For our final night in Italy we went to another famous trattoria with 3 gamberi from Gambero Rosso: Locanda delle Grazie in Curtatone, on the border of the Parco del Mincio. The Mincio is the river that changes into a lake here. We have moved from Veneto into Lombardia, into the region of mostarda, tortelli di zucca, and cotechino.
To start with, we ordered mixed antipasti called “triumph of Mantovanità” on the menu. We shared a single portion, which turned out to be a good choice as even a single portion was a lot of food. The waiter advised to upgrade it and throw in some cotechino as well. We asked to suggest a local wine, and he suggested a chardonnay from Alto Mincio that indeed went very well with the food. It is not often that you ask a waiter to recommend a wine that he recommends a bottle that is only 10 euros (and good!).
The antipasti came with grilled polenta.
Condiments: homemade mostarda to eat with the Grana Padana cheese, and homemade sott’oli to eat with the salumi. Mostarda is fruit that is preserved with sugar and mustard. This was pear mostarda and nicely soft. Sott’oli are preserved vegetables.
Aged Grana Padana cheese and salumi: pancetta, coppa, and salame.
Stewed cotiche (pork skin) with beans.
“Gonzaga” salad: salad with chicken and balsamic vinegar.
Pike with green sauce.
Cotechino, the soft local pork sausage that melts on your tongue, with homemade sauerkraut that was made with savoy cabbage instead of white cabbage (the usual for sauerkraut).
What an amazing spread of antipasti! Everything was delicious. 9/10
For primo piatto I chose a house specialty: tagliatelle with duck. The duck was very tender and flavorful and only the juices from cooking the duck were used to dress the homemade fresh pasta. Delicious. 9/10
Kees had the same homemade tagliatelle, but with fresh porcini mushrooms (in season right now).
We should have shared the primo as well, because unfortunately we had no more room for secondi.
I have always room for dessert, and so I tried the house specialty millefoglie: layers of crispy pastry with layers of zabaglione and chocolate sauce. 8/10
With this a glass of dessert wine, also from Alto Mincio, a passito made from garganega and moscato.
Locanda delle Grazie offers outstanding value. The check for both of us was only 80 euros. The food is delicious, everything homemade and very tasty; 9/10. The service is very friendly and helpful with the menu, which could otherwise be intimidating if you are not familiar with the typical dishes of the region. 9/10 for the service as well. This is a great trattoria!