The name, Malardot, is the dialect version of the Italian word “malridotto,” which means “in bad shape.” Get here and you will be in very good shape.
Yes, the drive, the ambiance, the food–all well worth it. Start with the food. We’ve eaten at I Malardot 4-5 times now. With confidence, you can begin with a tagliere, mixed sliced meats and cheeses. For primo piatto our current favorite is artichoke ravioli with fosse cheese. That might well qualify as a desert island food for me. I could never tire of eating it.
In addition we have had the tagliatelle with sausage and peas, passatelli in brodo, and strozzopreti with I don’t remember what sauce. All the primi are good. But the ravioli are really special. Our usual side dish is the erbe di campagne, always terrific with piada and stracchino or squaquarone. House wine, terrific. Desserts, excellent.
Ah, but the drive up is in a word spectacular. You begin your ascent to I Malardot at Ponte Verucchio, rise to Torriana, from which you have a view of old Verucchio across the valley of the Marecchia. Continue on–upward, upward–to the drive that takes you to the restaurant. The views are something to keep in mind: if you can, go to this restaurant for lunch.
The ambiance inside Malardot is another reason to give this place a try. Hanging from the ceiling, chairs, bicycles, implements, al manner of very cool junk.
Finally, perhaps the most persuasive imprimatur. Every time we go for lunch, there’s a table of old boys. Fifty some years ago they would have been Felini’s vitelloni–brash, aimless, late adolescent pleasure-seekers. They are now all grown up, pleasure seekers still, taking their long lunch at a table for six, opening wine, ordering taglieres spilling over with meats, and primi, primi, primi. If they want to be at Malardot, so do I. And so, I trust, do you.