Just a short post today. No, really. Brevity is not my forte, but we have been laboring over the past days getting our monthly news magazine, Dolce Vita ready to publish and after writing articles about Ischia and past beach vacations I have kind of run out of words. So no long, boring posts today. If you want long and boring, go visit Dolce Vita. And check out our back issues for even more.
The big news from yesterday is that Giorgione is back. Last year one of our favorite local restaurants, alla Via di Mezzo, closed its doors when the little borgo where this atmospheric osteria was located suddenly decided to convert itself into a hotel or some such nonsense. While we are still not quite sure what fate has befallen this charming village one tragic thing was made clear. Giorgio’s beloved little restaurant was being shut down.
Well Giorgio is back. Or rather, the portly chef with the perpetual smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye better known as Giorgione (big Giorgio) is back and he has brought his restaurant, alla Via di Mezzo back with him. We ate there last night and while it would be impossible to recreate the magic of the old Via di Mezzo and the one of a kind atmosphere of Torre del Colle, the new Via di Mezzo, tucked away in a quiet corner of Montefalco comes pretty darn close.
This photo of Alla Via di Mezzo is courtesy of TripAdvisor food has not changed a bit. You still start your meal at the self serve antipasti bar, which consists of a couple of dozen plates of grilled vegetables, spreads, beans and salads and an incredible selection of Italian and French cheeses. There you will be greeted by the big man himself of his better half, who push you to try everything. Dinner continues with two pastas being delivered to your table to be served family style. The pastas change every night and are fresh and good. Then two secondi will appear, again covering different culinary bases, typically a meat and a game. It is all good, hearty fare, without any pretention and without any fuss. Dessert always consists of a plate of assorted cakes including the closest thing to an American brownie you can find in Italy. Wines flow freely and are all from the Antonelli family winery, of which Giorgione’s wife is a member.
But as good as the food is, the joy of coming to alla Via di Mezzo is for Giorgione and the atmosphere he has created. And even if the new Montefalco location cannot fully recreate the magical atmosphere of Torre del Colle, Giorgione has come close. Suzy and I, and the legion of our friends and guests who have eaten at alla Via di Mezzo were crushed to hear it had closed down almost exactly a year ago. They will no doubt share our excitement at its reopening. At our dinner last night the rooms in the new Via di Mezzo were bursting at the seams with crowded tables of groups of friends and families, laughing, smiling and letting their hair down. It’s what you do at Giorgione’s and we’re happy that it will continue to be that way for a long time.
Bill and Suzy