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Spello: Il Pinturicchio

Reviewed by: Marc from Italy, review #1187

When: 2005

Good food and a great atmoshphere

We visited for the second time the other day and were impressed by the food, the atmosphere and the service. My tagliata di manzo - sliced beef with rucola and balsamic - was tender and nicely pink inside. Good freshly cooked desserts.

The setting is a series of wonderfully atmospheric vaulted stone rooms, the welcome was warm and the service smart and attentive. This is a notch above the usual Umbrian trattoria and the price is very little more; we paid €140 for 4, with a bottle of good Rosso di Monetfalco by Schacciadiavoli.

In all then, I can't agree with the previous commenters who've deprecated it.

Reviewed by: markholland from UK, review #1165

When: 2005

Tries hard to be stylish, but the food is poor.

We had eaten two great meals at La Cantina in Spello, and Il Pinturrchio was a big disappointment. At a quiet time of the year there were plenty of tables occupied, so it obviously has its fans. The dining room is very attractive, and they are clearly trying very hard to be stylish. The food, however, is no better than average.

Nearby La Cantina gives you the full flavours of good local produce, while this place manages to lose it all in fancy presentation. The antipasto was pretty but boring. Rabbit with prosciutto was far too salty (as were most dishes), and I couldn't taste the difference between the rabbit and the ham.

If this restaurant were in the UK I would probably think it better than most, but judged against its competitors in Spello it is poor. We paid about €28-30 for 3 courses with wine.

Reviewed by: Bill Thayer from IL, review #853

When: 2004

Umbrian cooking. Since the management was farmed out in 2002, this place, once wonderful, has dropped to quite average.

Directions: Right across the street from the church of S. Lorenzo.

I've known and enjoyed the Pinturicchio for years. Eagerly awaiting my pass thru Spello in 2004, in part so I could eat here, I was stunned to see, and taste, the change. (Note: had I not known the restaurant from before, this review would have been a lukewarm "recommend" but am disrecommending it to provide a corrective. Also, as the owner, Vania may do something about the situation if she sees this.)

In Apr 2004 I had one of my former favorites, the item the Pinturicchio was particularly known for, "agnello alla moda di Spello", which instead of a richly herbed prime cut of firm lamb on its bones, was lamb alright but a flaccid and very oily deboned thing with not much flavor and an appearance best forgotten.

I do admit that now there is a bit of a dessert selection: this is an improvement; and the one I chose was good, a B+, and this although it's a difficult one to pull off well, a chocolate soufflé. They can be overly gooey or too cooked and thus like dry cake: this one was neither. Even there, however, it's billed on the menu as "chantilly" which it was not: no whipping cream with it, rather a crème anglaise.

Finally, though I'm hardly one to attach much importance to tuxedoes and the fripperies of "fine dining", I found the waiters really very casual and even on the slovenly side.

Vania, take back your restaurant!

Reviewed by: Edna from NY, review #276

When: 2002

This was a wonderful local trattoria!

Directions: Keep walking uphill along the main street where the street continues after going through an archway. Don't go through. Just look to your left and you will see the restaurant.

We all had wonderful pastas with of course, the most incredible tomato salads. The atmosphere was wonderfully noisy and friendly obviously filled with regulars. We drank a great light white wine - Castella da Sala from the Antinori vineyard just north of Orvieto. This restaurant was recommended to us by a friend who made us promise we'd eat there. He's an incredible chef as well!

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

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