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We retrace our steps a bit for a late lunch – late enough that they seem momentarily indecisive as to whether or not they should seat us – at Alla Dama Bianca in Duino, a classy seaside restaurant done up in, yes, white, plus lots of windows. I start with a zingy and surprisingly crispy plate of sardines in saor (which, on the menu, they actually refer to as “in savor”), followed by a bizarre pasta dish of mixed seafood and fresh porcini. “Surf & turf,” I’d call it if I could. I don’t know if the combination works, exactly, but all the elements are delicious, and the various seaborne edibles and mushrooms are all cooked as perfectly as the pasta.

The wine list focuses on local products, which means even those who consider themselves knowledgeable about Friulian wines based on the export market will find many names here that they do not know, coming largely from the hidden plateau above the autostrada and its non-prestige regions of Carso and Isonzo. (11/07)


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