A dinner at Agriturismo Amici della Ratta, Surrounded by Vineyards and Green Hills
Do you want to escape from Milan, but avoid going too far? Then Brianza, the country area north of Milan, and especially Amici della Ratta, might be the right place for you! This part of the Lombardy region, that is still unknown to many, might be the perfect destination for a day out in nature, while still being close to the city since it is at about an hour drive from Milan.
In the Eastern part of Brianza you can visit the Regional Park of Montevecchia and Curone Valley, a corner of piece where you can enjoy walks in nature and also tickle your appetite. Deep in the green of the park, in the town of La Valletta Brianza, we had dinner at Agriturismo Amici della Ratta, a family owned farm and restaurant (and also home to the owners) that offers dishes created with local ingredients and produce and meat produces by themselves: the real expression of local food traditions!
The name of the farmstead derives from the local dialect in which ‘rata‘ represents an uphill road, a steep hill: and you will have to pass a (not too steep) hill road to get to the agriturismo, which is the Italian for farm tourism as in farm-restaurant. Here is our diary of the dinner!
THE HIGHLIGHT AT AMICI DELLA RATTA: local ingredients
Amici della Ratta offers a fixed price menu that includes several starters, two first courses, one second course and two desserts. The ingredients are all, ça va sans dire, seasonal.
We started our dinner with the starters: batter fried veggies, crostini with lard and pink pepper and Capreggio, a goat cheese produced in Primaluna, in the nearby Valsassina valley, cheese tart, Russian salad, pickled vegetables and handmade salame. We were afraid we would be full rightaway, when we were offered some sweet and savoury, still warm, broccoli muffins that were out of this world.
We enjoyed everything with some ‘Ratin Russ‘, a full-bodied red wine made with grapes from the farmsted’s vineyard.
The dinner continued with the first courses: perfectly cooked risotto with asparagus and some pasta with sausage ragout. Here we have to make a well-deserved note: the ragout, against any expectation for a sausage ragout, was incredibly tender and delicate and with a balanced flavour. The portions were abundant, without exceeding into ‘ too much’, and presented in serving plates.
As second course we had some pork roast with potatoes and salad with much relish. The dinner ended with a fluffy apple and cinnamon cake and tiramisù (either with or without liquor in it).
What better way to finish this traditional country dinner than with some coffee made with the traditional Italian moka!?
THE LOCATION: deep in the green of Curone Valley
Amici della Ratta is located in the heart of the Regional Park of Montevecchi and Curone Valley, at about an hour by car from Milan, and you get to the agriturismo by passing the last few hundred meters on a hilly road (still easily accessible for all cars). Before enjoying your lunch or dinner you can have a walk in the park, admire the green stretch of vineyards and the peace of the place. There are well signaled paths to follow for your walks, and you can also decide to reach the Carmelo sanctuary located on the Montevecchia hill.
THE ATMOSPHERE: folksy and welcoming
The first thing that might come to your mind when you enter this agriturismo is ‘home‘. And this is how you will feel, as at one of the lunches at your auntie’s, when you slow down and you find the time to enjoy simple and traditional, and at the same time special, dishes. The farmstead is a building that dates back to the 16th century and it has been fully refurbished, and the ambience is warm and welcoming.
The familiar aspect also shows in the decor and the details that decorate the rooms: antique cupboards full of paltes, cups and soup tureens, a fireplace corner with books and magazines, fresh flowers and garden with a marvellous view on the park. The staff are always present and available.
THE BILL: in line with the quality of the ingredients
The fixed menu costs 30 euros excluding drinks. A price that is absolutely in line with the quality of the ingredients and the generosity of the portions. We can not wait to be back, maybe for a lunch next time so to better explore the park.
AMICI DELLA RATTA
Via Curone 7, La Valletta Brianza (ex comune di Perego)
+39 039 5312150 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for dinner (20.30) and Sundays and bank holidays for lunch (12.30)
By reservation only
Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. This article was written and translated by Tamara Ilic.