Il Tiglio – A Welcome Return

‘Bentornato’ ‘Welcome back’ is a phrase ringing round the Sibillini mountains and the tiny hamlet of Isola San Biagio, in Le Marche, Italy. They are talking to Enrico Mazzaroni, who has been holidaying down at the coast for the last couple of years.

But it’s been far from a simple holiday. After sustaining damage in the earthquakes in 2016, Enrico and his team moved down from their mountain home to open a new seafood version of Il Tiglio – The Lime Tree, where the menu was fish based. And now, much to everyone’s delight, like a phoenix from the flames, he is back. To the tiny, unassuming mountain hamlet where Enrico’s family have lived for generations farming the land and producing the most amazing natural ingredients for this very special restaurant.

As we arrive in Isola San Biagio, just outside Montemonaco, tucked away in the little known Le Marche countryside, we wonder where we are heading. The tiny, rustic village in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by majestic mountains which seem to rise straight from the hamlet. We park and cross the road, spotting the beautiful new metal door with ‘Tiglio’ cut in style. We’ve arrived!

With great anticipation and excitement, we ring the doorbell and are immediately welcomed by one of the waiting staff. We pass through the restaurant, which has been designed in a wonderful mix of modern and rustic and is perfect blend for the old stoned walled building which houses the new Tiglio.

Our waitress shows us out to the terrance and immediately we are struck by the simplicity of the table surrounded by the magnificence of the mountains. The bright blue sky contrasting with the bright yellow broom or ginestra in Italian. Just stunning.

We start with a welcome prosecco, chilled perfectly for this hot summers day. A salute to the return of this special place and to Enrico who has worked tirelessly to carry on and make a success of his passion and his life.

Soon the wonderful food starts to arrive. With some tiny amuse bouche to start. A dark chocolate casing around a liquid truffle centre which just melts in our mouths. The most amazing sensation and flavour. Yes Il Tiglio is definitely back!

We delight our tastebuds with these tasty morsels. First a basket of oyster shells topped with open shells filled with a light mix of oyster, celery and cream. Wow. Accompanied by Ribona, a fresh, crisp Le Marche white. Well where else would it be from?

Next we try the toasted almond wrapped in lardo. The crunch of the almond mixed with the softness of the lardo is a great combination.

We stare at the little, perfectly formed golden ‘eggs’ sitting in front of us. Knowing our chef, Enrico, very often things are not quite what they seem, so carefully we bite into the crispy round spheres. Inside a surprise. A wonderful gooey Parmesan sauce oozes from within. Just sensational.

A tiny tart entices us from across the table. A thin crunchy case filled with the most intense roasted onion purée. So perfectly tasty.

And we haven’t even mentioned the bread yet. Simply the best brown bread with locally grown grains. A crisp crust encases a soft, warm interior. Served with lemon thyme butter. The perfect combination. The lightest, thinnest grissini and soft focaccia fills the basket. We know we shouldn’t eat so much as we have so many wonderful courses to come but it’s simply irresistible!

Our first official starter arrives, a wonderful steak tartare with cheesy pastry and light dressing.

Next the most stunning combination of softness and crunch. A crispy lettuce shell encases a slow cooked egg which just oozes to our delight as we cut them open. Topped off with tasty, soft lettuce picked straight from the orto, this really is a texture sensation.

And now to the carrot. THE carrot. The most tastiest carrot in the world we are sure. How anyone can pack so much intense flavour into one carrot is beyond us. A tiny miracle sitting in front of us waiting to tickle our tastebuds.

We move onto our funghi course. A mushroom lovers delight. Perfectly cooked porcini with a soft outer and a firmer middle bathing in the most tasty broth and served with tiny roast potatoes. Another wow!

Next to arrive is the first of our pasta dishes. Enrico brings us a delicious cherry Rosso Piceno wine to pare with simply the richest hare pasta we have ever tasted. The handmade pasta, made from locally grown wheat is again cooked to perfection and is perfectly combined with a creamy potato sauce.

Now tiny tortellini appear nestling atop a pine jus. Yes pine! Intense in flavour and definitely unique, Enrico once again goes for the wow factor. He certainly does not disappoint.

Our main course is lamb. Perfectly cooked and deliciously soft and moist, it is served with summer greens and a carrot purée.

And finally to the dessert. That dessert! A unique combination and we would never have guessed it. Enrico explains the lightest, chilled lemon foam sits next to a celery purée. Yes celery. And we were simply blown away. The combination of flavours work so well. Refreshing, simple, light and just the perfect ending to our most memorable dining experience.

