A funny thing happened last fall, maybe even in the middle of the night. We woke up one morning and there was a “Casa dell’ Acqua” in the Montone parking lot over by the elementary school. And another one had sprung up in the nearby town of Umbertide. When you live in Umbria, you get used to certain things: horrifyingly bad roads, spotty internet, wonky electric, and now, no bells in town. The story is always the same: no money and a fatalistic shrug of the shoulders. So when something new and shiny shows up, everyone notices.Read More
Twenty years ago, Napoli Restaurant was a classic spaghetti joint on the corner of Spring and Sullivan streets in Soho, NYC. Actually, it was ‘our’ spaghetti joint back in the day when we were living cheap and going out didn’t require a mortgage to buy a bottle of wine.
Flash forward to the new enlightened us who live in Italy and have eaten many clams, preferably picking them up at the port from the fisherman, with a cold bottle of local wine in the shopping bag. Here’s the time warp part: eating linguine alle vongole at the Italian seaside is probably cheaper than those dinners at Napoli. See, life isn’t always cruel.
There’s a little island, off the coast, between Roma and Napoli and it is calling our name. A craggy crescent of volcanic rock, Circe once ruled Ponza, singing her siren song to the tragic Ulysses. Perhaps, we’re hearing the call?Read More
My mother always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” And ordinarily if we go to a restaurant and we don’t like it, we don’t blog it.
But, this one got to me.
We had gone to Il Clandestino in Porto Novo a few years ago and had an astonishing, memorable, can’t wait to go back meal.
Lavinia In bocca al lupo!
In the mouth of the wolf!
I’ll murder it!
And that’s how you wish an Italian good luck. You tell them to look into the mouth of the wolf and they return with full bravado and machismo, “I’ll murder that wolf!”Read More
Tues morning, Aug 16
Town is a beehive of activity. Those little 3 wheeled Api’s are buzzing around town hauling sets and props, garbage, chairs and what ever else needs to be transported through our tiny medieval streets. Anything larger and Jeff is hauling it around in our trusty-rusty pick-up truck.
Clusters of people with clipboards gather, confer, and separate like so many drops of mercury, endless reorganizing according to the task at hand.
When the tomatoes are ripe on the vine and you bring them home still warm from the sun.
When the buffala mozzarella is so fresh that each slice of the cheese releases a creamy surge of goodness.Read More
Get your mind out of the gutter. Crudo means raw.
And no, the cannelloni wasn’t raw, the sauce was. Actually the fresh tomato sauce was almost raw or “quasi crudo” as they would say in Italy.
The story goes like this: it’s summer, no one wants to spend extra time in the kitchen, and we have tomatoes coming out of our ears.
And thus, I’ve learned inspiration and abundance make excellent cohorts.