We had an AMAZING lunch in Urbania at Osteria del Cucco. Before I talk about the food, let me describe the setting. There is stuff EVERYWHERE. All the tables have little vignettes of bottles, fruit, ornaments and miscellaneous collected items, taking up much of the table space. When someone comes in to eat, Giorgio just moves things over, or rearranges them on another table. The walls are also covered with things.
Ok, you get the idea. Let's get to the beautiful food. Giorgio's presentation is gorgeous, and the food is delicious, not just a pretty plate. I ordered an antipasto plate and salad, and Brad had pasta. So far this doesn't sound extraordinary.
The antipasto plate was really two plates, which I shared with Brad. The first had the BEST cured meat I have ever tasted, and some cheese. The other included crispy pasta dough filled with a chard-garlic-cheese mixture, a piece of cheese tart, a baked veal meatball with pistachios and a delicious couscous salad with zucchini, and carrots.
My salad was remarkable for two reasons. Ok, here is my confession: In 14 trips to Italy, I HAVE NEVER ORDERED A SALAD! I eat salads almost every day at home, and get my veggies in Italy, but see no reason to order lettuce there! This was a spectacular salad! I saw one at the next table and knew I had to have one!
On the bottom were mixed greens, perfectly dressed with oil and balsamico. These were topped with paper-thin radishes, lots of shaved pecorino, pomegranates, and figs around the edge of the plate. YUM!
Brad's eggplant ravioli were also excellent! Notice the fresh flowers adorning the plates.
So there you have a delightful lunch. Giorgio is a character, and the food had great taste, color, textures, a wonderful mix of flavors, and was presented beautifully.