But it wasn’t quite the end. A little silver tree arrives with glistening berries. Poached apple balls are surrounded by a raspberry gel. Simply stunning.

As now, as coffee is served, we reflect on a most memorable lunch, whilst gazing with full tummies at the wonderful Le Marche scenery.

Simple fresh flavours, the best homegrown produce, an intensely passionate chef in an unassuming hamlet with a charming rustic restaurant set under the majestic Sibillini’s. Bentornato Enrico and Il Tiglio team. You are back and we just know your are going to be a wonderful success.

We dined at Il Tiglio, Isola San Biagio, Montemonaco. The excellent value tasting menu is €38 per head excluding wine, water, coffee and cover charge.

Open every day for lunch and dinner.

Call 0736 856441, find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/iltigliomontemonaco/ or message Enrico at ristoranteiltiglio@yahoo.it

We stayed at Il Nascondiglio The Hideaway farmhouse apartments and bed and breakfast, a pleasant 30 minute drive away www.thehideaway.eu

Flights available from the UK, with Ryanair to the nearby airports of Ancona, Perugia or Pescara, all less than a 90 minute drive away www.ryanair.com

Advertisements

Thanks to Agostini Le Marche is among of the World’s Best Olive Oils Express Elation

It is the first time that we participated in the NYIOOC and we are so glad about this award and prestige that it give us at the international level, since in the last two years we are on the US market,” said Alfredo Agostini who won a Gold Award with Sublimis, that comes from an olive grove at 350 meters above sea level in the Marche region. “During the 2014 harvest, we had a 50 percent drop in quantity. This year we performed natural preventive treatments with copper for the conventional production since we prefer to avoid chemical products. But the olives were so healthy that no additional treatments were needed and this has given great results.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.oliveoiltimes.com

How fantastic to hear that one of our local olive presses has won The New York International Olive Oil Competition, proving our Marche oil is the best!

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Three European hotspots | The Sunday Times

Three European hotspots Tim Palmer explores a trio of less familiar European destinations for buyers who want a bit of buzz to go with their sunshine Raise the roof: Budva’s old town (Alamy) Ascoli Piceno […]…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.thesundaytimes.co.uk

A wonderful mention in The Times newspaper yesterday for our beautiful Ascoli Piceno and Le Marche. And the article only features 3 places in the whole of Europe!

 

Come and find out for yourselves how special it really is. Whether you are looking for property or just coming for a well deserved holiday, to sip appetitive in the stunning Piazza Del Popolo at the famous Meletti Cafe, we are only 25 minutes away.

 

So a stay at The Hideaway is perfect for exploring Ascoli and all its surroundings.  http://hideawaylemarche.com

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

The Roman goddess of Fano set to take up residence at Verulamium Museum in St Albans

A statue of Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck, fate and fortune, is being presented to St Albans by Fano in Italy to strengthen links between the twin towns. The six-foot-tall bronze artwork is a replica of the statue of Fortuna that stands in the fountain of Fano’s main square. The Roman town of Fano was originally named Fanum Fortunae, or “the shrine of Fortuna”, the Roman goddess of Fate. […]

 

Source: www.stalbansreview.co.uk

Oh how fascinating – we used to live on the Verulamium estate in St Albans, so we know the statue is going to a good home! Can’t wait to hear more about this interesting story.

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

The Winning Le Marche | Le Marche outpaces Tuscany as emerging holiday hotspot

The latest figures from I.stat, the Italian National Tourist Board, reveal that the previously undiscovered region of Le Marche is now outshining Tuscany in tourism growth.

Tuscany, famed since the 90s as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, registered an increase of 4.6% in foreign arrivals from 2012 to 2013, whilst the far more unknown neighbouring region of Le Marche saw impressive growth of 6.3% year-on-year.

With 389,313 visitors now arriving on Marche soil, more and more people are beginning to recognize that this Italian location has all the benefits of close-by Tuscany, seemingly endless rolling hills, beautiful open spaces and ancient hilltop towns, yet without the hefty pricetag. […]

Source: www.abpropertymarketing.co.uk

What great news for Le Marche! More and more people discovering what a wonderful place we live and work in. Lets hope we can attract guests from all round the world, to experience the warm hospitality, the cheap but excellent quality restaurants and the stunning scenery. hideawaylemarche.com

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche