Osteria al Duca
Via Arche Scaliger, 2
Bigoli - traditional thick spaghetti at the Osteria al Duca
In the 13th century house, where Romeo (of Romeo and Juliet fame) once lived, exists an osteria, the oldest in Verona.
Here the traditional dishes of centuries past are still served and history seems to hang in the very air that you breathe.
You'll feel that sense of history more upstairs: low wooden ceilings and a narrow little staircase make it easy to imagine travelers from centuries past dinning here.
It's also cooler upstairs in summer!
They have air-conditioning upstairs but not downstairs.
Downstairs there are only fans that can be a bit draughty, particularly if you are directly under them . My bald husband says they mess with his hair style :-).
It's not the fanciest of restaurants, and it definitely isn't for all tastes.
Many people can't bear the thought of even being in the same room as some of the traditional dishes from the Veneto - things like snails, tripe, horse or donkey. At the Osteria al Duca a lot of these are likely to be on the menu.
Don't worry though, they've lots of other great dishes too.
These are some of my favorites: stewed beef and polenta, veal and mushrooms, pappardelle pasta in a duck sauce and traditional bigoli pasta (like thick spaghetti) served with a variety of sauces.
If you're brave enough to try the horse or donkey (I'm not - despite my Veneto origins) my friends say the meat is excellent. My husband vouchers for the snails too.
Their menu isn't vast - generally limited to around 10 starters and 10 mains and it changes often, depending on the season.
Hungry? Then I recommend you go with one of the starters and one of the main courses as the main course portions aren't that big.
The price is standard no matter which you choose - basically around 20 Euros for two courses.
Wine of course is extra. An easy option is to go with their house wines, which normally pair well with the menu and offer great value.
Know your Italian wines ?
Then you'll be pleased to hear that they have a good selection of Veneto wines: from Valpolicella to Soave. They've also wines from most of the major wine regions of Italy, including Piedmont and Tuscany.
Follow up with dessert - around 5 Euros extra. The ones my husband, son and I tried were excellent. My husband had the tiramisu, and while he reckoned it was delicious, he claimed that it is nowhere near as good as my homemade one - here is the recipe.
After dinner a stroll along the nearby Adige river is a pleasant way to work of some of the calories.
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