hours drive for us - which they think seems a long way to go just for lunch. :blink: :biggrin: Admittedly, a few of them are vegetarian and weren't sure if they could be accommodated

Have googled for I Sette Consoli ... but again no success in finding a restaurant website (or at least one where the link isn't broken). Does anyone have a weblink?

Regards

Yin

#48 DaleJ

DaleJ
  • participating member
  • 324 posts

Posted 04 May 2005 - 07:01 AM

I don't have a website for I Sette Consoli but it is easy to find. I recommend that you park at the train station in Orvieto Basso. It has a large parking lot and the funicular to Orvieto Alto is right there. I Sette Consoli is only a few blocks from the top of the funicular.

#49 hathor

hathor
  • participating member
  • 2,691 posts
  • Location:New York, Montone, Italy

Posted 09 May 2005 - 11:38 AM

I think your fine for mid-June at Il Postale.. I just made a reservation for next weekend.
Uh-oh. Vegetarians in Umbria. :wink: Has anyone told you the translation of "Umbria" is land of meat and salt....(except in the bread, no salt there..)!!

#50 YKL

YKL
  • participating member
  • 383 posts
  • Location:Leeds, UK

Posted 20 June 2005 - 07:09 AM

only time for a quick note right now but wanted to say thanks to all who recommended I Sette Consoli in Orvieto and Taverna del Lupo in Gubbio - my friends and I had two lovely lunches at these places and intend to return as soon as possible!

In particular, I Sette Consoli was particularly fine as we were lucky enough to be in the gorgeous garden inder the canopy/gazebo. Just beautiful :wub:

Will try and compose a more detailed post later

Cheers

Yin

#51 cinghiale

cinghiale
  • participating member
  • 578 posts
  • Location:Le Marche/Italy

Posted 20 June 2005 - 01:34 PM

So glad to hear you liked ISC. As I was there in the late fall, I didn't have a chance to sit in the garden. I'll be sure to request it when next there in warmer times.

#52 KSPS

KSPS
  • participating member
  • 18 posts

Posted 21 July 2005 - 04:36 PM

[quote name='YKL' date='Apr 21 2005, 04:13 AM']
Was hoping for some advice / recommendations for restaurants in Umbria?
... we're very close to Perugia (35km?), Assisi and Spoleto - and Deruta. ...
Does anyone have any recommendations?


We got back from Umbria about a week ago. My recs are too late for the OP, but I hope they'll help someone else traveling to the region.

The best meal we ate was lunch at Il Molino in Spello. This was world-class cooking at reasonably moderate prices. In contrast to the typical restaurant that does reasonably traditional recipes and executes them flawlessly using the most impeccable of ingredients, we found the menu at Il Molino to add innovativation to the above virtues. The weakest course was dessert; the white chocolate mousse was no better than good and the chocolate basket in which it was presented was poor. This was a shock after anti-pasti, pasta, and secondi that were sublime.. Unless you order fruit, skip dessert and grab some gelato instead.

Since we stayed in Assisi for a week, I have several recs for restaurants there.

Note: The restaurants in Assisi tend to shut down the first two weeks in July. This was a shock to us, having been conditioned to avoid travel in France and Italy in August. We had chosen Assisi in part because it was centrally located for exploring Umbria and in part for its good infrastructure of restaurants. We ended up eating at three of the four restaurants twice because of these closings.

San Francesco: (The ristorant near the basilica. Not Buca de...) My husband had an amazing stuffed duck dish. We shared a primi course of a lasagnetta which was probably the best pasta course we had in two weeks of eating in Tuscany and Umbria. The mixed anitpasti was delicious, too. My veal scallopini al limone was quite disappointing -- baby beef rather than veal.

La Fortezza: Surprisingly expensive wine at an othewise reasonably priced and delicious restaurant. (We drank Sagrantino for 32E at this restaurant and had the same wine the next night at for 21E at Ristorante Umbra.) Amazing duck breast dish. I'm not normally a duck fan, but my husband raved about it so much that I had a taste. Bottom line: I ordered it the second time we ate at this restaurant and loved it. My husband had their wild boar stew the second time we dined there.

Umbra: I was able to get fish at this restaurant, a rarity in Tuscany or Umbria other than during Lent. The whole dorata was delicious, but you have to know what you're doing and not be squeamish to be willing to deal with the whole fish plopped on your plate. I ordered the shrimp the next night. Fabulous sauce along with four measly, tiny shrimp. The sauce was sufficiently delicious to compensate for the ludicrous portion. Besides, after we split an antipasti and primi, we're never truly hungry by the time secondi rolls around. The lemon mousse baba with limoncello was world class. None of the wait staff spoke any English, so diners without a working knowledge of menu Italian would be hard pressed.

Tratoria Pallota: Well-prepared, homey offerings.

In Spolleto, we ate lunch at Sabatini. Do NOT order the mixed pasta lunch! We assumed we would be able to choose which three of the many appealing pasta offerings we would receive. We learned otherwise. However, there were still so many appealing choices that we weren't concerned when the waitress told us that the chef would choose and that it would be a surprise. Well the surprise was on us. With the exception of the risotto, not a single one of the pastas that arrived on our plates was on the menu. Were they left-overs of the previous day's daily specials ? Were they portions of batches of pasta that get made up in advance for the express purpose of this combo dish? While nothing was bad, nothing was memorable. We would have have done better with one excellent pasta rather than three adequate choices on the combo platter.

We had lunch in Perugia at the pizzeria portion of Cesarino. Guidebook describe this as a trattoria-cum-pizzeria; however, the reality is the trattoria bears the name Cesarino and the pizzeria is several yards away with a different name. Something -- the menu? napkins? backs of the chairs? -- had the name Cesarino otherwise there's no apparent connection. We ate next to a couple who owns property near Lake Trasemino who claimed this was the best pizzeria in Perugia. We were satisfied with our pizzas. My husband had one with black truffles and I had one with porcini mushrooms. We were supposed to share, but I found the generous puddles of truffles to be too overwhelming. (The gelateria between the trattoria and the pizzeria was quite good. Very suprising about both the pizzeria and the gelateria for such a central location on the tourist axis.)

Karen Selwyn

#53 russ parsons

russ parsons
  • participating member
  • 1,744 posts

Posted 21 July 2005 - 06:28 PM

i'm late to this thread, but is there still the little restaurant just up the hill from assisi called le stalle, or something like that? it was a grill place and insanely popular. but i really loved it. very rustic stuff, quail and cacciocavalo and bucatini (not all togther). i remember one hairy walk up the hill in fall when wild pig season was starting--rifle shots all around us the whole way.

#54 marlena spieler

marlena spieler
  • participating member
  • 1,109 posts
  • Location:hampshire--uk, also new york, california

Posted 22 July 2005 - 02:37 AM

i'm late to this thread, but is there still the little restaurant just up the hill from assisi called le stalle, or something like that? it was a grill place and insanely popular. but i really loved it. very rustic stuff, quail and cacciocavalo and bucatini (not all togther). i remember one hairy walk up the hill in fall when wild pig season was starting--rifle shots all around us the whole way.

View Post


is that the one in a former barn, with a big fire when you first walk in, and lots of yummy things cooked on the open fire, like peppers, and sausage, and cheese?

Marlena
Marlena the spieler



www.marlenaspieler.com

#55 marlena spieler

marlena spieler
  • participating member
  • 1,109 posts
  • Location:hampshire--uk, also new york, california

Posted 22 July 2005 - 02:51 AM

I also liked il Postale, though it is very refined and often in Italy i feel more comfortable on the rustic side of life. in fact, at the rustic side of life is castello del sorci, which is just as it was 30 years ago, on a hillside with a fabulous view, family style trad local foods, heaped onto platters and served communally. crostini, homemade pasta, meat, contorni, sweets. there is no menu, rather its a set menu every day for a week; if its sunday it must be tagliatelle and polenta, mixed roasted meats, etc for instance.......its in an old castle. sunday lunch there is a hoot, whole extended families gathered together, passing babies to admire as often as they are passing platters of food, i'm sure i was passing and admiring a few babies during my lunch too! castello del sorci is right on the border of umbria and tuscany and i know they have a website. on sunday afternoons sometimes there is a flea market right outside the restaurant.

il bacco felice in foligno should be good, as i've been to a party catered by the owner who is soooooo passionate about food local trad food (the prosciutto of umbria is divine, more like jamon serrano than the paper sliced hams of what we think of as prosciutto)....

and for truffled strangozzi, there is a really excellent restaurant in spoleto, but i'm not sure completely about the name. on a little side street down from the theatre and church, maybe its called ristorante della signoria, on piazza or street della signoria. the same local foods you find on trattorie around the area, but done really well.....and i'm a sucker for truffled strangozzi!

marlena

Edited by marlena spieler, 22 July 2005 - 02:54 AM.

Marlena the spieler



www.marlenaspieler.com

#56 hathor

hathor
  • participating member
  • 2,691 posts
  • Location:New York, Montone, Italy

Posted 25 July 2005 - 03:24 AM

Marelena, funny you should mention Castello dei Sorci, we were just at the COOP in Sansepolcro and they carry their wines. Thanks for the recommendation, a Sunday lunch there sounds just fine! And a trip to Anghiari is always fun.
Ciao!

#57 hathor

hathor
  • participating member
  • 2,691 posts
  • Location:New York, Montone, Italy

Posted 01 August 2005 - 08:04 AM

We went to Castello di Sorci on Saturday night, and had a lovely, lovely time. Thank you Marlena.
It was just as you described, long outdoor tables, open bottles of wine and food that just kept on coming. Excellent renditions of all the classics, crostini, tagliatelle, roasted meats etc. etc. And then the music started! A very gentle Fellini movie. Can't wait to go back.

#58 russ parsons

russ parsons
  • participating member
  • 1,744 posts

Posted 01 August 2005 - 04:01 PM

that's exactly the one!

i'm late to this thread, but is there still the little restaurant just up the hill from assisi called le stalle, or something like that? it was a grill place and insanely popular. but i really loved it. very rustic stuff, quail and cacciocavalo and bucatini (not all togther). i remember one hairy walk up the hill in fall when wild pig season was starting--rifle shots all around us the whole way.

View Post


is that the one in a former barn, with a big fire when you first walk in, and lots of yummy things cooked on the open fire, like peppers, and sausage, and cheese?

Marlena

View Post



#59 marlena spieler

marlena spieler
  • participating member
  • 1,109 posts
  • Location:hampshire--uk, also new york, california

Posted 05 August 2005 - 04:11 AM

that's exactly the one!

i'm late to this thread, but is there still the little restaurant just up the hill from assisi called le stalle, or something like that? it was a grill place and insanely popular. but i really loved it. very rustic stuff, quail and cacciocavalo and bucatini (not all togther). i remember one hairy walk up the hill in fall when wild pig season was starting--rifle shots all around us the whole way.

View Post


is that the one in a former barn, with a big fire when you first walk in, and lots of yummy things cooked on the open fire, like peppers, and sausage, and cheese?

Marlena

View Post

View Post


I love this place, too, Russ!

Marlena
Marlena the spieler



www.marlenaspieler.com

#60 ann

ann
  • participating member
  • 85 posts

Posted 16 August 2005 - 09:43 PM

Marlena, could it be the Locanda della Signorina, in Spoleto? It's on our list for October - I read about in a New York Times article.