These food and restaurant pages are part of Paradoxplace (about Paradoxplace).  In addition to its restaurant and food pages, Paradoxplace contains over 7,000 photographs covering much of Italy. Spain and Portugal, France, and Britain, and other places as diverse as Constantinople, and Mughal India.  Paradoxplace also contains extensive illustrated chronologies, maps etc featuring  the interesting movers and shakers and places in the worlds of history, art and thinking - from the end of the Western Roman Empire (about 500AD), through the boomtimes of the high middle ages (1200s) and the  Italian Renaissance (1400s) to the entry of the Nation States of Early Modern Europe (around 1600AD).  Wherever possible, looking, eating and story telling are combined - apart from the special food pages linked above, many of the other pages have food photos and restaurant and hotel notes.

 

We are not commercially sponsored (but have nothing against this in principle!), and we make no charge for any of the listings and recommendations - the only criteria are those of interest and that we or our friends have enjoyed them.   Feedback is encouraged, as there is only so much one person can eat and photograph in a lifetime - email afletch at paradoxplace dot com.

 

These guides were researched in the early 2000s .... not much has changed for many of the restaurants except many now have websites, which makes it easy to check information about them.  We can't vouch for up to date accuracy, so you should check first.

 

 

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Umbrian Restaurant Notes

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South Umbria & Lazio (Around Orvieto, Montefiascone and Todi)

Ristorante da Rita,

via Grazie 37,

Montefiascone, 

C Wednesday,

0761 826710

The best fish restaurant in the area and the best value for money - at the bottom of the hill up to town so no view, but don't let that deter you.  Team Paradox inspected this gem again for Sunday lunch in October 2007 and nothing has changed - mussels first class, mixed fried seafood outstanding as was the house white, and the late sighting of a nearby table's spaghetti vongole nearly caused a backward movement in the meal sequence - plus we were the only non-locals there not contributing to the great Italian family atmosphere.

La Cavalla,

via Bandita 25,

Montefiascone,

C Monday,

0761 826068

The second best fish restaurant in the area.  This time with two big terraces looking out over the lake (Lago di Bolsena).  A fashionable place for Romans to come for Sunday lunch.  Prices reflect this and the view, but the fish is good. 

Ristorante Umbria,

via S Bounaventura,

Todi,

C Tuesday,

0758 942737

Just off the main square in Todi.  Good "old" atmosphere for a winter dinner (try the lamb cooked at the open fire).  "Panoramic balcony" open in the warmer weather. It claims to have been the venue for the Academy of Diners (motto "Delectat et nutrit"), and whilst it is no longer quite academy standard it's good and value for money.

Le Noci,

via Torino 6,

Grutti,

C Friday,

0742 98371

Large restaurant at the centre of an undistinguished small non-hill town (which gives the advantage of easy parking!!).  But ... the food is excellent, which is why we went there!  Grutti is NE of Todi in the direction of Bastardo / Montefalco.

Ristorante S Caspare,

M Martani,

Giano dell' Umbria,  

C ?, 

0742 90189

Here's one for the very adventurous (preferably with a local guide and large scale map!!).  Giano dell' Umbria is ENE of Todi.  Monte Martini is situated at 1094m at the end of a long mountain road, and the restaurant is in a large "ski chalet / shed" construction.  There is a terrace in summer (weather permitting) .  The site commands sweeping views from Perugia in the North through Assisi and Foligno to the East.  The other diners are all local Italians having long lunches (it can safely be said that you would never happen upon the place by accident!)

 

The food is like the restaurants used to be before they were spoiled by the tourist trade.  Garlic rubbed toast with new olive oil,  accompanied by wedges of aged pecorino cheese, a plate of prosciutto crudo and other meats along with a dish of braised diced liver, a steaming pile of pasta (with Ragu or Tartufo or Porcini when they are in season), chops from young mountain lamb cooked over the embers from the huge fire ...... forgettable house vino novello wine but an outstanding Grappa.  Certainly well worth the effort, but we had the best of local guides (thanks, Angelo).

 

2003 - one of those things that makes web writing life really worthwhile - someone took up this challenge and it was the highlight of their visit!!

Il Gabbiano,

Viale Cardona 2,

Bolsena

C ?, 

0761 799142

A run down fibro building on the beach of lake Bolsena - but the food is good (including lake fish) and the setting one of those that you will remember.  Beware of the holiday months because it's a big camping / mobile home area!

Vissani

0744 950206

A Gambero Rosso "Tre Forcette" (2002) and their No 1 in Italy for Cucina.  Our fearless pranzo team also discovered that it was up with the most expensive restaurants in Italy (if not the world) - but 6/7 of the 7 course degustation lunch were 10/10 (for little lamb chops it's better to find M Martani!).  We also had an excellent and little known wine - Sagrantino di Montefalco (made from the Caprai ? grape found only there).

 

At the left is all the information you get from their upmarket card .... however we know that they are on the SS448 from Baschi to Todi, in an almost unmarked country house style building on the Tiber dam lake.  We also know that they are closed on Wednesdays.

 

Central Umbria (Assisi)

 

Ristorante gli Orte

via Salita degli Orti 8,

Nr Santa Chiara, Assisi

C Thursday 075 812549

 

Away from the tourist throng, this is a pleasant lunch spot on the slope behind Piazza Santa Chiara (look for the sign to the restaurant on a stepped street leading up from the Piazza).  To see the Assisi town that many people never get to, drive round to the Porta Nuova car park and have the escalator do the hard work of taking you up the hill, from where it's an easy walk to Santa Chiara, the Duomo (San Ruffino), and the attractive Piazza del Comune (and a slightly longer one to the Basilica).  Gli Orti also has a couple of apartments if you want to stay the night.

 

North Umbria (Around Perugia, Gubbio and Cortona)

Ristorante la Lanterna, via Gioia 23,

Gubbio.   C ?,

075 927 6694

Pleasant beamed restaurant on the right side at the foot of the Gubbio hill.

 

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Very special thanks to Gregory Page and the girls at Alfaimmobiliare, real estate agents straordinario in Castellina in Chianti, San Gimignano and Lucca (Tuscany) and Orvieto (Umbria), for their generous help and friendship during many happy stays in Castellina 2000 - 2007.

 

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