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Banzi: La Capannina Antica Osteria Bantina

Via Cairoli 8 , Phone: 97.1947526
www.osteriabantina.it.
Closing day: Tuesday

Reviewed by: valerie from Italy, review #2706

When: 2007

Excellent regional cuisine served with enthusiasm and nicely presented.

Directions: The sign is on the main street in Old Banzi but you have to walk around the block to enter

We had a little confusion trying to get in the door. The sign on the street leads you to a locked door. You have to walk around the block to enter on the other side. We had reservations set up for us by a local and the owner had been well informed that the Americans were coming. When we arrived the table was set, wine was ready and the waiter spoke slowly so we could understand the oral menu in Italian.

Meals are ordered course by course rather than everything at once, which is very leisurely and practical, as you can gauge how hungry you are as you go or can decide on what flavors will taste best after the antipasto.

We asked about the specialties and he quickly recommended the Antipasto alla Lucania, which we came to learn is a large sampling that Basilicatans love to serve and savor. Here they brought seven plates before we asked to hear about the pasta dishes. Lentils with mushrooms, local cheeses and salami, garlicky vegetables, even a baccala dish sprinkled with paprika (and I normally dislike baccala) were fantastic. The liver in sauce put me off (predictably).

For primi we chose the hand-cut tagliatelle lightly slathered in the best cinghiale sauce Iíve ever put in my mouth (offering a hint of exotic spices slow-cooked into it). We begged off the secondi but would like to return to give them a try as the plates passing by us smelled delectable. We split a dessert composed of pear and custard.

The owner told us he buys only locally-grown produce and meats and is very proud of the high quality of regional fare that he serves. Itís food that hasnít been mucked with, just pure traditional dishes cooked and presented well. If I remember correctly they are Slow Food members.

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

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