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!
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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.

Best white wines for Christmas 2014 – Telegraph

Christmas isn’t just about red wine. These gorgeous bottles of white will see you through the festive peripd Source: www.telegraph.co.uk One of our Marche wines makes it into the Telegraphs top 10 this Christmas. Come next year and try this and many more. We have a large selection of wonderful cantinas offering tours and tastings and many delicious reds. Our neighbours produce great wine too. One of our favourites is Ipnosi from Biagi just down the road into Abruzzo. Rich deep cherries, chocolate and spices, perfect for Christmas drinkies. See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Tipicità – Made in Marche Festival 2013

See on Scoop.itHideaway Le Marche

Sarah Topps‘s insight:

For everything Le Marche has to offer, come along to a fantastic event this Marche in Fermo, Le Marche. Try excellent wines and food amongst a whole host of other products from the region. Discover hand-crafted products like olive oil soap, leather shoes and belts, chocolates, honey and so much more. Enjoy this great experience on the 16th, 17th and 18th March 2013.

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See on www.tipicita.it