I remember every single thing I ate in Italy. If I think hard enough, I can taste it so vividly that my watering taste buds end up tasting like tears of sadness in my mouth.
John and I, for work purposes ONLY, created a rule system going into this trip, knowing that we would want to eat everything on every menu and would come back to New York out of shape and embarrassed that we have no. willpower. at all.
The rules for each dinner were simple:
Order as many salads and meaty / cheesy appetizers as we wanted — we usually shared 3/4 each meal…seriously.
*Don’t get conned into the bread basket.
*If ordering pasta, order one dish to share before the main.
*Each person gets a meat or fish as their main.
*Dessert is a must.
So basically, pasta MUST be had but can only be shared, and fuck the bread basket. (I have similar rules when at the airport. If I must get a breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s, remove the crappy, cheese-less top piece of the muffin. I’m classy)
There WAS a meal that stuck out though, and it wasn’t even dinner.
This little gem is right on the lake, and is easiest reached by boat. Full of locals and family-owned, I can easily say it had some of the most delicious bites in all of my 25 years of consuming food (and boob milk). (not recently).
Called “Locanda La Tirlindana”, it was classic Italian in every way, cozy and friendly and just plain delicious, with the simplest menu I’ve ever seen.
Blah blah blah here’s what we ate…
…porcini mushroom salad with celery and parmesan, with a balsamic sesame seed dressing. So simple and yummy. Taught me to add small slices of celery to any simple salad for a good, flavorful crunch.
…homemade ravioli, filled with ricotta and tossed around in butter and lemon. Can you see the bliss in the photo, or what?? It melted in my mouth then just erupted with flavor. Now I’m getting sad, as I just ate a (topless) sausage mcmuffin.
….”fish from the lake gratinated with bacon”. An obvious choice, as the lake was about 6 feet from me, and the word bacon was mentioned.
…king prawns, squids and scallops gratinated in the oven. Don’t know what gratinated means? I didn’t either, but here’s a good answer. Now Au Gratin makes a little more sense.
Gratinate: “The finishing of an already cooked dish by putting it into the oven to form a crispy golden crust on the surface. There are two methods of gratinating: full, which involves cooking and gratinating raw food at the same time, and a quicker method, during which the crust is simply added to pre-cooked food. In the first case, the whole cooking process is done in the oven, with the food covered with enough liquid to allow it to cook without burning; the second method, normally used for pasta, involves sprinkling grated cheese and breadcrumbs on the top, adding oil or butter, and placing in the oven.”
Everything was so good, that by the time the dessert question came up, I was only thinking about what other savory things I could order. So while John ordered this citrus pannacotta…
…I went back and ordered this:
Pesto spaghetti with Mary’s pesto of pistachio, capers, basil, anchovies, orange and mint. Mary being the best friend of Patricia, the wife that does all the cooking. She makes it at the beginning of each day with Patricia. I mean really? Does everything have to be so freakin cute? Dammit Mary!
Of course I had to get a photo with this wonderful duo.
Home cooking in the most literal sense of the term. Here is Frederic and his wife Patricia. I miss it already.
John also just pointed out that I broke the one-pasta rule by ordering that, but I disagree, as I thought that rule applied to dinner only, jerk. Also, my pasta replaced dessert, thus canceling the rule. I can make up all the rules to this I want!!