Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Osteria L'upupa, Via Augusto Conti, San Miniato


It was getting late into the afternoon and we needed to get some lunch before leaving San Miniato. Prior to getting into this town, we were informed that most of the restaurants here would have their own truffle menu as it was in season and that we only had to avoid a particular place for their outragous prices. Everywhere else was really just fair game so we hit the first place that had a queue of locals. That being Osteria L'upupa (Via Augusto Conti 15, San Miniato, tel : +39 571 400 429).

Food was simple, rustic and I think the restaurant service was a little overwhelmed by a full house.


To start was a beef carpaccio with Parmigiano Reggiano and shaven white truffle. The flavors of the thinly sliced meat was pretty good, if a bit sinewy at parts.


Next up were the primo plato. I think we were pretty impressed by the awesome simplicity of their tagliatelline al tartufo bianco. Pasta, salted butter and truffle shaving. Probably one of the best ways to showcase the flavor of the fungus.


The second of the first plates was pappardelle ovuli e tartufo bianco. We had originally thought that it was just egg pappardelle and truffle, but the restaurant waiter/chef/owner had informed us that included fresh porcini as well. The flavors turned out more woody and earthy in comparison with the tagliatelline, but it was also in my opinion a less clean showcase of truffle flavors. Not complaining here at all.


The meat was a tagliata di manzo al tartufo bianco. Yes, it was all tartufo bianco since it was in season and we were in the middle of a fiera del tartufo. Aside from some olive oil and some unevenly distributed salt, the only other flavor component on the meat was white truffle. Well, the medium rare meat was a little sinewy. But hey, I'm not complaining here even though it wasn't the most awesome steak out there. It just wasn't the point today. Just in case you were wondering at the color of the top, most of the nicely done caramalization of the meat were actually hidden by the truffle shavings.

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