Join Verona's workers for lunch in San Matteo Church. Tucked away off a side street, this self service restaurant serves a good range of salads, pasta and pizza. You can eat very well for under 10 euro with drinks and it's air conditioned too.
Italian chain that allows you to see what dishes are being prepared before you choose food. Always full of locals rather than tourists. Great opportunity to get a hang of Italian food habits. Padua Brek is slightly better if you're travelling.
Main square outside opera amphitheatre
The restaurant seems like a simple family ‘trattoria’ and the owner, Giorgio Soave, was waiting to give us a warm welcome when we arrived. But it is far from being the simple place we had imagined. The food and service were magic, the waiters have just the right mix of helpful presence and discretion, and every detail of our evening was perfect.
After a glass of sparkling Prosecco, we started the meal with a delicious soup made with green asparagus and the smallest fresh peas you can imagine, truly wonderful. Giorgio makes his own salame, ‘pancetta’ and ‘lardo’ and although I was a bit dubious about the fat at first I was amazed at how delicious it all was, served with toasted bread with an exceptionally smooth olive oil and small green peppers, then fresh goat's cheese with chives, and an excellent Valpolicella classico to accompany it.
I suspect Giorgio knows more about food than anyone I’ve ever met. He can explain the difference between the green and white asparagus which comes fresh from the field and is served with egg and the finest slices of black truffle. He knows just where and when to pick the best mountain mushrooms, where to find the finest truffles, how to prepare the most delicious strawberry sauce to accompany his home-made tortelli with ricotta and nettles (magic!), how to choose the most delicate baby spinach leaves as a base for the tenderest ‘maltagliata’ (a rare beef fillet roughly chopped and served with fennel and Amarone sauce)…
He serves the local Monte Veronese cheese with a preserve known as ‘mostarda di mele’, which is made with apples and the essence of mustard and makes a perfect combination.
We had no room for dessert, but when he brought out a plate of icecream topped with chestnuts in honey, with home-made pastries, we couldn’t resist.
Each course was served with the right wine – and the Amarone we drank with the ‘maltagliata’ was exceptional – then coffee and grappa, or rose liqueur for the ladies.
We enjoyed our meal so much that I felt I had to write about it! It wasn’t cheap, but we sometimes like to treat ourselves, so if you would like to do the same, just drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch, or have a look at Giorgio’s site – we hope you will enjoy your evening as much as we did.
GROTO DE CORGNAN
Di Giorgio Soave
Via Corgnan, 41
37010 SANT’AMBROGIO VALPOLICELLA
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Excellent northern Italian food hidden in a pretty courtyard off Corso Cavour. Food ranging from simple (salad of rocket, parmesan, pears and walnuts) to Veronese specials (polenta with horsemeat ragu). Only expensive by local standards.
Corte Sgarzarie 14/A;
tel: 045 800 0312;
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