La Civetta: A Taste of the Authentic
By: Elise Hugus, February 2, 2012
Matthew Soltesz - La Civetta became a fixture on the Main Street Falmouth culinary landscape in October 2007, expanding two years later.
Ask any Italophile, and they’ll tell you the main ingredient in Italian food is amore.
Connoisseurs of good Italian food and wine will thus find themselves falling in love with Osteria La Civetta (translation: Owl Kitchen) on Main Street, Falmouth.
In fact, love is what this authentic Northern Italian restaurant thrives on.
It all began in 2007, when Alberto and Giovanna Tosselli—who had spent summers in Falmouth with their daughter Sara since 1991—decided to bring the taste of their home city of Bologna to their adopted home. They opened up a small restaurant in a space formerly occupied by a travel agency, and just two years later, expanded into the empty storefront next door.
Specializing in cuisine from the Emilia Romanga region, La Civetta quickly seduced locals craving that “special something” in the sauce.
“What you find here is what you find in Bologna. We haven’t changed any recipes or ingredients,” says co-owner Andrea Poggi, who followed his heart to Falmouth shortly after meeting Sara on the Italian seaside. The two were married the following summer.
Benvenuti in italia
To step foot into La Civetta is to take a journey to a place where enjoyment of food and friendship are valued above all. From the farmer’s markets and local produce to the native Italian chef (Fabio Pozzati) and Sara’s watchful eye ensuring gorgeous presentation from kitchen to table, dining at La Civetta is the closest thing to eating out in Italy.
If you go...
While that Latin course might come in handy when ordering, the friendly staff can recommend antipasti, primi, secondi, and contorni to suit your tastes.
The regional cuisine has been adapted somewhat to serve up locally sourced seafood and produce, but the restaurant’s signature dish is—you guessed it—Ragu Bolognese.
Though some customers are surprised by the taste, Poggi insists La Civetta’s Bolognese is the real deal. Served over homemade tagliatelle, the sauce has the same pork, ground beef and tomato base as you’d find at Italian-American restaurants, but the secret is in the preparation, he says.
“We are from there. This is the real Bolognese,” he laughs. “Our tradition is to make simple, very good food. These are the same recipes I’d eat in my grandparents’ home.”
Not surprisingly, pasta is the star at La Civetta, where chefs make a fresh batch daily using organic eggs. Coming in all shapes and sizes (even gluten-free), Poggi says the freshness and style of the pasta is essential when it comes to enjoying an Italian meal.
“Fresh pasta makes a huge difference,” he says. “You need a pasta that absorbs the sauce. The shape has to be just the right texture.”
La Civetta’s commitment to authenticity extends from the kitchen to the photographs on the walls and the lamps hanging from the ceiling: the Tosselli family handpicked a majority of the ornaments and furniture from antique shops and countryside estates in Bologna and had it all shipped across the Atlantic. (Just take a look around the room and see how many owls you can find!)
With a wine, beer, and cocktail list starring Italy’s finest beverages, La Civetta’s low-light bar is attractive in its own right. Bartenders have an uncanny ability to up just the right elixir to suit your palette—and have been known to serenade customers on the mandolin if the mood is right.
That’s amore, for you.