I'm always looking for somewhere new to enjoy lunch in our area of Umbria. We are so fortunate to have wonderful places in our village, of course, but I like the hunt for a new dining experience.
This past week, we were told by two people in one day about a new vegan/vegetarian restaurant in nearby Castiglione del Lago.
I was intrigued, to say the least. Vegan? So close by? Hmmmmm.
So, off we went, on the hunt.
Located outside the historical center, Bianco Rosso e Verdure isn't hard to find. You just need to look for this sign, on the right, as you head towards Pozzuolo:
|The restaurant is connected to a lovely resort/spa.|
We parked on the street, but only because we didn't know there was a parking area inside the gates.
You enter into a beautifully maintained drive, which leads to parking, and the spa.
|Rooftop bar. Hotel rooms to the right.|
Maybe someday, I'll check out the spa. Every once in a blue moon, I wish for a good massage while I'm over here. As if just being here wasn't enough....
Anyway, we arrived sort of late for lunch, so we were the only diners this day.
We did see a few groups checking into the hotel for the long weekend, though.
|The dining room. There is a pool just outside on the right.|
We were greeted, and asked to sit. The chef came out and told us about the daily three course lunch, but we just weren't that hungry. We were wanting something lighter, so we asked for the menu.
We ended up ordering two of the same appetizers, because they were a combo and sounded so good. Also, a couple of glasses of wine, while we waited...
This day's vegetarian appetizer sample was amazingly good. They had me at 'tempura', because I was ready for a different flavor sensation.
Also included, two small bites of bruschetta, both versions flavor forward, and a small falafel on the creamiest, yummy hummus (that's a lot of mmmms).
Every bite was great. The tempura was hot, crispy and not oily. The veggies inside were raw, which added another level of crunchy texture, in a very good way. The falafel, though small, packed a massive punch flavor from spices and a touch of agave, which gave it a nice sweetness. The hummus could have had a touch more garlic, but I really can't complain. It was just fine.
The bruschetta with tomato was good, but the zucchini and leek, with some kind of wonderful sauce swiped on the toast...perfection.
|I would love to eat this plate again. Right this minute.|
We could have stopped here, but we did order one 'primi', or pasta dish.
This was also really good. Layers of thin pasta sheet covered in a black truffle sauce. The crunchy brown bits....well, we sort of fought over that part.
Though we were now quite satisfied, we did try their version of tiramisu, vegan style.
It's good! Not anything like any tiramisu I've had before, but still a nice way to end the meal.
Satisfyingly 'chocolat-y', creamy, and not too sweet.
All this raving aside, I would be hesitant to recommend this place to everyone. The flavors are out-of-this-world good. Yes. The service was fantastic and friendly. The space is beautiful.
So what's the 'but'....? The portions are very small (though so damn good, it didn't matter to us), and the price is higher than most local places in this area.
This being said, we were thrilled with the find, left feeling full and satisfied, and would go back today. And tomorrow.
This is a labor of love, and you can taste it in every bite.
Be prepared to spend some hard earned euros, go with an open mind, and ENJOY!
Bianco Rosso & Verdure