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Osteria Ulvi

Osteria degli Ulivi, Montorio Al Vomano

by Sam Dunham

Osteria degli Ulivi

Osteria degli Ulivi

A wonderful that we found unprompted & by chance was Osteria degli Ulivi, hidden in the hills just above Montorio al Vomano on the road to Isola San Grasso.  It’s seemingly ran single-handedly by the charming Signor Enzo Bernabe who takes the time & effort to explain each perfectly presented course with the same apparent precision & care that he had put into its creation.

Having had the pleasure of eating out in many of the Abruzzo region’s splendid agriturismi, ristoranti, osterie and trattorie, one of the main problems we have had sometimes is the sheer QUANTITY of food involved; therefore the delicate portions at Osteria degli Ulivi proved a welcome respite without any need to stagger home clutching one’s belly and being better for nothing than a good sleep.

On all of our visits here the meal was preceded by an excellent complimentary glass of fizz, a light, golden prosecco that effused the palate with the subtlest flavour of honey which put a lot of its regional spumante brothers to shame. This little appetitive has been particularly enjoyed too by all the friends that we have visited with.

Baccala Pate with toast Broda di Faggioli

A selection of excellent small meze like ‘’ dishes are served by Sig. Bernabe, on our most recent visit (Spring 2009) these included toasted with baccala pate in a sauce of local herbs, bean broth and wonderfully light and fluffy timballe, and the main was a perfect portion of gnochetti with lamb, and on previous occasions we have enjoyed equally rewarding dishes such as a lasagne type dish with mozzarella and wild mushrooms, a dish of chittara with tomato and basil, and a delicate lamb dish with herbs and (there is a general menu on the website, but the options change regularly, remember this is , it is what is in season!).

Sig. Bernabe recommended a fine Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for us, as perfect accompaniment, and their house vino rosso is also always very good.

Osteria degli Ulivi  has great views down to Montorio Al Vomano, in the you can sit out on the candle-lit terrace enjoying scents, the fireflies and the glorious mountain silhouette of Campli out in the distance.

When telling some local Italian friends of our visits here, they seemed surprised and uttered something along the lines of “Yes, but it is very chic, no?!”, whether to indicate disapproval of our going there as opposed to some of the less fanciful places available or horror that the likes of us were allowed in I am not sure. However, we sensed a certain willingness from this restaurant to experiment which was refreshing without coming across as irritatingly contrived, and the helpful jolliness of Sig. Bernabe was genuinely appreciated.

The prices were also perfectly reasonable 45 euros per head for 3 courses including wine, certainly by London standards!  Possibly a tad more than other places in the area, but was worth it for the change alone!

It has always been pleasantly quiet whilst we were there but I gather for Saturday nights it might be wise to make a reservation first.  Incidentally this may be the place to visit if you are a vegetarian in Abruzzo – Sig. Bernabe goes to town in helping to assist something lovely no matter what your dietary requirements.

Rating:

Quality of Food:  10/10
Value for Money: 8/10

Cost: 90 euros for 2 people including house wine

Restaurant Details:

Address: Via delle Fornaci, Montorio Al Vomano, TE, 64046

Telephone: 0861 592882

Email: info@osteriadegliulivi.com

Official Website: http://www.osteriadegliulivi.com

Closed: All day Monday, Tuesday for lunch

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Robert Hall
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Robert Hall

There was something quite surreal about visiting Osteria degli Ulivi. We arrived on the first night of our honeymoon in August, having made the drive over from Rome. Coming from the heat and bustle of the city, and mayhem of the roads, this seemed as remote and tranquil a backwater as you could hope to find. But the awe-inspiring food would be at home in the most chic and sophisticated metropolitan restaurant. Maybe I don't get out enough, but this elevated the night to a whole new experience, and provided quite a contrast to the equally pleasurable dining to be… Read more »