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

Secret Italy: finding perfection in Le Marche

The title of the Italian province of Le Marche literally means “the borderlands”, a neutral region neighbouring more important places. This makes a lot of sense when you consider that Tuscany lies to the north and Umbria to the south. Next to these titans of the tourist trade so beloved of the inglese, and hemmed in by the mountains and the sea on either side, you might call Le Marche something of a poor relation, rarely visited.

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

What a great article about our stunning Le Marche area. Little known by the general tourist visiting Italy. Come and discover everything Le Marche has to offer this summer and book yourself a wonderful holiday at The Hideaway http://hideawaylemarche.com

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 Sibillini National Park, Le Marche. One of the top 10 national parks in Europe: readers’ travel tips

Our article on Europe’s less-well-known national parks caught your attention and prompted hundreds of you to submit tips and suggestions for more areas to explore in the article’s comments section. Here is a selection of what you liked best …

Source: www.theguardian.com

How exciting – Marche’s very own Sibillini National Park featured in The Guardian. We are so lucky to live and work right next to the stunning Sibillini National Park and enjoy the views of the mountain range every day. This really is a very natural special, unspoilt place, in fact very few people have even heard of it. There are so many excellent agriturismos and restaurants in the area, which are not expensive. For a real treat, take a trip to Il Tiglio and you will be amazed. Hidden in a tiny hilltop village in the Sibillini Mountains, you will be treated to course after course of beautifully prepared food by Enrico the chef. This place certainly does deserve a Michelin Star! If you are looking to stay in the area, check out Marche Owners Direct, a new group of holiday home owners have come together to form a co-operative. They have a large selection of villas, farmhouses, apartments, bed and breakfasts and hotels to suit all needs. Their years of experience between them, provide you with an invaluable guide to the Sibillini Mountains, from truffle hunting to trekking, dining out to wine tours. If you do visit this summer, we are sure you will not be disappointed!

http://hideawaylemarche.com

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Living a Life in Colour: A guide to Le Marche

Le Marche is known for its lush green hills below the Sibillini Mountains, forests of oak trees, medieval towns, and its rocky coastline along the Adriatic Sea. […]

Source: www.livingalifeincolour.com

A lovely summary of beautiful Marche and all this wonderful region has to offer.

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Magical Marche Moments near Montemonaco – Il Tiglio

For a truly unique experience, you can not get better than a very long lazy Sunday afternoon dining at Il Tiglio in Isola San Biagio near Montemonaco.

Upon arriving in this tiny unassuming village set high in the Sibillini Mountains, you really couldn’t begin to imagine what all the fuss is about.

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The Tiny Village of Isola San Biagio

Once you have found the front door, the first secret is to ring the bell and you will be warmly greeted. If you have ever been before the staff always remember a face and wish you ‘ben tornato’ or welcome back. At once you will feel at home.

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Stylish and elegant and even a stool for your handbag!

From the glitzy interior you might presume it’s all going to be a little ostentatious and over the top but far from it. The staff are attentive but unobtrusive, friendly, but not in your face. The cutlery and crockery is perfectly polished and the bathroom spotless (however slightly whacky).  A complimentary prosecco is served to get the experience underway and you relax as your Tiglio experience begins.

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Gold!

Soon the wine ‘bible’ is presented. It might take a while to browse through but and you can certainly choose from a well stocked cantina, including many local wines at reasonable prices.

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Now which wine shall it be?

Next the appetisers start to arrive and what a treat. We haven’t even got to the antipasti yet! A nest appears on the table with two ‘eggs’ perched neatly on top. Soon you realised that at Il Tiglio, nothing is quite what it seems. They aren’t eggs, but they do have the most perfectly cooked runny yolk inside, just amazing! The waiters explain the dishes and how to eat them.

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A nest appears with two fresh eggs – or are they?

Suddenly a tree was bought to the table with wafer thin seedy wafers hanging from the branches and angy red berries filled with a delicious creamy cheese.

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Cracker tree
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Seedy Wafers so light!

And then the richly smoked pork fat cubes served on a bed of pine branches, which just melted in the mouth. Such a rich, intense flavour you will never forget.

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What an intense, mouthwatering, smokey pork flavour.

Now for the highlight – the truffle – or is it? Neatly presented on a bed of pebbles, these little parcels of delight will amaze you. As you pop one in your mouth, the crisp white cocoa shell just melts away, leaving a delicious creamy cheesy truffly centre which tingles the taste buds!

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Truffles? Or are they?

The delight of the appetisers is now over and the antipasti begin to arrive. Warm winter salad sitting atop a orange sauce, just for starters.

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Warm wilted winter salad

Next is the most creamy baked whole leek – turn it over and scoop out the wonderful filling which can be spread on the warm herb bread.

