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Ascoli Piceno: La Locandiera

Via Goldoni , 2

Reviewed by: jgk from FL, review #2020

When: 2006

DO NOT MISS! We had a seafood feast here. Seafood Tues and Fri, only. But I am sure the meat days are just as wonderful. No menu--so what! E100/4 with wine

We had a wonderful experience here AND wonderful food. We walked in at about 10 min. 'til 1:00 and there was only 1 other table occupied. Half an hour later the place was full and he was turning people away. No menu. He came to the table and said "we have fish today", and we said fine but we don't want to eat too much. He said OK--no problem. I can't imagine what would have happened if we said we were really hungry???

We were each served a platter, beautifully designed, of assorted cold seafood antipasti. Included were: a swordfish carpaccio with pink peppercorns, marinated sardines, fried potatoes with octopus pieces, and thin strips of calamari?, very lemony with shredded carrots and little pieces of chopped shrimp. Then he delivered a large oval platter of what I first thought were shoestring fries. They turn out to be alicie(spelling?). Each one is a tiny little fish; they crunch as you chew a forkful--perfectly salty and full of the sea. Then we each got a piece of fish in a thin red sauce. It is the tail of "the ugly fish with the big mouth". I can't remember the name. The preparation seems almost like a stew. I can't decide which is better--the actual fish or the beautiful sauce. Then, a bowl full of the best, sweet and fresh mussels in a simple whitish broth. Then a platter with 4 large scampi--just plain maybe broiled or baked, with a squeeze of lemon and a bit of olive oil. Then a platter of pasta with mixed seafood in a perfect light red sauce. Everything is too good, we don't want to say stop but we finally surrender before he brings the roasted orato I see at other tables. We all ordered coffee which is followed by a funny little bottle of anisette (this is Ascoli Piceno, after all) and 4 small glasses. We were thrilled with this meal. It was what you always imagine will happen here in Italy. At the end, we were all smiles, patting our stomachs; there is no formal bill. He just looked at us and said "Cento" (100euro). We paid and offered many thanks and hand shakes.

Good thing we have to walk back to the hotel!

Reviewed by: Susie L from CA, review #1011

When: 2002

Set menu of outstanding quality and value in the heart of Ascoli Piceno

Fairly small, single room restaurant. Reservations highly recommended.

We came here for a leisurely Saturday lunch, not knowing what to expect. We were waved toward the only vacant table left in the place by Peppe, the owner. Peppe greets us, asks if we speak Italian, then proceeds to tell us that the menu is of his choosing every day. He will just bring us the food of the day. No question about wine-he opens up a bottle of Rosso Piceno Superiore and plops it onto the table. Some people may not like this, but this is our kind of place!

Antipasto: A plate of prosciutto, salami and pecorino cheese Next, a plate of crostini topped with balsamella (bechamel) and porcini mushrooms, broiled on the top so that the balsamella was getting brown and bubbly; Puff pastry rounds with peas, prosciutto and balsamella; Olive Ascolani - These are a specialty of Ascoli. (Large green olives, stuffed with a mixture of ground meat {usually pork, beef, veal} rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried. We have these olives in every restaurant and bar we go to in Ascoli. We tell ourselves that it is "research".)

Soup - Barley soup in a light meat broth, with a teeny bit of tomato and carrot, flavoured with rosemary.

Pasta #1 - Yes, #1. Raviolini stuffed with ricotta cheese. The sauce was a light cream, finely chopped herbs and white truffle.

Pasta #2 - Tagliolini with a tomato sauce with finely diced celery and carrots.

Secondo - Tagliata, which was a sliced, grilled pork, topped with fresh rucola, olice oil, curls of parmiggiano and lemon wedges. This was accompanied by a platter of roasted potato wedges that were almost carmelized, but not overcooked.

Dessert - Lemon mousse with fresh strawberries.

Peppe then brought over a large jug of bright green liquid, which contained his homemade basil liquer. It tasted great, but smelled like slimy basil in the bottom of your refrigerator's vegetable bin. We quickly got over the smell and had a couple of those, especially since Peppe had pulled up a chair at that point. He then finished us off with a Mistra di Anice, which made his basil stuff seem tame.

I don't have the exact price, but all of this was about 50 euros total!

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

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