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Piacenza: Azienda Agrituristica "La Costa"

Castellotti di Sariano, Gropparello , Phone: 0523.858194

Closing day: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Reviewed by: Alice Twain from Italy, review #2701

When: 2007

An agriturismo offering no accomodation, only food: traditional and excellent local food.

Directions: Castellotti is a tiny village in the Gropparello area. Just get to Gropparello and ask around, or use this map.

Pisarei e fasö and tortelli d'erbette, photo by Alice Twain

Eating at an agriturismo like this means really getting in contact with Italian tradition. Not that peasants ate this fare each day, it's much more like the festive meals.

Once we arrived at the farm, perched on the side of a low hill, we were immediately accommodated in a smallish room with a limited number of seats. Near the door, on the outside, stood a pile of pumpkins, sold for one euro each. Inside, the tables were already set with plates, glasses for the water and cups for the wine, to be drunk as traditionally done in the Piacenza area.

The rather simple antipasti included a selection of very good cured meats that included pancetta, a good coppa and an excellent salame, that could have reached perfection if it had been allowed to rest and soak up a bit after having been rolled up in a white cloth moistened with white wine. Even so, though, the taste was delicious. The selection was completed with lightly toasted bread slices with herb butter and an egg and onion savory pie cut in small pieces.

Next came the primi. Tortelli d'erbette were shaped as teardrops and sealed as is traditional in Piacenza with a braid-shaped seam. They were simply garnished with melted but not fried butter, flavored with sage (redundant, IMHO). The alternative (or partner) was pisarei e fasö: tiny dumplings of flour and stale bread in a bean sauce flavored with rosemary. As an alternative, on request the agriturismo also offers, when in season, pumpkin tortelli.

After a pause, came the meat secondo, roasted pork ribs and roast veal with roast potatoes and salad. The ribs were really fantastic. Finally, the meal ended with a slice of excellent homemade apple cake.

The place offered no choice for the wine: the house wine came in unmarked bottles and had a rich flavor, neither sour nor too sweet, and a very light fizz.

The meal, inclusive of final espresso coffee, cost 25 euro per person.

You must reserve to eat at La Costa.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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