In a narrow street behind the grand Piazza Mazzini, we discover the most delightful restaurant, unpretentious and authentic. Three descriptive words that cover it, and the three reasons that make it so would be a team of two sisters and one brother, of the Carducci family, who have been working hard since 1980 to create a simple restaurant where the focus is local dishes that don’t stray far from Macerata traditional cuisine. It is what it is – simply delicious.
While we wait for our meal beneath a canopy that shields us from the bright August sun, we are presented with a small glass bowl filled with chilled aromatic rice with finely chopped melon. It is a refreshing prelude to our chosen antipasto, a panzanella, uniquely their creation. Unlike its Tuscan cousin, Iginia’s panzanella is made by barely misting crusty bread with water and topping it with fresh mint macerated with olive oil, salt and garlic. It is accompanied by a few slices of local salami. Nothing could hit the mark more precisely when it comes to flavor.
Vincisgrassi is a baked pasta dish, similar to lasagne, that is one of the signature dishes of the Marche region. The meat sauce includes chicken giblets, which give it a very distinctive flavor. So naturally, we choose this as one of our primi. We also order Tagliuli pelusi al sugo finto, fine handmade noodles in a delicately flavored tomato sauce made with pork guanciale (jowl) and fava beans. Both dishes were superb and leave us no room for a meat course. So we move right on to desserts. A most satisfying pranzo on a quiet Sunday afternoon in Macerata.