Black truffles are not the only temptation on the menu at Trattoria Lea in the northern Umbria town of Citta’ di Castello:
But shaved fresh black truffles highlighted many a dish guests were enjoying at Trattoria Lea recently….
….from homemade tagliatelle to gnocchi:
Those black truffles starred in many a meat dish, too.
In the kitchen, a few of the kitchen staff were shaving black truffles:
..and preparing grilled meats as well as poricini mushrooms (another Trattoria Lea specialty)
For his antipasto, Pino did not hesitate in his choice: fonduta al tartufo nero.
Simply far more than buonissimo, that black truffle fondue:
I relished an antipasto I always choose at this favorite eating spot: cipolla rossa in agrodolce (sweet and sour red onion).
And this time, I paired the onion with paltoncino di patate al rosmarino (a potato flan with rosemary):
A smiling young server brought us our next dishes:
She was one of eight young servers at Trattoria Lea, each one mentioned by name on the trattoria website.
Pino followed up his antipasto with tagliata al balsamico (grilled steak drizzled with balsamic vinegar):
Satiated with my buonissimi antipasti, I requested simply a mezza porzione of homemade tagliatelle with tomato sauce (and what an abundant “half portion”!):
When we left, the dining room area was quite full of diners enjoying Trattoria Lea goodness:
Pino and I stopped to talk to Marco, one of Lea’s sons and now owner (with his brother Cristiano) of the restaurant where his mother cooked for years.
In 1986, Signora Lea and her husband Antonio became the owners of a simple osteria (inn) which had opened in 1910.
Lea still reigns in the trattoria, for her photo is flanked by wine bottles on top of the cupboard holding rows of wine glasses:
A painting of Marco and Cristiano is in one of the side rooms, hanging on the wall backing the table:
Marco and Cristiano carry on the Trattoria Lea culinary traditions with passione: “…for if you are not taking on this work with passion, there is no sense at all..”
The average age of the staff is about 30, Marco told me – including cooks ad servers. One server, Federica, has been there, since Lea cooked here. Marco gave her a big hug ….
—before Federica headed off with caffe for guests. I knew what she would say with a smile as she put down the coffee: “Ecco, Amore!”
Pino had told Federica he was jealous…and when she asked “why?”, he told her that she had called me “My Love” but not him.
The Trattoria Lea website mentions her, too:
°La nota cameriera Federica e’ il simbolo della’accoglienza, della simpatia.”
(The noted waitress Federica is the symbol of welcoming and warmth.”)
Don’s miss Trattoria Lea in Citta’ di Castello – and not only for the black truffles.
Read about contemporary artist, Alberto Burri, from Citta’ di Castello