As you know, I love Tuscany and my family has been visiting the same place for over 10 years now. I’ve mentioned this restaurant before (see here) but after my recent trip last month, I decided that Trattoria Bonini was worthy of its own post. Tucked away on a corner in a small vilage called Monteperpoli, this place is around 15 minutes drive from the nearest town, Castlenuovo.
Over the last few years Bonini’s has gone from a great bar and restaurant to something of a fine dining establishment, well known with the locals as somewhere nice to go for an evening meal. The menu changes frequently and features lots of locally sourced, high quality ingredients. The owner Giorgio Bonini is a fabulous sommelier with an extensive wine knowledge and as you’d expect, the drinks menu is fantastic. The house wines are delicious though so don’t worry about needing to splash the cash.
The menu is pretty small and peppered with locally sourced ingredients including Garfagnana farro and trout. We ate there twice in a four day period and after I came home, I know my parents visited again at least twice (yes..we are real fans) so rather than give a review of our one evening, here are the highlights:
Ravioli di Burrata pugliese con pomodorini e bruciatini di pancetta
This was a firm favourite with all of us and over the week, we all ordered it. The burrata was creamy and the baby plum tomatoes were sautéed until just soft but still held a little of their raw sweetness. Chuck in some cracked black pepper and crispy bacon for a perfect pasta dish.
Tagliolini al tartufo
I am a big fan of truffles and the region is well known for them. The taglioni was cooked to perfection and dressed simply with olive oil, the truffles and a little black pepper. Add parmesan and what’s not to love about this dish?
Tagliata di manzo glassata all’Aceto Balsamico
Bonini has had something similar to this on the menu for years and I can see why it stays. The steak is served rare but with chargrilled crispy edges. Even the fat is delicious. Also a shout out to the potatoes. These guys love their seasoning and they were glistening with rock salt (not too much, just the right amount).
Costolette di agnello grigliate al timo
Far and away the best lamb chops I’ve ever eaten. Pink in the middle and chargrilled on the edge. Ordered around the table several times and always perfect, a sign of quality produce and a great chef! Just a shame there were only three on the plate!
Apologies for the quality of the picture, we’d eaten outside and the light was fading. This pudding ticked all the boxes for me. With my savoury tooth, the pistachio was perfect, not too sweet.
So there you have it, a gorgeous little family run place with some amazing dishes on the menu. Are you visiting Tuscany soon? Have you been to the Garfagnana region and have some restaurant recommendations? Please share them with me!
*I paid for my meal and Bonini were not expecting me to review. All opinions are my own*