Sunday, 15 September 2013

Flo and Elle's Tuscany: il Cardinale in Colle

This hotel restaurant is situated in a beautiful courtyard in the grounds of a hotel built in the historic residence of Pope Julius II (who commissioned the Sistine Chapel). While the hotel's interiors are very questionable, the gardens are pretty and the restaurant terrace beautifully peaceful. If its a nice day you only need to see it from the outside anyway!

First impressions were somewhat tainted by rather loud lion-king-esque music that was probably trying to compensate for that somewhat stilted atmosphere of most restaurant hotels. However, as soon as we began to eat, all other senses dissolved into delight.

We forwent the starters which are mainly cold platters and decided to have a pasta and a meat course. The dishes that stood out in particular were the unusual fig and pork ravioli, the stuffed pigeon and the succulent beef fillet with creamy apple and black truffle sauce. That said, everything was delicious and the wine recommended was just what I had asked for.

The owner is an enthusiastic young man who is clearly passionate about what he does and you can really taste that in the food. While there was a slight wait between courses, you realise and appreciate why when the second course comes.

This is one we will definitely be returning for whenever we are back in Umbria, praying to the food gods that the dishes don't change!