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Mercatale: Mimi's


Reviewed by: Jeff Holmes from USA, review #2070

When: 2005

Eat, eat, eat - mangia! It just keeps coming at this fixed priced, fixed menu ristorante.

Directions: In the center of the town of Mercatale in the Niccone Valley on the south side of Via Pietro La Cortona, just west of the center of town

While staying in the Niccone Valley area along the Tuscany/Umbria border, this is a MUST place to eat. We've eaten at Mimi's twice in the last 5 years and to be honest I don't remember the price, so it cannot be terribly expensive or terribly inexpensive, I guess. Limited parking (part of the charm in the whole country) near the center of the tiny town of Mercatale on the west end of the Valley, fixed menu at a fixed price, so come prepared to just mangia.

Multi-course meals are prepared by the Mimi herself and family, in a small kitchen that is visible from the rear dining area (there are two dining areas). Constant refills on the house wine and course after course of antipasto, fresh pasta(gnocchi - a favorite in northern Umbria), meat, salad, more meat, cheese, dessert and after dinner cafe. Everything is locally grown and prepared on the premises. Good comfort food and lots of it. Courteous wait staff (daughters and friends) have now replaced the father of the operation, who used to do the entire back room himself. Plan on about two hours of continuous culinary sagacity.

NOTE: the gabinetti are curiously accessed via a side door in the back dining area, down some outside steps, then a U-turn under the building (basically in the basement)...I honestly thought I was headed for an outhouse until the U-turn. Adventures in top shelf dining at it's Umbrian best.

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

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