Apr 26, 2013

Dining in Verona and Restaurante Maffei

With only one night in Verona we had to do some speed touristing and wanted to make sure we got a good taste of the local cuisine. Some of the hotel dining recommendations on our Italy Adventure thus far, whist decent, were to our liking a little too touristy and with the feeling that locals would probably not dine there. Why leave home to sit next to Americans in Italy? Kiwi and Koala can do that in California!

We received a recommendation from the concierge at the Hotel Giulietta e Romeo to dine at the  Restaurante Maffei.  With a beautiful stroll through alleyways reminiscent of Venice we found the Piazza Delle Erbe. A lively place on a Friday night, all foot traffic with loads of energy. The restaurant is situated at one end of the Piazza through a small courtyard that separates it from the noise and bustle. The restaurant is in part of the Palace Built in 1668 by the Maffei family and has a decor that pays tribute the its famous heritage.
We did not have a reservation but were still quickly seated in a very nice open room. Service was quick and friendly and a combination of our bad Italian and their great English got us through the evening! They began with a free tasting of prosecco and small bowl of orecchiette con pesto, also on the house. The wine list was daunting, but Koala managed to find a very nice wine under three Euro digits. No mean feat given the quality wine list!

Room for 60 to taste wine in the cellar
Appetizers were fabulous and Kiwi and Koala both enjoyed lamb chops for secondi piatti. Too full for desert we were once again given treats on the house, and with the girls making yummy noises, a new plate of mini chocolate cakes arrived!
Noticing our interest in the wine the maitre'd offered us a tour of the wine cellar and Roman ruins. Yes, Roman ruins! Under the main restaurant was a 6,000 bottle cellar with private banquet dining. Their special collection dated from 1959 and was under lock and key! Mostly Italian wines, and why not! Fabulous.

Table for two with ruins.
Down seven meters under the restaurant were the excavated ruins discovered during construction. Nothing can be dug here without finding an amphora or column! Well lit and with a table set for two this was a great place for a romantic yet historical dinner!

Four thumbs up for dinner and service from Kiwi, Koala and spouses. A definite "Recommend" and tell 'em Kiwi and Koala sent you.

Kiwi & Koala

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We are always on a WineWalkabout looking for a good drop. Please comment and ask questions about the things you like or would like to read and see. Don't drink without pants on!