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05 March 2018

Locanda del Teatro in Montefalco (Umbria), Italy

There are a lot of things that make Montefalco one of the best destinations in Umbria. It's not only for its celebrated Sagrantino but also for its history, impeccably preserved ancient cobblestone streets and buildings and of course, the food. Montefalco is a very tranquil small hamlet where going around on foot gives you the pleasure of browsing the artisan shops to feed that gourmand inside you or better yet, sit down in one of the town's restaurants where local ingredients are cooked and transformed into exquisite dishes represented by their kitchen experts.

All roads lead to Piazza del Comune, the main square of the town. So wherever you are coming from, you will land at that quintessential circular piazza where the 13th-century Palazzo Comunale (City Hall) is located. If you're facing it, immediately on its left is the stately 4-star Palazzo Bontadosi Hotel & Spa housed in the former 15th-century home of Cardinal Bontadosi.

Locanda del Teatro, one of the best restaurants in Montefalco, is located on the ground floor of Palazzo Bontadosi. Here, Chef Pasqualino Titta and Sommelier Paolo Galanti delight their guests with the excellence of Umbria through their original cuisine, a great selection of wines and warm and impeccable Umbrian hospitality.

Locanda del Teatro is accommodated in the palace's intimate corner with vaulted and beamed ceilings that expands into the expansive Piazza del Comune and at the back garden with a magnificent view in the warmer months. White and tones of earth with mid-century modern Danish Panton chairs giving a remarkable contrast of old and new. I have dined at the restaurant in the piazza during the hot summer days and indoors in winter. Both experiences may have been from different seasons and diverse menus but the main philosophy of the kitchen and the precise service had been constant and remained commendable.

The dishes are created with the best local ingredients, some of which come from their own garden and the menu changes according to season to follow the availability of the fresh ingredients. Pasquilino creates dishes of Umbrian tradition and redefines them with an innovative twist. In fact, his Terrina di Fegatina di Pollo con Pistacchi e Salsa di Pere al Sagrantino di Montefalco (Chicken Liver Terrine with Pistachios and Pear Sauce with Sagrantino Montefalco) won as the best antipasto (appetizer) at the Sagrantino nel Piatto 2017.

The comprehensive wine list is considered as one of the best in the area that in fact, it also won as the Best Wine Menu in Montefalco in 2016. The list has an interesting collection of some of the best labels from around Italy, some international and of course, a lot of great labels from the area. 

Since the menu is seasonal, both times I visited, the dishes were completely different from each period, once in summer and once in winter. If you want to completely immerse yourself in the kitchen of the chef, take the tasting menu along with the wine pairing. If you are choosing your own dishes, there are some really interesting ones from appetizers to desserts. In addition to the menu, there are some days when the chef has proposals for the day using their freshly-sourced ingredients.

Like with their other seasonal menus, there are some delectable entries in the 2018 winter menu. Pecorino from Norcia Soufflè with Glazed Pear in Cooked in Sagrantino wine and Cinnamon (€12), and Poached Egg on Parmigiano Zabaione with Black Truffle Shavings (€13) are perfect starting dishes in the cold months. Continue with a classic plate of pasta with an additional surprise with the Handmade Tagliatelle with Wild Boar Ragù and Valrhona Cocoa Nibs (€14). For the main course, the Crispy Pork Saddle with Apple and Ginger Compote (€18) are Guinea-fowl in Salmì with Laurel-Flavored Bread Crust (€18) both delectable choices and to conclude the meal with something sweet, Iced Marsala Zabaione with Chocolate Sauce and Orange Zest (€8) works well in cleaning up the palate.

Locanda del Teatro

Piazza del Comune, 19
06036 Montefalco (PG), Italy
Tel: +39 0742 379357
Open daily for lunch and dinner

Restaurants in Umbria: