Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ristorante Apollinare in the Historic Heart of Spoleto

Standing on the Roman foundations of a 12th-century Franciscan monastery in the historic heart of Spoleto, Ristorante Apollinare is considered to be the best restaurant in town. Wonderfully intimate and full of character with rough stone walls and wooden beams offset by jaunty blue-upholstered chairs and yellow-gold linen, the outdoor covered terrace is the perfect place to dine on a warm summer evening. Gianna Gradassi, the owner of Apollinare, and young chef Michele Pidone, serve sophisticated, innovative variations on local cuisine using produce typical to the area, with dishes such as Strengozzi al Tartufo di Norcia, Gnocchi di Patate Viola, carciofi e guanicale su fonduta di cacciottina, and Lombello di Maialino in rete di lardo con pere al Rosso di Montefalco e spuma di Pecorino di fossa. Beginning with a glass of Prosecco, we were presented with a delicious amuse bouche 
of cooked pancetta on a rice crisp with silky pumpkin cream. As a first course we selected the Stracciata d’ Uovo al Tartufo Nero e bruschette all’ extravergine d’ olive, luxurious scrambled eggs with black truffles, and the Soufflé di Topinambour riduzione di arancia e chips soffiata al carbon vegetable, a Jerusalem artichoke soufflé with orange reduction and garnished with a charcoal puffed rice chip. The sommelier suggested a 2012 Tabarrini Montefalco Rosso from a family owned winery in Montefalco, an excellent wine which paired perfectly with our entrées of Tagliata do Manzo al sale di Maldon e verdure di station and Trancio di Ricciola con purea di zucca, cavolfiore verde e crema di pirelli. Our last night in Spoleto, we splurged and shared a Montefalco Rosso Poached Pear with quenelle of chocolate mousse with a glass of Vin Santo. Recommended by Anna Bartocci from Palazzo Leti as an excellent restaurant for our last night in Spoleto, the service, ambiance and cuisine was superb. 

The interior of Ristorante Apollinare

Choosing to sit in the outside terrace of Apollinare on such a lovely evening, 
we started with a glass of Prosecco as we looked over the menu

Selection of house made bread and focaccia

Oil lamp with blue oil on a bed of salt

Amuse bouche of cooked pancetta on rice crisp with pumpkin cream

Our server and sommelier testing the cork of our Montefalco Rosso

2012 Tabarrini Montefalco Rosso - a family owned winery in Montefalco

A bold earthy red from nearby Montefalco, Umbria's top wine area

Stracciata d’ uovo al tartufo nero e bruschette all’ extravergine d’ olivo - Scrambled Eggs 
with shaved Black Truffles 

Soufflé di Topinambour riduzione di arancia e chips soffiata al carbone vegetale - Jerusalem Artichoke Soufflé with orange reduction and charcoal puffed rice chip

Trancio di Ricciola con purea di zucca, cavolfiore verde e crema di piselli

Tagliata do Manzo al sale di Maldon e verdure di stagione

Montefalco Rosso Poached Pear with quenelle of chocolate mousse

Glass of Vin Santo


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