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Wining and dining in Oltrepò: La Locanda Dei Beccaria 

One of our favorite restaurants in Oltrepò Pavese 

How do you like spending a rainy sunday? We have no doubts about this: let's please our  palates with tasty food amenities, at a restaurant in Oltrepò Pavese! This time the choice is, not surprisingly, on Locanda dei Beccaria, a restaurant adjacent to the Historical Cellar "Il Montù", located precisely in Montù Beccaria.

We briefly wrote of The Montù and the Locanda earlier on, as this is one of the places in the area where we most enjoy dining; not to mention that they are among our regular wine suppliers and, alas, recently our wine stocks fell below the alert level. Thus we take the yummy opportunity to go shopping at the Cantina Storica, after tasting their wines paired with the dishes of Locanda dei Beccaria.

The Inn and the Winery are practically in the same complex of buildings, which is accessed by a porch at Via Marconi in Montù Beccaria. From the windows of the great room you can see the wine production facilities and grappa cellar.

Our small group (four people) is rarely among the first to sit down at the table in a restaurant and this time we stand by our own tradition, a tradition that we respect even when we are last to stand up from the table.

The Locanda's menu, instead, differs a bit from local tradition and prefers creative and, we could say, international recipes over historical recipes. The restaurant is however very selective in the choice of the raw material and this choice is reflected in its tastes and flavors thanks to which the restaurant has collected so many positive reviews.

The menu contains plates of both land and sea. Our choices today fall on land. Appetizers:

  • Selection of cured meats with pickles from Oltrepò house
  • Tasting with culatello of Zibello, terrine of duck liver, beaten with a knife, Piedmontese veal with ancient sauce, small cutlet sandwich.

After rich starters like these, we are not able to order both the first and the second course, and reluctantly we have to make a choice. But then we find that La Locanda has just the right dish to offer, one that will surely make the purists of Italian tradition turn up their noses, but that we really enjoyed. Here are the main courses:

  • Fillet of Fassone beef from Butchery Spagarino of Costigliole d'Asti, accompanied by a mini-bucket of fries (fresh of course)
  • Duck leg, pumpkin ravioli and citrus sauce

Purist of Italian tradition reading this, have you turned your noses up seeing a duck leg with ravioli in the same plate? I hear you already: "This is foreigners's food." Instead, let me tell you, this combination is fully convincing.

Finally, a conspicuous dessert, that one of the diners actually chose as a main dish:

  • Gorgonzola from Dairy Angelo Croce of Casalpusterlengo, accompanied by a carpaccio of pears and a scoop of... gorgonzola ice cream!

The wine list at the Locanda contains wines of different origins, but we prefer to taste those produced from their Historical Cellar: to begin with, a sparkling Pinot Noir DOC vinified in white, followed by a full-bodied Reserve "Vigna Letizia" Buttafuoco DOC 2013.

Once the ritual of Sunday lunch is over, we go to the wine shop next to the restaurant. The Historical Cellar Il Montù produces all DOC and DOCG Oltrepò Pavese, plus some IGT for mass distribution. Our wine stock is now back to acceptable levels!

And what about grappa? Il Montù is also a renowned grappa producer, with a variety of products that really meets all tastes and budgets. We take the opportunity to buy a peculiar grappa with Habanero chili, that we will taste as soon as possible. Raise your glasses!



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