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Osteria Porcellino: Italian 'slow food' at its finest

By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Angel Pu

697, DaJin St., Nantun Dist.
(04) 2320-6800
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5.30-8:30 pm (closed Mon.)
Minimum bill NT$190/person.
English menu available.
Credit cards not accepted.
10% service charge.

Osteria Porcellino owners Danny Chen and Pei Hsu have always been amazed by Italians' attitude toward cooking, and the importance they attach to this activity. This passion led the pair to Florence, Italy, where they spent time absorbing the culture and learning about the different cooking styles and diversity of flavors.

Since the restaurant's opening in November, 2012, diners have been able to enjoy a variety of flavors from various Italian regions, distinguished by particular recipes or ways of cooking. Osteria Procellino's logo is a boar--well-known in Florence as a symbol of "slow food" and another reminder to take it easy and savor one's mealtimes.

The restaurant's dining area is a big room with high ceilings, decorated with wooden tables and furniture, library-style shelves, and several different decorative items, mostly Italian. The low-intensity lighting and relaxing background music create a laid-back environment that fits the name of the place perfectly.

The menu consists of antipasto dishes (NT$80-180), main dishes (NT$190-NT$590), desserts (NT$90-130), beer (NT$100) and a selection of Italian wines (NT$550-790). Taiwanese ingredients are also used in order to provide fresher cuisine.

Osteria Porcellino Osteria Porcellino Osteria Porcellino
Left: The Gnochhi di Patate con Ragu (NT$350) follows a recipe from Genoa and contains fresh potatoes, slowly stir-fried so that they're crispy on the outside. This is served with sage, duck liver, pork and some vegetables on the side.
Medium: The Melanzane alla Barese (NT$90) with imported Italian Padano cheese, bacon, tomato sauce and onions, is baked in the oven and has a flavor very similar to that of lasagna.
Right: The Maiale con Zucchine e Rucola (NT$390) uses pork with olive garlic oil and is cooked over a slow heat.

Osteria Porcellino Osteria Porcellino
Left: Spaghetti alla Trapanese (NT$190) has Pecorino cheese, almonds, tomatoes and pesto, mixed together in a traditional Sicilian style.

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