For a taste of traditional Friulian cooking, head to Udine’s Osteria Al Vecchio Stallo—it was here that I fell in love with the cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. One of the city’s oldest, the restaurant is housed in a 17th-century building that once served as a stable and rest stop for deliverymen. Amid the atmosphere of an old-world tavern—wood-beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, red-checked tablecloths, and walls cluttered with colorful paintings, newspaper clippings, period photographs of Udine, and memorabilia of all sorts—chef Mario serves up hearty portions of local dishes such as frico (Montasio cheese and potato pancake), cjalsòns (herb-filled pasta topped with cinnamon and smoked ricotta), orzo e fagioli (bean and barley soup), gnocchi di susine (potato dumplings stuffed with plums), baccalà (salt cod stew), sarde in saor (marinated sardines), cevapcici (Slavic grilled sausages), salame all’aceto (salami cooked in vinegar), and brovada (pickled turnips). In true Friulian style, most second courses are served with polenta. For dessert, order the gubana—a spiral cake filled with dried fruit, nuts, and spices.