11 October 2015

The closest star to Trieste: the Osteria Altran in Ruda

An exclusive fusion between Rustic, chic and British style

Just about 40 Km from Trieste I discovered a delightful little place. In Ruda, a small commune with about 3.000 residents in the province of Udine, there’s the most eastern Michelin star in Italy. Osteria Altran, a small farmhouse that started its activity in 1889 with only one farmstead, and has now developed into 4 large buildings, has held this star for over 12 years.

Hidden away among vineyards, this pearl of a restaurant is actually inside one of the old stables, just two rooms with only 5 tables.

The environment is definitely not unfriendly. The owner, Guido, is an eccentric man that has a way with words and almost seems ready for show business thanks to his ironic humour.

When he was 42, he abandoned his career as a lawyer to start his new adventure, and along with Alessio (and his fantastic cooking), he opened the doors to what became the most eastern Michelin star restaurant.

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The restaurant is warm and welcoming, with a slight British style and walls painted in warm colours. A couple of stoves, armchairs and classic furniture is elegantly set out to create a hospitable and cosy environment without overdoing it.

From a boiserie door you can see the small and intimate dining room with 4 tables with a cotton and linen cloth, and you realise that nothing is casual, but it has all been chosen with care and taste.

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After appreciating their choice in furnishing it was time for the starter: an excellent champagne Jacques Lassaigne brut reserve accompanied by a glass with three colourful and crunchy rolls. Delicacies’ with vegetable extract and gelèe cooked in the oven.

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We also tasted excellent wine during the dinner, a special Graviner. As special as the wine menu that has over 700 different labels.

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The lunch was over too soon: the dishes were served one after the other with Guido keeping us company between one and the other.

What did we eat? These are all the wonderful dishes of our lunch:

Burro di olio d’oliva con emulsione di burro di cacao

Olive oil butter with a cocoa butter foam

Ceviche di merluzzo con pomodoro giallo e latte di tigre

Codfish Ceviche with yellow tomato and tiger milk

Fior di zucca con crema di Parmigiano 24 mesi, crema di peperoni dolci, gocce di pesto e ricotta affumicata

Zucchini flower with a cream of 24 month Parmesan, sweet pepper cream, drops of pesto sauce and smoked ricotta cheese

Melanzana al forno con tagliolini gratinati, provola, salsa di pomodoro a pezzetti e pesto

Baked aubergines with gratin tagliolini, provola cheese, tomato sauce and pesto

Trancio di orata alla plancia con bisque di astice e scampi e ajoli leggera

Sliced gilthead bream grilled with scampi and lobster bisque soup and light aioli sauce

Crema di mandorle, salsa al lampone, sorbetto di pesca bianca e pesche alla griglia

Almond cream, raspberry sauce, white peach sorbet and grilled peaches

Piccola pasticceria

Small pastries

Oh, how much beauty and pleasure!

As it often happens, after (and even before sometimes) you can’t help but keeping an eye on the price… to answer the classic question “how much?” I took a photograph of the two assorted menus they suggest: the 6 serving menu (70.00 euros) and the 7 serving menu (80.00 Euros).

For some the cost of a dinner at the Altan Osteria might be out of budget, but for those who love food and wine experiences or for whoever wants to celebrate a special occasion or simply to treat yourself to something special – even just for once – I assure you it’s a lovely experience, a real investment for your physical and psychological health. Try it to believe me!

Chef Alessio con Federico

Chef Alessio with Federico

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