This was undoubtedly the most pleasant culinary experience my wife and I enjoyed during our seven day stay in Pisa. Being unusually clement for mid October we decided to sit outside in the little square, although the interior of the Osteria looked welcoming too and like a good bet for an evening dinner. The service was helpful, prompt and affable from the start and in no way pretentious or cloying such as we experienced in so many of the other places we ate at during the week. For our starter we shared a plate of local meat antipasti (seen in the photo above) which was all delicious, especially the crude bacon and the local ham which had more in common with a fine Serrano than a Prosciutto. It's firm texture and rich flavour was revelation to me in Italian hams which have a tendency to be samey and dull. A word of caution though; the little bowl of local honey flavoured with white truffle, or white truffle oil - we weren't sure - is a highly acquired taste. It was one the most pungent flavours either of us had ever experienced, and even the tiniest touch of it on the tongue overpowered nearly everything else that came after it. It's a testament to the quality of what followed that we enjoyed it so much. In fact, we could both still taste the stuff at bed time, around twelve hours later! However, both our main courses were excellent. My wife had a light soft ravioli filled with gorgonzola, porcini mushrooms and spinach in a creamy, yet not-too-rich cheesy white sauce. Funnily enough the ravioli were also seasoned with white truffle, but in this case, with just the right amount of subtlety. I opted for another local specialty, the "peasant classic" Ribollita stew. It had a good balance of ground bread and flavourful vegetables but would have been even better with the addition of white beans (I meant to query why this essential ingredient was missing but forgot). We washed down the meal with a perfectly decent local house red of the typical sangiovese grape and the total bill came to a reasonable 25 Euros without service. We had no desert.
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