Ristorante El Comanchero

26 Jul

The stars at night are big and bright ….deep in the heart of ….

Cortona?

Yep, you read that right! Having lived in Austin for 10 years, I can recognize a bit of ol’ west cowboy, and believe me, there’s some in Cortona that’s as good as it gets. Really. So to my Austin friends, this one’s especially for you.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

In a million years, we would have never found this place, down a dirt road with as many twists and turns as a viper. But of course, it was no secret to Lapo and Paola. The sign reads Club House and American Saloon, but the front of the restaurant gives little indication of what awaits inside.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

And there it is – the dream realized of a born and bred cowboy, Franco. Note the resemblance in the painting.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

This is a 30+ year adventure of a man with a passion, “The Man who Lives on Horseback.”

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Watch your back, Clint…Franco’s got you cornered, and he has SIX Stetsons.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And a collection gathered and also gifted by the many friends he has made over the years.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

I didn’t realize that my brother Bill left his Black Hawks jersey when he visited us here two years ago! (Actually, son Andrea picked up the jersey when in Chicago because of the Black Hawk.)

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©Blogginginitaly.com

This is a family run business and all are involved.

Franco, Gianluca, Ornella, Andrea -  ©Blogginginitaly.com

Franco, Gianluca, Ornella, Andrea –
©Blogginginitaly.com

But let’s not forget about the food!

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Son Andrea tells us about the menu and specials,

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©Blogginginitaly.com

while some appetizers are brought to the table.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

We let them decide our menu, and it was not only international but also delicious.

Gnocchi

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Pasta with ragu

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Bison steak from the U.S. or Canada,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Local chianina beef with green peppercorns,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Grilled pork from Spain.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

While we were eating, Franco entertained us with his pet owl, Archimedes. Seriously.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

And Andrea brought along a one-month old they found abandoned.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

After dinner, we moved to one of the verandas for dessert and caffe,

where the stars at night are big and bright,
and the views, they go on forever!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

and Franco served grappa, not tequila, from a glass rifle.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Before leaving,  a few more photos with the family,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

including Franco and all the wannabe cowboys, (well at least for the night)!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Although we have walked nearly every street in Cortona over the last four years, this was such an unexpected and very fun surprise. The address is Localita Piazzanella, 247/A, but I doubt that will help you find them on a map. Funny thing is, the next day I mentioned our dinner to some local friends, and they’ve all been here. Go figure!

My toast to friends both near and far, and all whom I hold dear… do like Franco,

Grab those reins, sit tall in the saddle,
and never let go of your dream.

Ciao,

Judy

 

12 Responses to “Ristorante El Comanchero”

  1. Tomas Feo July 26, 2014 at 9:24 AM #

    Giddy-up tutti!

    Like

  2. Magda Csaszar July 26, 2014 at 11:06 AM #

    Hello Judy and Leonard,

    What a delight to hear from you. All those beautiful people you making friends with is just remarkable. The food looks so inviting, I can almost almost tasted. What a wonderful vacation, You both looks so happy. A little Texas in Cortona, looks like the real thing.

    Love, Magda

    Like

  3. Florence July 26, 2014 at 10:27 PM #

    Judy this is just fabulous !! We lived this blog – you are having the best trip ever !!!

    Love ou both! F and V. Xoxo

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  4. Debra Kolkka July 27, 2014 at 3:30 AM #

    How amazing to find a bit of the wild west in Italy.

    Like

    • blogginginitaly July 27, 2014 at 4:02 AM #

      And for us to just learn about it now!

      Like

      • Bill July 27, 2014 at 7:08 AM #

        Juju…
        thank goodness for pictures…would be hard to imagine this gem without them…love you guys and so happy you are living the dream…
        GO HAWKS!!!!!
        xo
        Bill

        Like

      • blogginginitaly July 27, 2014 at 9:15 AM #

        Thought you’d enjoy this one! xo

        Like

  5. Connelly, Vincent J. July 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM #

    You’ve really hit your stride this year. Because you have been to most of the well-known places, maybe you should replicate the WTTW “Strange Chicago” show by giving us more of “Strange Cortona”.

    Like

    • blogginginitaly July 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM #

      Sounds like a plan…if I did deep enough, I can probably find some Etruscan scandals!

      Like

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