At Bacon & Rags when we think of Italian food, we think of rural paradise that is the Tuscan countryside. For us, Italian food means simple, fresh ingredients served with a deep red wine and stunning views. Staring in the distant, admiring the gently rolling hills, castles and farmhouses basking in the deep golden light of the afternoon sun. On the island, the restaurant that most closely represents that feeling is Il Barile in Punda (click here for our review). However, last Sunday we found out that there is a new kid on the block competing for that title.
Osteria Rosso, located on the premises of Trupial Inn Hotel, officially opened its door on the 28th of November. The green, white and red striped Fiat 500 (with a Ferrari badge, mind you!) is the first thing that catches your eye, giving you that instant Italian feel. The inside may not be very country, but the modern interior is very well executed with a few well-placed items, rustic wooden floor, farm tables and colorful seats and strategic lighting.
We were pleasantly surprised by the extensive wine list. It featured all the great grapes and regions of Tuscany, but no big brand names. Therefore, the wines are delicious and affordable. Try the 2008 Montenidoli Vernaccia di San Gimignano Carato if you are into a white wine. Foodwise, Osteria Rosso didn’t fail to impress either. The menu offers pizza, pasta, risotto, soups and a wide variety of appetizers for lunch. For dinner, there’s even steak on the menu. On your next visit, don’t forget to ask what the day’s specials are.
On any given day, for lunch we would highly recommend starting with the tomato soup. It is deliciously spiced, light enough to start a long meal with and pairs well with the crisp ciabatta with pesto or tapenade served before the meal.
The pasta dishes are served perfectly al dente. If you choose the spaghetti dal buco, prepare yourself for a great spectacle as the chef lightly flambés the pasta with grappa in a hollowed out Grana Padano (a popular cheese in Italy). Compared to the other dishes, the spaghetti dal buco was a bit bland and could have benefitted from a bit more cheese.
Or opt for the creamy richness of the risotto al funghi e tartufo. It reminded us of the risotto we ate at Cernobbio, Italy. Although the pizza was too richly filled to seem authentic Italian, it was exactly what we craved- good amount of cheese, delicious sauce and crisp from the wood oven. We highly recommend the Diavoletto, but make sure you can deal with the spicy sausage.
Finish off the meal with one of the traditional desserts. Although the tiramisu wasn’t as creamy and boozy as we would have liked, it was served in a cute preserving jar. We would recommend the trio of gelato instead. According to our waitress an Italian woman makes the ice cream. The vanilla was a bit too sweet, however the chocolate and strawberry ice cream were spot on. Pair the sweetness with coffee- any kind really, because they have it.
Osteria Rosso is supposed to introduce a Sunday brunch soon. We guarantee you that we will be the first in line. In the mean time we can totally see ourselves hanging out at the farm table, sipping coffee and writing our next blog post.
Food: 9- totally competing with Il Barile for the #1 Italian on the island
Service: 7- the staff is still a bit hesitant when it comes to serving
Ambiance: 8- the fresh, modern interior is very inviting
Location: 8- it’s centrally located and there is plenty of parking space