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Abruzzo’s King of Antipasti La Loggia Antica

by Sam Dunham
Agriturismo Loggia Antica

Agriturismo Loggia Antica

King of is going to be my catchphrase for Abruzzo’s agriturismo, located just outside Arsita in the province of Teramo.  It is a hard-won title! Abruzzo agriturismi offers a wide variety of scrummy , little hot & cold teaser dishes that are often fried, stuffed, stewed and roasted in addition to the usual platter of and cheeses of other regions, and in the case of La Loggia wonderful offerings these could be eaten alone as a filling lunch or dinner for those that fancy a meze style lunch.

Situated amongst panoramic sweeping hills that promise easy[ish] hiking; overlooked by the Gran Sasso mountain range just outside Arsita, it’s the perfect location for walkers and those that have an appointment to view the nearby wolf museum…

Veggie Antipasti Selection

Our visit to La Loggia Antica in late winter yielded some excellent examples of the more standard fare – home-made prosciutto, lomo and salami; the salami was wonderful both in its flavour and its lack of fatty globules which I know you must have for flavour’s sake, but these lost nothing for their absence.  Wonderful soft young cow cheeses were served with pear salsa, followed by piping hot, soft and squishy frittelle.  This was followed by blessed cardoons drizzled with a balsamic reduction, a puree of potato with swiss chard and dressed in the fruitiest , and my favourite a soft but crunchy carrot giardiniera with truffle, wide orange strips taken lengthways from the carrot resembling almost sweet potato shavings.

Next came along warm chickpeas sprinkled with crushed hazelnuts (sublime and something I am going to try at home), the softest diced lambs’ liver that melted appropriately mid mastication,  a moist pork & artichoke dish, dreamy smashed potatoes with roasted peppers, succulent stewed lamb and finally peppered pork.

We had no idea that the antipasti would span quite such a range, so ordered our usual courses blissfully ignorant of the veritable antipasti banquet.  alla pecorara, (shepherdess for those that don’t know) with shapes in the shape of the top of Little Bo Beep’s circular crook; a piquant sauce, courgettes, aubergine, mushrooms, olives and a sprinkling of ricotta on top made this one of the best dishes we’ve had in Abruzzo, and the gnocchi in a luscious truffle and mushroom sauce my partner had was equally excellent.

Pasta la pecorara

Service was great, a chat with the owner Sig Di Mercurio who came out to speak to all the diners present, and wasn’t put off that we were English nor our horrible Italian.  His array of homemade cream liqueurs are superb, something for everyone here: coffee, chocolate and limoncello in addition to Genzano.    Those all around us were onto their meats by this stage which left us thinking how lucky locals are to have such hollow legs because I really really don’t know where they were putting  it all.

Do so recommend, there is loggia-style dining offered in the but if going at the weekend phone ahead and , this place is very popular with locals.  They offer a B&B facility too for those looking in the Arsita & Bisenti area.

Price –  €35 for 2 people including 2 courses,  1/2 litre of house wine, coffee and liqueurs (we took home most of our pasta dishes & ate for dinner,  portions here are enormous)

Value for money – 10/10
Quality of – 10/10

 La Loggia Antica

Contact Details

Contrada da Carbonesca | Arsita | 64031  (TE)

Telephone: 0861 995720 | No Email or Website

1 comment

yorokobiness 29/03/2011 - 17:38

you are right, this place deserves the name "king of antipasti" 🙂

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All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog
All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog