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“Incredible dinners!”
Review of Il Graal

Il Graal
Ranked #3 of 23 Restaurants in Calcata
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

I have been to Il Graal various times over the past three years. Mario, apart from being an incredible host and chef, is amazingly knowledgeable about wines. He is also someone who knows and loves the land, and this shows in his choice of dishes in his wonderful restaurant. Mario shuttles between the kitchen and his clients. His care in ensuring that the clients' experience is the best possible one for their culinary escape, is a joy to watch.

And onto the food: an inviting and varied choice of bruschette, cured meats, and cheeses, accompanied with an exquisite honey, begins the meal, and gives one an indication of the feast to follow. This was accompanied with their house wine, which rivals that which I have tasted in many places in Tuscany. Next, pappardelle with a ragout sauce made with wild boar, wonderful! I have also tasted Mario's ravioli with truffles and porcini mushrooms, as well as his famous "nido" pasta, roasted tagliolini with a sauce of asparagus with mushrooms. Both are of the same quality as the wild boar pappardelle.

For the second course (pure gluttony dictated that the meal continue), spezzatino of venison, stewed to perfection. The other meat dishes that I've tried, especially the piquant beef (pepato), melts in mouth. The meat was accompanied with sauteed greens, with just the right amount of garlic. Grilled mushrooms are also available when in season, which are a lovely side dish.

Convinced that there is always room for desert, I chose the pear and chocolate cake. Not a crumb was left on the plate. They also make delicious tiramisu'!

The price, for the quantity and especially quality of food was surprisingly on the lower side. A comparable meal in one of the large cities famous for tourist attractions, would easily cost close to EUR 50 a person! This was NOT the case at Il Graal.

The added value of Il Graal, is of course the location, right on the main square of old Calcata, a tiny, once abandoned hilltop town. With less than an hour's drive north of Rome, one is immersed in the lush greenery of the natural reserve of theTreja valley.

Both Calcata and Il Graal, are experiences that are not to be missed!

1  Thank richardnolan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 7 of 509 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

Had great wild boar pasta with their delicious house red wine. It is the only place we tried in Calcata but it was great.

Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2017 via mobile

Very nice and helpful people. Great food as well (we had pasta). And also a great homemade desert.
Superb finish to our little Calcata tour.

Thank Koenster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2017 via mobile

Charming restaurant, with lovely owner. The food is typical rustic style from Lazio. Especially recommended are the home made deserts!

Thank Sid D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2017 via mobile

We came to Calcata (pop. 100) not knowing what to expect. We left after an amazing tour and at Il Graal - one of the best meals of our 14 day tour. Chef Mario went out of his way to meet the needs of a gluten free diet, as well as a vegetarian in the same group.

The restaurant is 2 small rooms in an unlikely location in the centre of this tiny mountaintop village. But the waiter Omar (17 years in Calcata !) was so friendly and ensured both a friendly chat as well as a great meal.

All pasta is hand made on the premises. Chef Mario us most willing to leave the kitchen and meet his guests (always a good indicator of a confident chef). Especially recommend the wild boar pasta, and the radicchio and pecorino sauce on any pasta.

Highlight was the beef in pepper sauce. Highly recommended.

Thank futureone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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