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Felce e Mirtillo

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March 23, 2015 / Italian / By
Anna

Oh wow!

Steve Jobs’s last words; my first and I just can’t think of any more appropriate way to begin this one. If I was Italian, maybe “Mamma Mia!” - yes, Italians do actually say this - but I’m not Italian. I’m just lucky enough to live in this rather lovely little part of Italy that is eastern central Umbria. Now the “Oh wow!” isn’t about Umbria, but it’s for the restaurant named in the title - Felce e Mirtillo (Fern and Blueberry). Sounds like an operatic aria in Italian; a bit daffy in English, so that’s the last time you’ll hear its name in English.

Tempted? Good; more to follow, but first you’re going to have to do some following of a different kind. Get your GPS / Sat-Nav phones set to locate the street address of Felce e Mirtillo, because while the town of Foligno is not difficult to find, the restaurant and the delightful bar-garden within Foligno can be a little tricky.

Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that the business has two identities. By day, it’s Caffé Letterario Orti Orfini (The Literary Café of the Orfini Gardens) - a place where book-minded individuals can gather to discuss their literary passions and interests while enjoying a coffee, a sandwich, a cake or an aperitivo. It’s particularly enticing in the warmer months, when patrons can sit outside, shaded by the trees and the umbrellas. By evening, Caffé Letterario morphs into Felce e Mirtillo, one of the best dining experiences I have had in this part of Umbria in a good few years - and that’s no disrespect to many other wonderful places I could name (and will, in a later article) within a twenty kilometre radius from where I live.

These wonderfully welcoming twin sides of the same coin are the provenance of the Fratelli Brodoloni: brothers Nazzareno and Duilio Brodoloni. The dining room is a bit like being in the parlour of a pair of eccentric, retired mathematics professors. But their passion, aside from books and all matters literary, is food - cooking it, serving it and taking genuine pleasure in your enjoyment of it.

 

There’s no menu. The food just starts coming, course after course after course.

If there’s anything that you can’t or shouldn’t eat, let either Nazzareno or Duilio know on arrival and what is set in front of you will be duly adjusted for your dietary needs. While the main kitchen is out of sight, many of the dishes are prepared right alongside your table on a mobile trolley, with a gas cooker incorporated in it.

 

And just when you think you’re done, out come the coffees (corretto, of course, but plain espresso or even decaffeinato if you ask for it), then the grappa, or other digestivi - those final little shots of liqueur to settle your stomach before the journey home. If you’re really concerned about being fit to drive, just say “No grazie; devo guido” (No thanks; I’m driving) and all will be well, though as good hosts, they’ll still offer.

Final shock - but a nice one! The bill was only a little more than half of what I had estimated. As with any great magician or illusionist, you’re left wondering, “How on earth can they do that!”

Oh wow!

Felce e Mirtillo

Country: Italy

Province/State: Umbria

City: Foligno

Address: Street Address17 Via San Giovanni dell'Acqua Foligno

Zip/Post Code: 06034

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: 0742 342202 or 339 6738945

Website:N/A

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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