Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gubbio: Dining Amongst Wolves

After all the attention heaped onto those lupini, the wolf that ate them, and the subsequent post-link to the Wolf of Gubbio, where else would you expect one to dine in the city of Gubbio? Why, none other than at the Taverna del Lupo of course [Frommer's review], and anyplace else that had the marketing wisdom to add Lupo (wolf) to the name of their eating establishment. Out of the four restaurants that we visited - two with Lupo and two without - these three are worth mentioning. All are located in the center of Gubbio.

***Taverna del Lupo is everything that Frommer's says it to be despite my attempts at photos (there is just something so wrong about whipping out the lens in an elegant setting). I am mentally revisiting the evening's experience as if it were only yesterday. You won't find lupini prominently mentioned on the menu, but you will find tartufi — truffles — unabashedly used in many of the plates listed. In each of the truffle-enhanced dishes presented us I will admit without embarrassment that it took great effort to suppress ourselves from behaving like voracious wolves fools! Really, truffles are the sort of thing that induces sweet slumber -- especially when you fall asleep with your whole mouth and palate lingering with the pervasive earthy flavor. Sogni d'oro as they say in Italy (sweet dreams). So what if I refused to brush my teeth before bedtime that night.

Left: Sfogliatina del Lupo con tartufo   Right: Frittatina gentile con lamelle di tartufo

Via Ansidei 21, lunch and dinner, reservations suggested, major credit cards, closed Monday

**½ Enoteca/Wine Bar “La Madia di Giuseppe” was discovered by chance when I picked up the glossy ad flyer at our hotel's front desk. This is a great “chill” place to unwind and discuss everything from the state of affairs to how Maddie will take to her new doxie brother (we are picking him up this Saturday!). Something about the casual ease of this wine bar urged us to pay a visit twice...both times within the same evening. They serve light lunches, soups and salads along with selected wines by the glass and cheese/salumi plates. We started off with a leisurely aperitivo then returned, later that night, for more wine and nibbles.

From bottom left and clockwise: Pecorino cheese - young, aged, truffle, saffron, walnuts

Via Mastro Giorgio n.6, credit cards accepted

**Ristorante San Francesco e il Lupo is the answer to truffle lovers who may not have deep enough pockets to dine at Taverna del Lupo every single night. And what better place than this restaurant/pizzeria with an apropos name! That's how badly I wanted to get my fill of truffles, even if the pizzas at this place are not baked in a wood-burning oven. The MotH, automatic pizza gourmand by right-of-birth, deemed the “Tartufo” worthy of its creation. This translates to a return visit -- not something he easily concedes to given the thousands of pizzerie that dot this country.

Behold! The Tartufo!

Via Cairoli 24, credit cards accepted