Thank Friday it’s Lunchtime – La Piazzetta de Borgo, Iano
We’ve reviewed a Mexican restaurant in California, now it’s the turn of a little place in Tuscany. After riding on Easter Monday morning, we needed food. We both thought “pizza” but when we stopped into La Piazzetta de Borgo (recommended by Sharon) it turned out to be a good bit posher than it seems from the outside.
There were small kids strategically dotted around the inside of the restaurant – wherever we sat would have placed us within grabbing distance – and they were all pointing at the dogs and burbling excitedly. Our dogs don’t “do” small kids – well, not in a good way – so we opted to eat outside, even though it was a little on the cold side.
We perused the menu and made our choices – a shared starter Caciocavallo ragusano all griglia con bruschetta al pomodoro caramellato e oregano (grilled Sicilian cheese and bruschetta with caramelised tomatoes and oregano) followed by Petto d’anatra, purea di palate e riduzione balsamico (duck breast with mashed spuds and balsamic reduction) for the LSH and for me, Tortelli di pasta fresco ripieni di ricotta e noci al burro, timo e tartufo marzuolo. (Home made tortelli stuffed with ricotta cheese, creamed nuts, thyme and Marzuolo truffle – a local speciality)
The names sound so much more romantic in Italian!
We ordered a glass of white wine each, and as we sat and sipped it, the waitress presented us with an amuse-bouche of Tuscan bean soup.
“Soup” in Tuscany can mean something you eat with a knife and fork, as you can see.
I amused myself with my macro lens and the potted pansy while we waited for our starter. I unashamedly love pansies (hmm, there’s a phrase I never expected to write) with their brash colours and their big, cheerful, leonine faces.
Our starter arrived, already neatly divided in two. The waitress had made certain that we knew it was not just bruschetta – she used the phrase “The cheese is the main protagonist” which put it rather well.
The cheese – caciocavallo – was a bit like halloumi, and was grilled to a nice brown and served with a single slice of bruschette, adorned with delicious cherry tomatoes, made even sweeter by being roasted.
Excellent. We were just getting into our stride nicely at this stage, so we asked for an extra glass of wine each. We must have done something to endear ourselves to the waitress, because she left the bottle there for us to finish off at that stage!
While we were sipping our wine, we could hear something sizzling violently through the kitchen window behind us. That must be the duck, we agreed. Sure enough, our main dishes came out a few minutes later.
Yes, they were as good as they look. Those are big slices of FRESH truffle on my tortelli – Marzuolo truffles are dug up in the spring-time, unlike the classic black or white ones found elsewhere.
In for a penny, in for a pound, we agreed, let’s have dessert, too.
Chocolate figured strongly on the dessert menu, so I had to ask for my pear tart without its decoration of chocolate mousse, while the LSH knew what he wanted straight away – tiramisu.
To be picky, I would say the pastry wasn’t great, but really, that’s just nit-picking. It was a superb, gut-busting meal, and left us with happy memories of sitting in the weak Spring sunshine as we savoured every bite.
On the downside, it was not cheap. In fact, by comparison with the Provençal dining that we’re now used to, it was downright expensive, coming out at €66.00 for the two of us, almost twice what we’d expect to pay here. Still, we were on our holidays, and it was a very special, memorable meal.
Star Rating (out of 5) :
Service : ✮✮✮✮✮
Food : ✮✮✮✮✮
Value : ✮✮
Ambiance : ✮✮✮✮