A Tuscany Trattoria Lunch

A trattoria is a traditional Italian eating place.  It is informal, usually serves local recipies, it’s hearty, not fancy, may include family-style/communal seating, and there may be no menu.  Trattorias were traditionally the place where working people would go for hearty, affordable lunch.

Unfortunately, like many other things (including the Lyonaise bouchon, which is similar in some ways to the Italian trattoria) the trattorias have become more commercialized (touristy) and many have left behind most of their traditional ways.

Today we were very fortunate to find a local (15 minute walk), and quite traditional trattoria!

Bar Trattoria Cecchi is in the heart of a lovely little village. The village has a post office, a small store, a pizza take-away and a lovely tennis court/soccer pitch –  all within a few hundred feet of each other.  (Pictures will follow)

Upon entering, we quickly realized communication would not be verbal… we have no Italian, they have no English.  That’s ok tough… food, like love and music, is universal.

We indicated we were there to eat and were told (gestured) to take a seat in the back room.  There were already two tables of men seated and conversation was loud and flowing.  There was a truck and a tractor parked outside, both with trailers of manure so I assume some of these men were local farmers.

We sat down and an older lady came to inquire about our need for water and/or wine. We think we indicated that both would be welcome – at any rate, both arrived. A sealed bottle of sparkling water and an unmarked, bottle of wine.  The wine was red, hearty and good.

There was no other inquiry.

Shortly the same lady arrived with a bowl of penne with meat sauce. Delicious (though we noted they aren’t shy with salt), the sauce was red with just a touch of cream. The serving was good, but not huge.

Our lovely server came and cleared away our plates, but made a point to leave our forks… a hint there was more to come.

Shortly she arrived with a platter of fried pork chops.  The boneless pork was cut thin, cooked perfectly and was tender, juicy and tasty.  We (I, at least) followed the lead of the men at the next table and began eating

In a moment, she returned with a bowl of cut tomatoes in oil and vinegar.  These were fresh – no doubt local –  tomatoes that tasted wonderful!  As she served us each out of the bowl she exclaimed, “Oh! Pane!”, when she realized she had forgotten our bread!  The full basket of hearty bread arrived quickly!

As we finished that course, she arrrived with a platter of cheese and then a bowl of whole apples from which to help ourselves.  When we were all done we were offered, “Cafe?” but we were too full to indulge further.

This was a delicious and hearty lunch and all was included in the price of 10 Euro each – a definate bargain!  We intend to return!

A brisk 15 minute walk to and from lunch helped to balance our lunchtime calorie intake.