Near Preci, Bikers, Beavers and Black Truffles
On an August day, exploring the Valnerina area, we stopped outside the medieval hilltown of tiny Preci for lunch, a bit mystified by the ristorante name, “Ristorante Il Castoro.” The “beaver”? No beavers here in Italy. The owner later told us that the name derived from the name of the nearby valley, Val Castoriana.
No room in the main restaurant, full with feasting family groups celebrating the August holidays:
…….but a waiter led us around the back to a spacious white tent animated with the chatter of more family groups, relishing the goodness which draws so many to this eating spot.
Local lamb, wild boar, porcini mushrooms and dishes with black truffle headlined on the menu. But not only. All around us, young waiters dashed from the kitchen to the restaurant tent with the tempting dishes of Ristorante il Castoro:
The tantalizing menu was a bit of a quandary: which dishes to try? I’ll always start with a primo (“first course”) while Pino often opts for the antipasto instead. How to resist the fioretti asparagi e tartufo (a curly pasta with wild asparagus and shaved black truffles)? I didn’t:
Pino’s antipasto choice included bruschetta al tartufo, frittata al tartufo, local pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese) and a selection of Valnerina cold cuts.
Pino followed up with a secondo of fried lamb and roasted potatoes. Only a refreshing salad for me.
Just a refreshing salad for me
Lemon sorbet was the perfect refreshing ending to our feast:
As we headed out, we passed a group of bikers decked out in their Harley gear, taking a pause after their own feasting.
Of course, I had to tell them I grew up in Milwaukee. What a send-off they gave us!