L’Oste Scuro

Vicolo S. Silvestro, 10,

37122 Verona, Italy

+39 045 592 650

April 2009

L’Oste Scuro is a cozy restaurant located off a side-street in the historic center of Verona, a town that is notorious for its high prices and indifferent food targeted at the waves of tourists who descend upon the city nearly every day. Partly for those reasons, this was such a magnificent dinner. The food, wine and service were all top-notch.  L’Oste Scuro is small, so reservations are essential.

We started with the raw fish and shellfish plate, which was delectable. The spaghetti with sea urchin was full of the kind of flavor one only finds in restaurants that work with local and super-fresh ingredients. The fried baby octopus were perfectly cooked and seasoned, and also not too heavy. For our main course we followed the suggestion of the owner and opted for the grilled amberjack, which was topped with breadcrumbs and served with black olives, capers and oregano. This southern-inspired dish was perfect and surprisingly light in body. I had only a taste of the cheesecake with berry sauce but it, too, was delicious without being either heavy or excessively sweet.

The wine list at L’Oste Scuro is extensive and offers plenty of choices. After several days of tasting Amarone from barrel I was in dire need of a palate cleanser. Cédric Bouchard’s NV Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine was superb. Unfortunately this bottle did not show a disgorgement date, so it was impossible to know the exact year of this single-vintage (but not officially declared) Champagne. Still, the wine showed all of the qualities I have come to admire in the Bouchard Champagnes; namely expressive aromatics, a layered expression of fruit and an impeccable, finessed mousse. The wine continued to improve over several hours, showing different facets of its personality with every taste. It was a terrific wine for an equally terrific dinner. 


Raw fish and shellfish composition

Spaghetti with sea urchin

Fried baby octopus

Grilled amberjack topped with breadcrumbs; black olives, capers and oregano

Cheesecake with berry sauce 


NV       Cédric Bouchard Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine          92

[Photo: L’Oste Scuro, Verona, Italy]

--Antonio Galloni