Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Mangiare Bene: Osteria Al Guerriero


Al Guerriero (The Warrior)
This weekend we spent the day in a beautiful hill town called Arqua Petrarca. I will post more about this town because it is absolutely stunning and one of the jewels of the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills). Our main objective was to go to Frantoio Colli del Poeta, a local olive mill, to get some freshly pressed olive oil. If you've never had freshly pressed olive oil, you are missing out - there's nothing better! Drizzle it over some toasted bread, sprinkle with salt and enjoy. If you find yourself in Italy around November, look for local olive presses - they usually give tours and tastings. It's something not to be missed.

Anyway, after we did our tour and bought our bottle(s) it was lunch time.  I had read about this little osteria on the web and decided we should stop and eat.  Osteria Al Guerriero is a tiny place right off of the main square of Arqua Petrarca and looks exactly like you would expect it to. A crazy old stone building, beautiful wood ceilings, fireplace in the back, clean white walls, glass and brass gleaming, holding about 8 tables total. The owner and wait staff are extremely friendly and though they don't speak much English are happy to give you suggestions about the menu and/or wine selections. I can't stress enough how pleasant and nice the people were. They are so welcoming and make you feel right at home.

Osteria Al Guerriero entrance
We were lucky and got there at the right time because when we left, people were waiting for tables (did I tell you IT'S SMALL!). The menu is written on a chalkboard outside the door as it changes frequently. It is a small  space and serves typical Veneto cuisine - some of which I personally won't eat, such as horse (cavallo) and donkey (musso). We decided to have an antipasto course and a primi which was:

Antipasto - slice of a zucchini frittata, slice of a torta salata (kind of like a quiche) with veggies in it, some ribbons of zucchini which were slightly pickled, and a caponata. All super delicious and the caponata didn't have bell peppers in it (most of them do, and I hate bell peppers) so I was happy - all served with a basket of bread.

Just inside the door
Primi - I had a bowl of mushroom soup which was really good (though needed a touch more salt) with big chunks of wild mushrooms and potatoes, and a good amount of parmesan cheese/crostini. S. had the house specialty, an onion lasagna - you should totally try that, it was hard for me just to have one bite. The onions are sliced thin and sweet, mixed with bechamel sauce and layered among thin sheets of pasta and parmesan cheese.

We decided against a meat or dessert course but I'm sure the offerings were good. It was a cozy, warm place to enjoy good food and get out of the cold wind.

Arqua Petrarca is definitely a town worth a visit. I will post more about it one day, but remember the name, you'll want to see it. And while you are there, stop in at Osteria Al Guerriero for warm Italian hospitality, good food, and a very "Italian" experience.

Name: Osteria Al Guerriero
Where: Via Jacopo d'Arqua 2
             Arqua Petrarca
Province: Padova
Phone: 0429.718376

More later...

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