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Oozing with delight!
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Open your parcel to reveal warm herby bread

Our antipasti just continues to come, with a perfectly baked potato topped with cream cheese, and almond ‘ash’ sitting on a bed of porcini mushrooms. The textures and flavours just amaze us every time.

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The poshest baked potato in Marche

Now for our favourite.  Would you expect to find parmesan, potato and passionfruit served in a mountain village in very rural Le Marche? Well at Il Tiglio, you will and the flavour combination is just perfect. Cut into the delicate parmesan shell and watch the warm parmesan mousse just ooze out.

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Simply the best!

The final antipasti is served and what a delicious combination. Baccala (salt cod), sitting atop an intense  rosemary reduction and topped with pine nuts. Once again the flavours are just stunning.

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Baccala or salt cod, flecked with rosemary.

Now onto the pasta course and one which will delight meat lovers. Homemade tagliatelle swirled with a rich wild boar ragu and topped with winter greens. Again the combination of flavours and the flavoursome  broth will be remembered for years to come.

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Wild boar tagliatelle. Amazing.

Our second pasta course is a homemade tortellini served with a rich broth and topped with delicate truffle shavings. The pasta perfectly cooked of course.

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Tortellini and truffles

Finally and with very full tummies, we move on to our main course and you have a choice here of 3. We were offered lamb, pork or venison and chose the venison, served with butternut squash puree and tasty red cabbage. So tender and soft, it almost melted in the mouth!

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Melt in the mouth venison.

Now for dessert – well not quite –  first a pre-dessert pallet cleanser. Creamy vanilla ice-cream topped with a almond cracknel and sitting on a tamarind sauce. Flavours mingle on the tongue once again.

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Crispy, tangy, creamy and light all on one mouthful

Our dessert is a chocolate lover’s dream. Layers and layers of different chocolate mousse sitting atop a moist cake base, dense but light, texturally perfect!

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Luxuriance on a plate!
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Guard your mousse carefully. It may easily be stolen.

We were almost coming to the end of our Tiglio extravaganza, but before we did, we were treated to a truffle tree topped with aniseed biscotti and cinnamon soil served with coffee.

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The Tiglio truffle tree.

Sadly our experience was drawing to an end, but Enrico the wonderful creative chef, made time to chat. So passionate about the food he creates, his customers and his surroundings and you can just tell. Asking which dishes were our favourite (all of them of course) and happy to know we have enjoyed our time with him.

The menu at Il Tiglio changes seasonally and there are three menus to choose from. The €33 tasting menu, which we experienced, the €35 vegetarian menu and the full blown extravaganza of €45, all excellent value for money (coffee and wine not included).

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Three types of truffle, pistachio, aniseed and almond.

Reservations are essential and you can call Enrico on +39 0736 856441 or mobile +39 335 8006190 or visit Il Tiglio website. The restaurant is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from September to May and everyday in June, July and August.

Go and try the Tiglio experience. You won’t be disappointed we are sure!

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The End!

Never Mind 50 Shades of Grey. Here is 50 Shades of Le Marche!

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Want to know why Le Marche is so special? Despite being little know outside of Italy, there is so much to see and do. Certainly something for everyone in this wonderful region. Unspoilt, full of history, the most friendly people and dazzling views around every corner, you will want to come back time and time again.

Here are just the top 50 of our personal favourites at The Hideaway.

