Al Tartufo (located on Via Ulisse Rocchi) was my first introduction to the food of Perugia, and I was not disappointed. I ordered the Flan di ricotta con pera al vino e miele al tartufo as an appetizer (pictured below), which words could never describe. I’m not a huge fan of flan, but this one was very fresh and the pear complimented the ricotta perfectly.
For my actual meal I ordered the Gnocchi scottati su fonduta di grana (pictured below), which was also my first time trying Gnocchi. I was very impressed, and I can honestly call this one of the best meals I ever ate (second only to a small Italian restaurant in Luxembourg City).
Al Tartufo is very reasonably priced, and I would certainly visit it again to try even more of their dishes if given the opportunity to return to Perugia. If you’re interested in learning more about this restaurant, you can check out their Facebook and remember to keep them in mind if you’re ever visiting Italy!
I recently went to Bidwell Tavern, (1260 Main St, Coventry) and was thoroughly unimpressed. People always rave about the food and atmosphere and I could see the rustic charm but the food was sad and disappointing. We got the stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer, which were okay, but not impressive. I tried the French Onion soup which was very good, and a pulled pork BBQ sandwich. The sandwich was very dry and boring, the fries were good, but not good enough to redeem the sandwich. My roommates both got salads, and they were both very disappointed. The grilled chicken was burnt and dry and we all left very disappointed. Unfortunately we likely won't be returning to Bidwell Tavern, despite the rustic charm.
On a whim, my roommates and I stopped at Connecticut Gourmet Bakery (1569 Main St, Willimantic,) and picked up cake slices and cookies. The woman who helped us was incredibly sweet, first giving us the grand tour, samples, and even recommendations. We tried the cinnamon buns which were amazing, the gingersnaps which were equally great, a white chocolate raspberry cake which was decent, and various other delicious cookies.
Located in the scenic Castel Gandolfo (a train ride away from the city-center of Rome), Sor Capanna is one of many small restaurants in the Lake Albano region. The restaurant offers homemade seasonal dishes with a charming atmosphere and local vibe. There is seating available outside during the summer season, as well as two floors of seating options inside.
I ordered the Ravioli ai Fiori di Zucca (Ravioli with zucchini flowers) and Tiramisu (not pictured). The food was incredible; it tasted homemade and was very reasonably priced. Restaurants like Sor Capanna make visiting the countryside of Italy even more special.
You can check out the restaurant’s website here for menu options and more information.
I wasn’t originally going to write about this restaurant, although it is very good. However, upon visiting it for the second time, I figured it deserved a shoutout. Mama Eat not only serves delicious Italian cuisine (think lots of pastas, meats, pizzas, sandwiches/paninis, and salads), but also offers gluten-free versions of each dish.
According to their website,
“Mama Eat is the first restaurant with a menu for celiacs! Who has this problem knows how difficult it is to go with friends in one place for an evening spent in the company and be able to freely order from the menu what you preferisce.Ma because feeling out of place or uncomfortable or even give up the pleasure of a pizza with friends when you can enjoy a gluten-free product, in a safe way?”
I did not photograph either meal I had at the restaurant, but I can tell you that both meals I ate were delicious; Penne alla Sorrentina (Pasta with tomatoes and smoked mozzarella) and Bucatini alla Siciliana (Pasta with tomatoes, aubergines/eggplants, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese). All dishes are reasonably priced around 10€, and gluten-free options are usually only 1€ or 2€ more than their gluten counterparts.
If you’re looking for a quick meal in Rome with friendly staff and a pleasant atmosphere, Mama Eat is a great option (especially if you have Celiacs or are gluten intolerant). The restaurant is located on Via di San Cosimato, and has a second location in Naples (located on Via Alessandro Manzoni, although I have only eaten at the restaurant in Rome). You can see a copy of the menu here.
Seeing as you have to try gelato when you’re in Rome, I had to stop at La Gourmandise at the recommendation of my instructor. La Gourmandise was rated the 5th best Gelateria in Rome by Dissapore, an Italian website dedicated to cuisine. Located on Via Felice Cavallotti, La Gourmandise is a true hidden gem. There was no one else in the shop when we arrived, as only locals to the neighborhood are fully aware of the shop’s existence and location.
At La Gourmandise, I ordered a mix of two gelato flavors; vaniglia del Madagascar (vanilla from Madagascar) and nocciola del Piemonte (hazelnut from Piedmont). Served with homemade cream on top, both flavors were delicious. Other favorites include the crumble di pere (pear crumble), pistacchio di Egina (pistachio from Egina), and limone alla verbana (lemon and verbana).
What makes La Gourmandise so delicious is that it uses all organic ingredients, and only uses fruits that are in season. As a result of these self-enforced regulations, the flavors are always changing. A small shop in the Monteverde sector of the city, La Gourmandise also sells bon bons, parfaits, and small cakes of the same quality.
La Gourmandise is truly an extraordinary shop, especially considering its small size. It does not have large crowds, but only because it is not very well-known to the general public. I was told that this shop is a favorite of students studying at The American University of Rome.