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San Lorenzo: Osteria Vineria Pepo

Via Rosina, 4-6r , Phone: 055.283259

Closing day: Sunday

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #1779

When: 2005

Probably my favorite restaurant of the trip - I ate there three times, always for lunch. A nice menu and excellent daily specials.

Directions: Right next door to Mario's, just off Piazza del Mercato Centrale

Overall probably my favorite restaurant of the trip.

This neatly decorated osteria is next door to Mario’s and a lot easier to get into if you arrive early. It does still get busy and filled up every time I was there and had people waiting for tables. I suspect it may get some overflow business from Mario's but more than deserves a visit for its own sake. There's a nice regular menu as well as interesting daily specials and a nice display of homemade desserts. Service was always very friendly and prompt.

On my first visit, for a solo lunch, I had penne carbonara with sliced zucchini, prepared as a vegetarian dish without pancetta or cheese, which was excellent. The braciola fritta was thin and very crisply fried and covered in chopped fresh tomatoes and basil. Spinach sauteed with garlic was also good. I didn't record the cost of this lunch, but it was probably about €25.

On my next visit, this time for lunch with my wife, was even better. We arrived just as they were opening at 12:30. It was a holiday and there was a crowd milling around Mario’s next door which was closed for the day. I’m sure many folks intending to eat there ended up in Pepo with us as it filled up quickly.

The risotto with porcini and saffron was unbelievably good. I make a pretty good porcini risotto, but the saffron was a very nice addition without being overpowering. Carpaccio di Chianina was excellent – tender and very tasty beef with lots of parmigiana. My wife’s coniglio ripieno was filled with a sausage stuffing and served with a side of asparagus. We had no room, but couldn’t resist what turned out to be another of best chocolate tortes of the trip (really a flourless chocolate cake). Very friendly service and an excellent meal. Lunch for two with drinks cost around €60.

Our third visit was the very next day, again for lunch. They recognized us, of course, and were I think a little surprised and pleased to see us again so soon. We were seated at “our” table in the front. Again, it filled up quickly and there was a line for tables. The waitress recommended the zuppa mediteranea which was a mixture of legumes and was probably the best soup of the trip (and I ate a lot of soup!). The lasagna was homemade and very nice. My filetto di maiale al balsamico was delicious and not too much. My wife’s bollito misto was a huge serving and she wasn’t able to finish it, but it was also very good. This was another very nice meal in a very pleasant restaurant and cost under €60.

Reviewed by: colleenk from MA, review #1265

When: 2005

Very nice restaurant right next to Trattoria Mario, moderately priced

Had a very good lunch in this pretty restaurant when we were too hungry to wait for a table at Mario's next door. Judy (aka Diva of Divina Cucina) recommended it, so we thought we would try it.

Our group of 4 had a variety of salads, pasta and grilled chicken. Everyone was happy with their selections. Service was very friendly despite being very busy at lunch time. Our waitress recommended their special flourless chocolate cake for dessert amd it was yummy! We chose not to have wine at this meal but they had an extensive and well priced wine list. A nice spot for a good lunch in the Central Market area.

Meal for 4 with no wine: 48Euro.

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

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