There are some dinners that are not so easy to forget because of the way the flavors have overwhelmed your palate and the culinary concept has cornered your interest. With the wave of an imaginative mind and a knowledge of the proper technique, the person behind the plates can create magic. The first time I met Giulio Gigli was at a dinner organized by Scacciadiavoli Winery in Umbria in June 2021 where he created a whole internationally-influenced menu paired with the wines of the winery. At that time, he just came back from a four-year stint as the Head of Creativity of Disfrutar in Barcelona, Spain, one of the most creative and awarded restaurants in the world. That night, he spoke about his plans of opening his own restaurant in the Umbrian town he grew up in. It’s name is Une which means water in the antique Umbrian language.
Five months later, I was sitting on a table in Ristorante Une finishing one of his two tasting menus. In the menu, you can only find two tasting menus: Acquedotto, composed of five courses at €45 and Relations, composed of seven courses at €60. His style is clean and straightforward as every bite takes you to a journey of the discernible symphonic blending of flavors. One thing for certain is that the restaurant focuses on territorial characteristics, taken from raw materials produced by artisan producers of Umbria. He transforms traditional dishes to his own depiction, modernized using his acquired knowledge of modern and international techniques from his past experiences.
Giulio is in his early 30s and has already attained an impressive professional curriculum. He worked with Anthony Genovese in the kitchen of Pagliaccio (2 Michelin stars) in Rome, Yannick Alléno’s Le 1947 à Cheval Blanc (3 Michelin stars) in Courchevel, Benu (3 Michelin stars) in San Francisco, and lastly, Disfrutar (2 Michelin stars and 5th place in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants) in Barcelona where he was the Head of Creativity.
Ristorante Une opened in August 2021 in a refurbished old mill from the 1600 in the small town of Capodacqua. The restaurant’s location is completely off the beaten track in a town with a population of 200. The closest bigger towns are Foligno at a distance of 15 kilometers and Assisi at around 30 kilometers. And yet, the place fills up with locals and visitors for lunch and dinner, weekdays and weekends. The restaurant has a fine dining concept in a rustic elegant backdrop. Four months from its opening, it already received its first award: two forks from the Italian restaurant guide, Gambero Rosso.
Once seated, let the experience touch you, from the very attentive and warm service that the dining staff gives, the food, commencing from the appetizers to the desserts. Warm up with the Tigella Filled with Goat Blue Cheese and White Grape Jelly of Trebbiano Spoletino (indigenous grape) and move on to the unforgettable Gnocchi of Malva with Sheep Ricotta, Wild Mushrooms and Coffee. Finish it off with the Carrot Cheesecake with Chutney, Carrot Praline and Almond Foam, and an absolutely delectable dessert of Crispy Waffle with Hazelnut Ganache, Antique Apple and Caramel.