The food in Umbria never that creative. Which, in a food world full of ‘the next new thing’ can actually be a good thing. But when all the restaurants in any given area have pretty much photocopied the same menu over and over, it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
While Ristorante La Mulinella in Todi serves the same pastas and meat dishes (think black truffles and boar stew) that you’d find almost everywhere else in Umbria, it’s the extra things that make us head here.
First of all the setting. Located just down the hill from Todi, in the summer Ristorante La Mulinella spreads its tables beneath the shade of an ancient mulberry tree.
Secondly, but no less important: the bread. Umbria is not known for the excellence of it’s bread. Ristorante La Mulinella bakes its own loafs, which is a complete rarity. And at other restaurants I can easily resist the bread basket before the start of a meal, at Mulinella I make no pretense and just dive straight into whatever they’ve baked up that day. Sometimes it’s simply a perfectly moist, crusty loaf but when we’re lucky they’ve used whole wheat flour and studded it with walnuts.
And then there is the service. Things in Umbria are usually pretty rough and ready (which is ok with me). But I do love Mulinella’s bits of extra elegance. The food always come out of the kitchen on metal serving dishes, and then is portioned by the waiter onto the plates at the table. Even if it’s just one portion. I’m not 100% why they do it, but I’m 100% sure it makes me feel special every time.
But of course, all of this wouldn’t matter if the food weren’t some of the best in this part of Umbria. This is where you can get an excellent fettucine con tartufo or gnocchi con pomodoro. But if I have to choose between a pasta or a main dish, at Ristorante La Mulinella I usually go for the meat. I love their stew of wild boar in a slightly spicy, piquant sauce. Equally delicious is the coniglio alla cacciatore, a lovely rabbit stew. My father’s all time favorite though is the stinco, a lamb shank that he special orders ahead of time (especially when my meat-eating brother-in-laws are visiting). This huge hunk of meat, cooked slowly so that the meat is falling off the bone, is Umbrian cooking at its best.
What to order:
- Fettucine con Tartufi (freshly made pasta with black truffles)
- Gnocchi con pomodoro (freshly made potato gnocchi with tomato sauce)
- Cinghiale alla cacciatore (wild boar stew)
- Agnello Scottaditta (grilled lamb chops)
Ristorante La Muilnella
Località Pontenaia, 29, 06059 Todi PG, Italy
+39 075 894 4779
Thursday-Tuesday Lunch & Dinner
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