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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Monday, March 07, 2005

My birthday lunch

Yesterday, March 6th was my birthday and for as long as I can remember I have woken up on my birthday singing to myself but on this day I sang to myself in Italian. “Buon compleanno a mi=Happy Birthday to me.” We had a day trip planned and after a leisurely morning at home, we headed out for a drive in the country.

Lunch was planned in a small town called Bra but our plans changed when we discovered the restaurant was not open for lunch. Instead we took the detour to La Morra. On the way to La Morra, we drove past Alba, famous for the most exquisite white truffles in Italy, and Asti, which makes the famous Moscato D’Asti (which I love.)

The drive was gorgeous, most of the snow had melted in Piedmont and even the curviest roads were smooth and safe. What struck me most were the hillsides and the villas. The villas were perched like mother hens on hilltops watching over the vineyards below. Every parcel of land was covered with hazelnut trees and grape vines. Although the vines were bear and the land looked barren, I could imagine the promise of greenery and juvenile grapes in just a few months.
Row upon row was precisely positioned and the vines espaliered to optimize grape production and harvesting efficiency. It was all truly and marvel, the tradition of wine could be felt by anyone lucky enough to gaze upon this countryside.
We arrived in La Morra and had a wonderful lunch. The food was wonderful, the service was exceptional. Dogs were allowed in the restaurant and so were children which were a surprise to me. I most fine dining establishments in Seattle, neither is allowed. We decided to try all the traditional dishes of Piedmont. Demetrio has been trying to educate me on all the specialties of various regions of Italy. We ordered:

Veal with tuna sauce-D’s starter
Tartar of veal with white truffle and shaved parmeggiano-my starter

Risotto with asparagus-my first course
Fettucini with bacala (a fish)-D’s first course

Guinea fowl with fois gra and moscato di pantelleria grapes-D’s second course
I had no second course; I was saving room for dessert.

Before dessert, there was a cheese course in which the cheeses of Piedmont were wheeled to our table on a cheese cart the size of a small car.

For dessert I had the orange trio, blood orange sorbet, orange aspic and an orange torte.
Deme had semi-freddo, chocolate torte and crème caramel

I finished lunch a bit full but not too stuffed, our reservation was for 1:45 and by the time we got out there, 2 ½ hours has passed. Now it was off to dinner!


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