Da Nando

Viale Divisione Julia 14 

33050 Mortegliano (Udine), Italy

Tel: + 39 0432 760187

Da Nando is an institution in Friuli. Even after all these years, the food and wine are well worth a visit. Proprietor Ivan Uanetto is a larger than life character whose booming voice and equally outsize personality fill up the room. Da Nando is the kind of place that is typical of the Italian provinces. The menu is essentially useless; instead diners should rely on the waiters to recommend what is outstanding on any given day. I usually start and finish with the antipasti, which consists of 5-6 courses that are more than enough for a meal. On the occasions I have ventured into the pastas and meat courses I have rarely been disappointed.

This winter lunch was full of great dishes. Prosciutto D’Osvaldo is an artisan smoked ham made in Cormons, one of the villages of the Collio. Served with gratinéed radicchio, it was outstanding. Nando’s seppia ‘tagliatelle’ was another standout. The seppia was cut into thin strips that resembled pasta and served alongside the ink and radicchio. All of the flavors and textures worked beautifully in this dish. Polenta with Montasio and sausage is a staple of the Friulian kitchen and a perfect course for a cold winter day. It was totally delicious.

Nando’s wine list is one the most extensive in all of Italy, but it looks like it hasn’t been updated in a few years. Ordering a bottle of the list is a futile and frustrating exercise. I have given up trying to be too specific and generally focus on younger wines. It shouldn’t be that way at such an august restaurant, but that’s just the way it is. I had visited Enzo Pontoni at Miani a few days prior and was eager to actually drink one of his wines. The 2009 Sauvignon Saurint literally filled the room with its extraordinary bouquet. Layers of ripe, juicy fruit blossomed beautifully from this extroverted, lush, yet beautifully balanced white. It was flat-out gorgeous. The 2000 Cappellano Barolo Pie Franco was hugely enjoyable. Hints of cinnamon, licorice, leather and tar added complexity to the round, sensual fruit. There was an exotic, flashy quality to the wine I found irresistible. Like so many 2000s, the Pie Franco appears to be a wine with limited upside, but it should drink beautifully for another 5-10 years, although I expect little improvement from here.

Readers visiting Friuli should make a point of stopping by Da Nando. Don’t be in a hurry, though. Lunch or dinner is serious business here and easily takes a few hours. 


Prosciutto D’Osvaldo with gratinéed radicchio

Sliced Chianina beef with radicchio

Marinated sea bass with pomegranates

Crab salad

Seppia ‘Tagliatelle’ with black ink and radicchio

Polenta with Montasio and Sausage 


2009   Miani Sauvignon Saurint      93

2000   Cappellano Barolo Pie Franco         

[Photo and Credit: Da Nando, Friuli, Italy]

--Antonio Galloni