Gewurtz & spice & all veggie things nice

I’ve enjoyed two tip top vegetarian meals with Gewürztraminer lately which I wanted to share with you, the restaurants too.

The Country House Montali, Umbria has been acclaimed The Best Vegetarian Restaurant in the World. I was tipped off about it a couple of years ago by a meat eater who had been with his vegetarian girlfriend and was blown away by the food. Holidaying in neighbouring Le Marche provided the perfect excuse to nip over the border for a weekend to sample its delights. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Perched on top of a hill among olive groves and apricot trees overlooking Lake Trasimeno, it’s a truly memorable location and owners Alberto Musacchio and his Brazilian wife, head chef Maria Lucia Simoes da Cunha, are excellent hosts. Plus the food lived up to expectations. I was especially taken by a zingy but precise fresh ginger and lemon risotto which Alberto paired with a dry, refined Gewürztraminer from Trentino Alto Adige. The recipe features in their book, “Vegeterranean” and I shall be endeavouring to recreate the match some time soon!

Closer to home, Rasa is London’s leading Keralan restaurant and well frequented by me, not least since the original veggie restaurant just happens to be my local. Dining with an omnivorous friend this week, I took the chance to explore the Dering Street branch which caters for meat and fish eaters too.

Just off Oxford Street, it’s a great find and, on this occasion, not just because of the food. The wine list isn’t the most exciting but it transpired that the Trimbach Reserve Gewürztraminer on their list was the 2005 vintage. Showing beautifully – rich, round and spicy – it proved a versatile and delicious partner to my aromatically spiced, eyes bigger than belly Keralan vegetarian feast.



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