Thursday, August 23, 2007

C'era Una Volta

Sun 29 July 2007

C'era Una Volta translates as 'Once upon a time' and it was the first restaurant recommended to us by Laura. It is in the town of Lucardo, which is a bit in the middle of nowhere, so you won't be finding it unless you have a car! Lucardo also appears to be a town of one church and two restaurants.

As it was lunch and I, at least, was already feeling the effects of my father's lunching ability I opted out of the entrée - which means that I didn't order a starter, but rather 'sampled' other starters that appeared on the table. Mum ordered onion and zucchini beignets. This turned out to be onion beignets and zucchini beignets (rather than a combined mix) which mattered not as they were delicious, light and not greasy at all. The Italians seem to be so much better at doing stuff with zucchini/courgettes than anyone else. I resolved, briefly, to do more with this vegetable (incidentally, I love courgette but I'm quite happy to eat it raw or lighty steamed and therefore find little impetus to do anything else with it). Dad ordered the spinach and ricotta ravioli with walnut sauce. This was a generous serving with lovely home made pasta and, rather than drowning the pasta parcels, there was a dab of sauce per cushion which allowed the diner to enjoy the pasta and filling, as well as the sauce.

After my meagre pickings from other people's plates I was anticipating main course. I had ordered pici with cheeses and cherry tomatoes. The fat pasta was chewily al dente and coated in a mix of melted, stringy cheeses and flecked with cherry tomatoes. This description does not do it justice. It was absolutely delicious, and, although I scoffed it at record speed, I was so disappointed when I was finished. I did sample mum's pappardelle with wild boar and Andy's zucchini stuffed with mince, but missed out on dad's guinea fowl with lemon.

We were too full by this stage to contemplate dessert, and did discuss the possibility of returning another night for dinner - but this was something we never got around to.

If you're in the area, I recommend preparing yourself for a big meal and heading to C'era Una Volta. Also, please try the fried zucchini flowers for us!

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