Sunday, May 22, 2011

Teatro dei Medici

It's worth mentioning a small restaurant that was recommended to us by the owner of our accommodation while we were staying near Vicchio, in Mugello. This is a modest restaurant that serves no frills, traditional food from the area. It was not particularly easy to find, due to the fact that there is no access to the parking area directly from the main road, so we ended up parking 50 meters away and walked to the restaurant.

The interior was spacious but rustic, with various Tuscan style antiques laid around the entrance hall. The main dining room follows a more classic renaissance style and is more grand, as the name of the restaurant suggests.

The most notable dish was the Tortelli di patate con ragĂș: potatoes filled ravioli in a tomato based ragu sauce. This is a typical peasant dish from Mugello, which represents an exception for a region that is most famous for its soups. This is what every diner shouldn't miss!

Less distinguished was the grilled free range chicken with rosemary. Well executed with quality ingredients, but not something you could have in identical flavours elsewhere, including Singapore.

I was far more impressed by the Peposo Imprunetino. The name of the dish derives from pepper, which is plenty in this dish, and Impruneta, which is where the dish is originally from. Impruneta is famous for producing bricks and terracotta ware. It is actually in the bricks furnace that this dish was originally invented. They used to put all the ingredients into the pot, leave it in a corner of the furnace for 5 hours or so, and the dish was ready. The predominant flavours were without a doubt the reduced Chianti wine and the black pepper. The flavours are extremely intense, and it's best eaten with accompanying bread.

There were certainly some interesting regional dishes to try at Teatro dei Medici, although they are only a few out of a big list. I would still recommend stopping over for a peasant lunch, if you happen to be in Mugello.

Teatro dei Medici

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