L’Angolo d’Abruzzo

Piazza Aldo Moro 8

67061 Carsoli, Italy

+39 0863 997429


White Truffle Menu

Sunnyside up eggs with white truffles

Poached egg with sheep ricotta and white truffles

Beef carpaccio, salt, pepper and white truffles

Stone ground Durum hand cut wheat flour tagliolini with white truffles

Char broiled cow’s milk scamorza with white truffles

Pan roasted saddle of rabbit with white truffles


1991 Valentini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo


1999 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto   


1999 Castello di Ama Vin Santo Toscana


2009 Cantine Viola Moscato Passito


I have recently stated here at Vinous that I am a big fan of Michelin’s guide to Italy’s restaurants, as for the most part, it does an admirable job of telling it like it is. Of course, there are glaring exceptions to this rule, and the relatively low score attributed to the L’Angolo d’Abruzzo restaurant in Carsoli in Italy’s Abruzzo region is a case in point. One star would not be out of place, so the guide’s rating is nonsensical at best.

You might say, given that you can reach Carsoli via a zippy 35 minute highway drive from Rome, that l’Angolo d’Abruzzo is actually one of the Eternal City’s best restaurants. I’m not kidding: given the capital’s almost “I want to slit my veins” thought-inducing traffic, you’ll make better time driving out to the Lazio-Abruzzo border than you will trying to reach one of the city’s downtown trendy spots.

Char broiled cow’s milk scamorza with white truffles

But the food and the wines are why I really come here. Owner Lanfranco Centofanti is an artist of the grill, and charbroiled meats are like a second skin to him. Son Valerio is the chef (and exceptionally gifted with desserts) while daughter Valentina is an extremely competent, sunny presence in the dining room. Should you only want to eat two things once here (fools you!) then you must try the mixed salumi and artisanal cheeses, personally sourced by Lanfranco from local sheepherders and craftsmen. Even better is the char-broiled cow’s milk mozzarella, called scamorza, that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and of noteworthy, truly rare aromatic intensity and flavor complexity. On this day, I had the scamorza with truffles, but it’s so good it really doesn’t need them at all. To be blunt, you really haven’t eaten lonza or scamorza until you’ve tasted them  at l’Angolo d’Abruzzo.

The wine list is also one of the best in central Italy, with very good depth of vintages especially, and not surprisingly, in the Italian wines section. That said, November is the season of white truffles, and as Abruzzo is loaded with the darling little tuber, I naturally picked a menu specifically devoted to highlighting it. Matching it with it two wines that seem to have been just made for good ‘ol Tuber magnatum pico was even easier.

Valentini’s 1991 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is still in very fine shape and though you can tell it’s no spring chicken, it’s still remarkably lively and bright. Dark golden in color, almost amber, it explodes from the glass with notes of almond paste, faded flowers and ripe orchard fruit. Though I think the 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998 were all more successful in the 1990s, this is nonetheless a memorable white wine of uncommon complexity. In fact, its rather bracing acidity was just what the doctor ordered to cut through the luxurious richness of the egg and tagliolini dishes, though ultimately the wine overpowered the carpaccio.

Poached egg with sheep ricotta and white truffles

I absolutely adore Bruno Giacosa’s 1999 Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto, a simply outstanding “white label” wine that should really have been bottled with the more prestigious, Riserva-level red label. I have no doubt that Barolo loving Vinous readers are all too aware that Giacosa himself readily admits this wine was deserving of red label status, but as he needed cash for investment purposes at the time, holding on to the wine in his cellar for another year or so prior to release was not in the cards. Therefore, savvy wine lovers know to specifically look for this wine, as it is often available at a much lower price than the quality in the bottle demands.  That said, and even though it paired beautifully with both my tagliolini and rabbit, I had so-so luck with this bottle, seemingly prematurely evolved. Oh well, can’t win them all!

I rarely pass on a good sweet wine, and on this day I was glad to retry two real beauties. Castello di Ama’s 1999 Vinsanto Toscana is one of their most successful efforts in memory, quite sweet, smooth as silk and ripely concentrated, but impeccably balanced. Very different, but just as good, is Cantine Viola’s 2009 Moscato Passito, a blend of local varieties in which the local Moscato Bianco variant plays top dog. It’s a sweet, balanced, lively wine from Calabria that will remind you of figs macerated in alcohol, dried raisins and arbutus honey, and that deserves to be better known.

- Ian D’Agata