1. Take a hike in the stunning Sibillini National Park 

2. Spend a lazy Sunday lunch at the wonderful Il Tiglio with chef Enrico.

3. Relax on the beaches of the Adriatic

4. Take a wine tour at the fascinating Murola Winery.

5. Go on an adventure in the forest with Marco and his beautiful donkeys of Smerillo.

6. Take a pasta making course at La Conca with the fantastic Mirela and dine there too.

7. Visit the local cheese farm and meet the lovely goats at Fontegranne, Belmonte Piceno

8. Have a look at some of the many tiny painted theatres in the area Amandola & Penna San Giovanni

9. Find out all about copper production & maybe buy a pan to last a lifetime at Tanucci’s Comunanza.

10. Take a ride on horseback round the beautiful San Ruffino Lake.

11. Visit the stunning Frasassi Caves – perfect for a rainy day!

12. Have a look at Bozzi pottery being made and maybe take a piece home for yourself.

13. Stroll round ancient Ascoli Piceno & look out for the inscriptions over the doors – there are over 200!

14. Whilst in Ascoli Piceno, enjoy a gelato at Yoghi Gelateria & visit the famous Piazza del Popolo

15. Go truffle hunting in the woods near The Hideaway or in November visit the Amandola Truffle Festa.

16. Visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Rocca in Offida.

17. Take a guided tour of our nearby town of Amandola.

18. Go exploring  San Ruffino Lake by kayak!

19. Go on a pilgrimage to Loretto & the Santuario Della Santa Casa where you will find the house of Mary

20. Visit Fermo and the Cisterne Romane, underground cisterns dating back to Roman times.

21. Take a trip to the Conero National Park and be amazed at the beaches.

22. Whilst at the Conero, eat the freshest muscles ever on Portonova beach.

23. Visit the stunning Basilica di San Nicola in Tolentino.

24. Explore the fascinating Grotti di Osimo caves.

25. Eat pizza in our local favourite Bella Napoli in Amandola. You won’t find better!

26. Visit Le Senate, a new winery in the area and discover a small but perfectly formed vineyard.

27. Take in an opera at the Sferisterio in Macerata, perfect on a summers evening.

28. Sniff the aromas of award winning Perfero Caffe near Altidonna & see the beans being roasted.

29. Watch pasta being made & buy some at Campofilone where it has been made now for over 100 years.

30. Experience buying ‘sfuso’ wine like a local at Centanni near Pedaso,

31. Go to Mazzumaja (dialect for kids making a mess) a huge music event in Comunanza in July.

32. Visit Castello Pallotta in Caldarola. The most perfectly formed castle full of interesting articles.

33. Go factory outlet shopping to some of the biggest names in fashion including Prada, Tods & Armani.

34. Take a stroll & picnic amongst some of Marche’s oldest landscapes at the peaceful Abbadia di Fiastra

35. Laze by the side of the deep blue waters of Lago di Fiastra or take a dip in the cooling waters.

36. Ski at Sassotetto or Madelena – perfect for beginners and the more experienced alike.

37. Travel north and visit the wonderful town of Urbino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

38. Visit the Casa Leopardi – the home of Giacomo Leopardi in Recanati.

39. Take a tour round the ancient site of Urbisaglia and the archeological park and castle.

40. Don’t miss Fabriano, famous for its paper making.

41. Visit the International Museum of Hats in Montappone and grab yourself a bargain.

42. Treat yourself to a Spa in the famous spa town of Sarnano

43. Wonder round the Museum in Amandola and find out about ancient traditions of the countryside.

44. Visit the ancient town of Gradara and its beautiful castle.

45. Stroll around one of the many town markets which are held nearly every day and pick up a bargain.

46. Hike up the Golla dell’Infernaccio or Hells Gorge and be amazed at the beauty and peace.

47. Whilst at Golla dell’Infernaccio, take a detour & visit Padre Pietro at the L’Eremo di San Leonardo.

48. Not strictly Marche, but in neighbouring Umbria – don’t miss the Fioritura in Castelluccio.

49. Get along to one of the many festivals and events held year-round and join in the fun.

50. Winning the award for best pizza maker 2012, visit Mamma Rosa, Ortezzano for a real treat.

Oh and there are just so many more to discover! So come on over to Le Marche and see for yourself.

The quiet charm of Le Marche: Montefortino.

Montefortino is an ancient mountain stronghold that sits in the shadow of Monte Sibilla, on the Natural Park of the Sibillini mountains.  This medieval village has picturesque streets, beautiful landscapes and architectural treasures: palaces, shrines, churches and ancient towers. […]

Source: www.inthemoodforlove.it

Just one of the many beautiful hilltop towns and villages to explore whilst staying in our wonderful area.

Surrounded buy the stunning Sibillini Mountains, you will also find the nearby town of Amandola where you can relax in the piazza after a day’s hiking or strolling in the mountains.

So much to see and do, so make Le Marche you summer holiday destination for 2015. http://hideawaylemarche.com

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Castello Pallotta, Caldarola: a new internet site to book your visit

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Built around the second half of the ninth century on the hill Colcù in Caldarola and subsequently amended at the end of the sixteenth century with the intentions of the cardinal Evangelista Pallotta to use the fortification as his summer residence.
The improvements in the Renaissance style celebrate the prestige of Pallotta Family which also included four Cardinals.
The prestigious residence hosted, among others, Pope Clement VIII and Queen Christina of Sweden.
Today the Castello Pallotta is one of the most impressive monuments in Le Marche region you can visit with a simple reservation directly from the new website. http://www.castellopallotta.com/ ;

Sarah Topps‘s insight:

One of our favourtite spots to visit. Don’t miss this amazing castle and grounds on your trip to Le Marche

See on www.castellopallotta.com

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Where to Eat in Southern Le Marche from Il Nascondiglio

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Sarah Topps‘s insight:

Le Marche really is full of some most wonderful places to dine. From the simplest of pizzarias, to restaurants which would rival any in the center of London!

You will be able to sample home-cooked local produce, lovingly made in the same way for generations. Here in Italy, regional dishes are strictly adhered to and you will be surprised to learn that nearly every town has its own style of pasta.

Delightful dishes such as Vincisgrassi, a wonderful light lasagne made with many many layres, Ascolana olives, stuffed olives filled with a type of minced meat, breadcrumbed and lightly fried and so many more delicacies.

Check out some of our local favourites. We are sure you will enjoy them as much as we do.

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See on hideawaylemarche.com