Ok, so it’s a Sunday and we’re driving around in an apparently fruitless attempt to find a restaurant that’s not packed to the gills for lunch. No dice, not a single restaurant will let us have a precious table, so we wind around the curvy Lunigiana roads in the car until we come to the village of Pieve di Monti and Martha sees a sign for an Osteria way too late. So I whip the lease car around in a U-turn that passes through a closed gas station and we travel what seems like a hundred meters or so until we’re in the shadow of a rather imposing castle I’d never heard of before, the Castello di Pontebosio, or Castle of the Bridge of the Bosi, refering to a feuding family in the area, of which there are legions. I park in the shade of the castle near the church, check around for feuding folks with seige weapons, and finally find the sign to Osteria Boccondivino. Not only is it open for lunch (only on weekends) but there are tables available. In fact, there’s a whole room available, the pink room, and we’re the only diners in it. Hmmm.
Ok, so the set up is suspicious. But the place is nicely furnished, and I feel good about it.
We’re quickly informed of the specials. I just have to have the hand made pasta with mirtillos. Imagine, I’m ordering a pasta made from something akin to blueberries and studded with them and some walnuts as well as a tangle of pecorino cheese shavings. Certainly I’ve gone mad. But it was good. So was the artichoke ravioli with pears and ricotta that Martha had. Fruit and pasta together. Who knew?
For a second course I had the Filetto di Maiale alla Medicea, pig with pancetta and cinnamon from the recipe book of one of your feuding medieval families. By now you’re thinking I’m plumb nuts to be ordering all this food that sounds like it should be covered with ice cream and maybe even a dollup of whipped cream, but really, the pork was top notch—cubes of tender pig scented delicately with cinnamon were wrapped in pancetta and left floating in a transparent sheen of tasty pan juices. Yummy. Martha’s tamer duck with orange sauce was good too. Both came with sweet and sour onions and a grilled belgian endive to cut the sweetness of the onion.
Ok, so you’ve got a place based on great traditions of hand made pasta (each pasta was fresh and made in-house) and traditional preparations—with a huge helping of innovation using traditional ingredients in ways that make sense when you taste them. I’m a big fan of Osteria Boccondivino. Try it, you’ll like it.
The meal for two with a bottle of local wine from nearby, a mineral water and one dolce came to 48 Euros—a very reasonable price.
Web Site: Osteria Boccondivino. You can reserve a table on the site.
Osteria Boccondivino is on our Lunigiana Restaurant Map