LUNCH IN DERUTA
When we met with Jane and Ken last week the big question was "where should we have lunch?" We don't often venture far from our own little world, and usually find out about restaurants in different areas from the recommendations of friends. We had lunch back at the beginning of July with Brad and Palma at L’Antico Forziere, but not only was it out of our price range, I just hadn't been that impressed with the food. (I wrote about it HERE.)
I was hoping that Judith, who was also joining us for lunch would have some suggestions, but when she didn't, I knew exactly who to ask: Wendy! Wendy, our guardian angel knows so much about this area, and I should have asked her advice from the beginning. She recommended la Locanda dle Bracconiere, on via borgo Garibaldi,8. If you're on the lower road, (via Tibernia) turn at the only stoplight, towards the centro, and when you get to the next stoplight (just a few car lengths), you'll see the restaurant directly in front of you. You can turn left and park in the free lot that's just beyond the restaurant.
La Locanda del Bracconiere offers a great lunch special - a great antipasto buffet, your choice of pastas and your choice of a secondi (meat course). Water and wine are included, all for €15! What a deal! The antipasto buffet was gorgeous and well-stocked. If you just want to order the antipasto by itself you can order either a small plate or a large plate - the large plate is €7.50. It's a one-time trip, not like U.S. all-you-can-eat salad bars. Judith ordered two large antipasto plates and was quite satisfied.
The special of the day included the small plate of antipasto, but if you plan carefully you can stack things up and get a little of everything - like I did! There was grilled eggplant and zucchini, tomatoes au gratin, several types of bruschetta, tomatoes with mozzarella, arugula salad. onions marinated in basalmic vinegar, cabbage salad and more.....
Our waitress wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Between her confusion and the elctronic gizmo she was using to enter our order on, I think we all gave her our orders at least four times. Eventually she had everything straight and we set off for the antipasto buffet - and it was all as good as it looked. Our pastas arrived just as we were finishing the antipasti - the choices were spaghetti with garlic, pepperoncino and oil, or tagliatelle with ragu. The consensus was that both were wonderful, along with Casey's penne arrabiata.
The meat course was the next to arrive and we'd all selected the mixed grill. I have to say that Art and I were both surprised to find some delicious cuts of beef on the plate - tender and cooked to perfection. Normally we expect a variety of pork and sausage, but the generous servings of beef were a wonderful (and yummy) surprise.
Given the generous servings, and the fact that both water and wine are included in the daily special price of €15, I would certainly recommend Locanda del Bracconiere. I do have to note that our friend Shelly used to visit this restaurant regularly, and the last two times she was there the price had gone up to €20. She questioned the price but was told it was correct. I don't know how long ago this was, but perhaps the higher prices caused such a decline in business that the €15 lunch special was reinstated. Who knows what might happen in the future, but as of this week the daily special is still €15!