My husband and I had dinner at Country House San Giorgio last weekend and we had such an extraordinary experience that we feel compelled to share it with anybody who is planning to visit this area. As a testimony to how excited we were about the place, I should disclose that I have never written a restaurant review before, despite the fact that we have traveled extensively across Europe and the United States, and are passionate about trying interesting restaurants.
Country House San Giorgio is an old farmhouse in Rosara, a small hamlet just a few miles outside Ascoli Piceno, in the Marche region. This is a yet undiscovered gem in Central-Eastern Italy, with beautiful hilly landscapes and quaint medieval villages. The locals are extremely friendly and proud of their food traditions.
The restaurant is comprised of two rooms, with some of the old stone-walls still exposed, and a cozy fireplace in one of the rooms. Apparently, the restaurant is very popular with the locals (always a good sign) and it was fairly crowded on the day that we visited. However, this is not a loud place with kids running around, but rather a relaxing oasis were families and friends get together to enjoy good food and wine. In addition to the restaurant, several rooms are available for people who are interested in staying overnight.
Our dinner was a real feast of local delicacies, with an impressive variety of dishes throughout the entire meal. I should specify that food was served in the old Italian tradition: there is no need to choose from a menu, the plates keep coming and one gets to try everything that the kitchen makes for the day.
Our appetizers included local cheeses and cured meats, a delicious frittata with local mushrooms, polenta with sausage and the "always imitated but never duplicated" stuffed olives from Ascoli (we have seen them on menus in the Village in New York, but it is only in Ascoli that you will find the real ones, made with "olive in salamoia" and based on a recipe that has been passed down through generations).
As a first course we had a choice between ravioli with ricotta and spinach in the style of Norcia (a small town in southeastern Umbria famous for many culinary delicacies), and tagliatelle in a duck ragout.
The main course was a delicious selection of grilled meats (pork kebabs and short ribs with roasted potatoes) and a roast of veal with balsamic pearl onions.
Finally, we closed with a to-die-for Zuppa Inglese (despite the name, this is an Italian custard-based dessert), genziana (a liqueur made from an infusion of genziana roots), and a licorice-flavored grappa.
The manager of Country House San Giorgio is Peppe (short for Giuseppe) Frollo, an incredibly pleasant and friendly man who has spent most of his life in the restaurant business. Signor Peppe is helped by his son and daughter in the dining rooms, while his wife Daniela manages the kitchen. They are all extremely attentive and gracious, and make the whole experience of dining at their place a real pleasure.
If you have a dream of dining an a typical Italian place, where the food is delicious, the hosts are friendly and make every effort to make their customers feel as if they are part of the family, and the surroundings are simply beautiful, you cannot miss the Country House San Giorgio.
Our bill for the entire dinner was the final surprise. Suffice it to say that it makes it hard to justify ever eating at home again......
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC