Steak salad, Villa Maria, Abruzzo

Villa Maria Montepulciano d’Abruzzo lunch and dinner

Menu from a dinner at the Villa Maria Hotel restaurant in Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy, with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines (rough English translations bold and in brackets):

Insalatina invernale erbe spontanee formaggio di capra (Winter salads, wild herbs, goat’s cheese)

La porchetta (Porchetta)

Pappardelle alla genovese d’anatra (Pappardelle pasta with Genovese duck)

Cosciotto di agnello alle erbe aromatiche (Leg of lamb with aromatic herbs)

Tortino di pizza dolce (Sweet pizza pie)

Piccola pasticceria (Small pastries)

I stayed at Villa Maria Hotel, where I had both lunch and dinner. The menu is for dinner, but the photographs include the lunch too.

Obviously upscale, the food has been dressed up but with good flavours at its heart.

Qin Xie

Qin Xie is a London based food, wine and travel journalist and trained chef.

When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and CNN.

Her first cookbook, co-authored with YS Peng at Hunan Restaurant, is out March 2014.

According to friends, her watch is always set to UTC -- ready for the next big adventure. In reality, she is happiest at the dinner table or by the sea.

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