On the recommendation of our hostess, the redoubtable Stefania, we booked for Friday night dinner at La Grotta, which we walked to from Montorio where we stayed, in five minutes.
We booked in person two days before and we're warmly greeted and asked if we wanted to eat in the courtyard if the weather was fine. We said yes, it was and we did!
We were pleasantly greeted and shown to our table and welcomed with a glass of white wine on the house. We ate the local version of beef tartare, which was excellent and served with a fine Dijon style mustard. We both then had the Tuscan tomato soup... which was also excellent... and interestingly seemed to be the choice of several of the locals eating that night.
For main course, I had the grilled lamb, which was four crusted beautifully cooked lamb cutlets served with fried sliced capsicums. My wife has the boneless quail, which, though not entirely boneless was highly flavoursome and easy to dissect. It was served with excellent green beans.
For dessert, we had a chocolate mousse cake and a trio of sorbets respectively. Again, nothing to fault.
The wine list was smallish but of good quality and contained wines from several regions of Italy. We chose the local Vin Nobile of Montepulciano Riserva 2007, which turned out to be a limited vintage (1500) bottles only, of one of the best recent years in the region. It bore the Romeo label and was called Riserva dei Mandorli. It was the best of the local reds that we have tasted on this trip, and at 43 euros, was fairly priced.
As a bonus, there were four dessert wine choices; we went with a glass of the late picked white with the gelati...good but not outstanding... and a wonderful local red dessert wine called something like Aleaorto... sorry for the lack of precision here...with the chocolate cake. It was fantastic, the closest comparison within my experience was that it was like a Pedro Ximenes from Spain in some of its flavours. This wine was recommended by the wine waitress and she was spot on!
This was a very high class and somewhat expensive restaurant, but frankly, the experience was so great, I did not even bother to read the total, I signed the bill with a smile.
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