Sunday lunch is a big deal here in Italy. Family and friends get together for that mid day meal and while I am sure that there are amazing meals being cooked at home by mamma, many Italians choose to dine out. I learned my lesson the hard way last year in Arezzo when I tried to join in and dine at a restaurant recommended by a friend. I did not have a reservation, and sadly I was turned away.
I chose a restaurant recommended by my rental agent and was not disappointed. Osteria Miranda is located near the end of Via Fillungo in Piazza Santa Maria. The interior was charming and my fuzzy photo does not do it justice. I loved all the old signs Cinzano signs adorning the walls and the splashes of red here and there.
Immediately upon seeing the menu I knew we had to order a few of the starters. The sformato di carciofi (a sort of artichoke flan) was exactly the kind of dish that I dream about-luscious and creamy with a subtle artichoke flavor. I fiori di zucca (zucchini blossoms) with a ground meat stuffing is a dish that I am definitely going to recreate at home. Being that it was a cool and rainy day we all ordered soup. The others tried a seafood stew while I went for the Zuppa Frantoiana-a local specialty, this one featuring beans, zucchini, cavolo nero and carrots drizzled with the local olive oil. Just the heart warming dish I had hoped for.
The place was hopping and there were lots of locals waiting outside and I was glad that I had the foresight to make a prenotazione (reservation).