Friday, February 19, 2010

Ristorante "il richiastro" review

We've set ourselves a tough task during our time in Viterbo - dining in and reviewing as many eating places as possible, starting with the SlowFood suggestions, all 4 of them within 200 meters from our front door! We'll begin with il richiastro, a place that you just know has wonderful food because it's almost invisible. Even with the address and a map we weren't sure we'd found it until we looked in the windows and saw lights on and people eating inside. In good weather they serve in their inner courtyard (richiastro in Viterbese dialect) but this time of year you dine inside. We celebrated Valentines day with Sunday lunch and made a reservation (a good thing because every table was taken except for ours when we arrived) along with plans to arrive hungry so we could sample all the courses. Weather wasn't great for cycling so after an hour or so of exploring more tiny streets on foot we showed up ready to enjoy an authentic "cucina Viterbese" experience. We were not let down. Heather got in a few jokes with the proprietor when we asked to split the one antipasto listed - crostini with four different toppings (all were tasty in a rustic way) as he was thinking as foreigners we were going to cheap-out on the meal. She told him to hang on because we were ready to order the rest, a selection of four soups for her and the "crazy bird pasta" for Larry. Soups were excellent, one with lentils ranked 4th on our enjoyment scale followed by a chickpea zuppa and our favorite - beans and broccoletti- a rich, smooth concoction that Heather was determined to duplicate once back in our own tiny kitchen. The crazy bird pasta was rich with a meaty, liver-flavored sauce that tasted much better than it sounded. We next enjoyed pork skewers with tredura sauce which reminded Larry of Thanksgiving turkey stuffing and a pork cooked in red wine - a bit sweet for Heather's taste but enjoyable nonetheless. For contorni we got Larry's favorite, grilled radicchio along with a salad of fresh oranges and fennel. Both of these were excellent. We started with the house wine, their own production but didn't think it measured up to the quality and presentation of the food (it's served on terracotta plates and some of the recipes are updated versions of Etruscan dishes) so we ordered a wine from Lazio that turned out to be excellent. We'll be back for sure, probably taking Heather's folks there when they visit in April. Next on our list is to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary at another SlowFood eatery which we have yet to decide on but we better get going since the anniversary is this Sunday!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful.....we'll be sure to try it when we're in Viterbo next month. Looking forward to your future restaurant reviews and......Buon Anniversario