Boaring Fish

The revamped Pescatore restaurant on the roundabout near Penny Market has had differing reviews. I am glad, however, for the way it saved me from freezing to death when our choir was waiting for the coach to take us to sing in some remote place in the Maremma last month. The time was five o’clock (in the morning) and the restaurant’s bar was ready with excellent cappuccino and fresh pastries to help recirculate our blood.

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My later, lunchtime “worker’s lunch” experience there was adequate. I did find the way one served oneself with contorno (vegetables) from a central location slightly unusual but there was plenty to choose from that way, and second helpings were certainly not frowned upon. At that time the clientele was mainly road works repairers and sales reps and the atmosphere was very quiet.

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After last Sunday’s Saint Cecilia concert I was invited by friends to dine at the “Pescatore” again and this time entered into a packed dining hall brimming with life, including children and little dogs.

We wondered what the menu would be like and also how long it would take to serve us. We need not have worried.

The à la carte menu was first-rate and included some excellent trout and also wild boar with polenta. My friends both chose the latter and found it scrumptious – the meat really cooked to perfection.

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I’d already gorged myself on chestnut frittelle earlier in the afternoon but settled for a pizza quattro stagioni which was truly well filled with ham, artichokes, mushrooms, olives, capers and mozarella cheese.

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Under the circumstances the service was quite adequate and always with a smile. The house wine was not only cheap but rather palatable too.

I think we’ll definitely consider the “Pescatore” for both a worker’s lunch and, especially, an evening meal should we ever feel hunger pangs in its vicinity.

Incidentally the bill, including wine and beer, came to 34 euros for the three of us:

Il Pescatore’s Christmas and New Year’s eve menus are also promised at highly affordable prices if one doesn’t want to cook for one’s guests on those occassions.

On my recent trip to the UK I was astonished at the high restaurant prices charged for what the Italians would consider very much run-of.the-mill food. Prices above £50 per person were not uncommon. At the same time I could see no sign of gold-leaf on the cabbages served there and the dishes were not Meissen.

“Il Pescatore” is also one of two hotels near Borgo a Mozzano. I have absolutely nothing to say about either although, presumably, they could be useful dressing-up points for those participating in Borgo’s international Halloween festival which we sacrificed going to this year (Readers of my previous posts will realise where we were at the start of November this year.)

Incidentally, a couple of mornings ago, on Antonella Clerici’s very popular cookery program “La prova del Cuoco” on RAI channel, a whole hour was devoted on preparing what was described as Britain’s national dish “Pesce e Patate”, (No marks for translating that), the pastella (batter) being given particular attention. Perhaps, with a name like “Il Pescatore”, (The Fisherman – it’s just next to trout-filled Serchio river) the staff might try out a fish and chips evening rather than the rest of us having to wait a few extra months for Barga’s summer sagra on the same food delicacy?

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3 thoughts on “Boaring Fish

  1. The Christmas fayre on offer looks very inviting although I prefer home cooking now and again it is nice to have a change of cooks I always sustain that the success of any restuarant is wholly dependant on the ability of the cook a la Gordon Ramsey and of course on the menu on offer. I must say that the two dishes as shown look very generous amounts indeed and look very scrumptious indeed. I wonder what will be on offer for Expo 2015 it is not long before all will be revealed. The problem is though for vegetarians as well as vegans I have seen Iceland offers a selection of tofu ready made meals at affordable prices in Italy I have never seen tofu anywhere however there are plenty of delicious vegetables and a vast variety of vegetable dishes on offer!

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