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Todi: Ristorante Umbria

Reviewed by: bridie tane from UK, review #1456

When: 2005

We ate here once as it was said to be the best restaurant in Todi -- don't believe it! Nothing is good about it. We had our worst and most expensive meal here.

Do not go to this resaurant it is vastly overpriced and the staff are bordering on the rude with their indifference.

We were a party of six and apart from one starter the meal was awful, some of it inedible. My son and I had the pheasant in wine; the pheasant was over cooked and tough, the wine sauce disgusting. My husband had the roast suckling pig which was a poorly cooked pork chop. Pasta also very average.

The ambiance of this place is non-existent. They are trading on their location and little else. We arrived at the restaurant on an extremely hot day looking forward to a cold beer -- no cold beer!! Warm bottled beer in vaguely cold glasses! We did not have dessert and still the meal came to by far the most expensive meal we had in Italy including Rome.

Interesting that although most of the party could not eat their food when our table was cleared not one question was asked - they simply were not bothered. I feel this restaurant is trading on a past reputation that they no longer deserve to hold.

Reviewed by: bee49 from USA, review #1297

When: 2005

Rude staff & mediocre food does not outweigh view

I had dinner at this restaurant during May 2005. It was a big disappointment. Our table of eight sat for fifteen minutes on the half empty balcony before anyone came to our table. The waiter was the rudest I encountered during my two weeks in Italy. The food was below average. A pork dish was mostly fat and pieces of bone.

Reviewed by: jgk from FL, review #967

When: 2004

Great for the experience/view if not the food. A bit pricey compared to other places in town with equivalent food.

Best dishes were the veggie "buffet" -- many grilled and marinated seasonal veggies -- and the duck with lentils. The view can't be beat. Seeing the cook bending over the fireplace grilling meats in her uniform made the whole experience worthwhile.

Reviewed by: Bill Thayer from IL, review #862

When: 2004

Good Umbrian cuisine, if toned down for the tourist. By good weather, vine-covered balcony with phenomenal view. Service perfunctory.

ALERT: This restaurant, which I've eaten in many times, used to be one of the phenomenal places to eat in Umbria, but the grandfather who made it so, cooking and keeping an eye over the dining room, and offering inspired advice on the wine for specific dishes, died a few years ago and the restaurant has gone downhill. I mention this because you may hear, or read elsewhere, how wonderful it is: check whether it's first-hand information, and the date.

A lunch in Apr 2004: tagliatelle al tartufo (scorzone), a bit oily but good, B; pernice alla salvia, tamed down from what it used to be, here again very likely for the foreign tourist market, needed a bit more sage, on the other hand not salty, which is tricky with this kind of recipe since it involves a reduction, A-; carciofi fritti, A-; valeriana ai noci, nice to have on the menu. Tozzetti al vin santo, B.

The service is quite perfunctory: the beautiful balcony still there, 1:30 P.M., three tables, but I was by myself; the grandson, after checking with his dad who runs the dining-room, came back with a big smile and eager to please, to tell me that "Non è possibile" (the three tables by the balcony stayed untenanted thruout). Another example: when, having ordered, I asked for advice on the wine, I was, instead, merely told that these are the 2 reds available in half bottles — yet I may well have come back the day after and the other half of a full bottle could have been kept for me, or I might well have drunk a full bottle, or even half, leaving the rest, to have a better wine: energy, enthusiasm, love of wine, or just plain salesmanship would have been pleasant here, invece, family-owned though it is, the restaurant now leaves the impression that they see so many tourists and are just doing a job.

Overall rating: A-. Value for money: B.

Reviewed by: Amy from MA (moderator), review #524

When: 2003

We were rather disappointed by the food and service here. Go for the view and the wine list.

The Umbria is a lovely restaurant just off the main piazza in Todi. From the terrace you have a beautiful view down across the countryside, and inside is a cozy dining room with roaring fireplace.

While the food was largely competently prepared, it just didn't excite us. We also thought the service abrupt and more geared toward turning tables that the usual Italian meal is. Surprisingly, the best thing we had was a mixed vegetable antipasto. The tagliatelle with truffles was overly salty and short on truffle aroma, and we had a better grilled filet at the trattoria down the hill for less money.

Reviewed by: Edna from NY, review #280

When: 2002

This was a very pleasant restaurant with a wonderful dining terrace overlooking the countryside.

The food was typical Umbrian cuisine but of a high quality. The menu was very well-rounded with particular emphasis on fresh fish and wonderful pastas. The wine list was extensive in its scope of Umbrian wines with a smattering of other Italian regional ones. The service was very attentive and friendly.

Reviewed by: Pauline from NM (moderator), review #279

When: 2001

Lovely restaurant with a terrace overlooking the countryside.

Directions: Head under the stone arches off the main piazza (Piazza del Popolo). On a narrow lane downhill.

We had lunch here in September 1996. They have a wonderful terrace that looks out over the countryside. (Todi is set high up on a hill, and the restaurant is at the edge of the hill.) The food is great. If you spend a day in Todi, be sure to eat here.

We had a wonderful dinner here in September 2001. Even though the night was cool, they still sat you outside on the terrace and it was pleasantly warm. They must have had heaters hidden somewhere.

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

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