Saturday, September 27, 2014

Deruta, Maioliche Nulli, and Lunch at Il Chicco Di Grano

Most of us have seen the traditional rooster pitcher from Italy.  These ceramics are call majolica and although many towns are famous for their majolica, Deruta is the big daddy.  Elizabeth Minchilli wrote a fabulous book about Deruta, and although it's currently not in print, she blogs about her favorite places here.
Five years ago, Dr. C. and I stopped at Maioliche Nulli to buy some ceramics from Deruta. Rolando and Goffredo hand throw and hand paint each piece that they make, many are numbered pieces. None of their designs are stamped, or machine painted.  This is a shop where the artisan (Rolando) greets you at the door, and then invites you down to his workshop.  My friend Char has been visiting from Cincinnati, and Rolando tutored her in making a bowl on the potters wheel.

I couldn't believe Char had never done this before, as Rolando said, un'artista!  Nice job!  After we'd made our purchases and arranged to send them back to the states we were asked if we were going for lunch in Deruta.  We asked where he would recommend, and Rolando said, he would accompany us. 
We followed him to a country inn, and we had an amazing lunch at Il Chicco di Grano.

Pasta filled with ricotta and pear with a pork sauce
Farro salad, pecorino fresco, arugula, pancetta and olio

Beef with smoked scamorzza cheese and roasted potatoes

Macedonia di frutta

Biscotti with Vin Santo

A family appeared to be having a celebration while we were there, we were the only Americans in the house.  Our waiter Tito took really good care of us, and it was a delight to meet Carla the chef.  Born in Rome, but living in Assisi, her food is exquisite.  

Carla on the left

The restaurant is part of an old country house that has been converted into  agriturisimo apartments.  You can stay here, and eat well, or you can stop by as we did.  The grounds are lovely, and I could picture the family that was having lunch there staying there to celebrate an anniversary, or special event.  

After that awesome morning and afternoon, we toddled off to Spello to sit on the terrace, until the rains sent us inside.  
Grazie to Rolando and Goffredo Nulli, at  Maioliche Nulli, and to Tito and Carla at Il Chicco di Grano for a lovely day in Deruta.  

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