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DINNER pages

10 September 2011 : Assisi-Dozza, Italia            jump to this page > > >
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Victoria, Davide, Michael, Rochelle, Milo

After the sun went down, we joined the family for a raucous, family style, rustic dinner outdoors under an arbor beneath a nearly full moon. Lubricated by wine made from grapes grown right on the farm, we explored similarities and differences in our lives.  

Victoria came to Imola to teach English with only a bookish grasp of Italian, but within a year she was communicating comfortably. Davide, who has moved far from his family (ten kilometers) has lived on this land all his life. He remembers with pleasure summers in the region near Bolzano, near the Austrian border, but clearly his heart is here ...and in music. He has a whole room devoted to vinyl.

Milo presents himself as a rolling stone and a jack of all trades. He spent last winter in New Zealand -- "cheap flight; I worked for a baker" -- before that, he was here, so this is his second sojourn.

21 September 2011 : Padova            jump to this page > > >
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Wonderful ambiance. A flirtatious waitress with a comedienne's sense of timing in two languages who loved playing with her food ... I mean, her customers. Of course: freshest ingredients of great variety from the immediate area. We're in the Veneto. Half a liter of prosecco, laughingly bubbly. Gnocchi light as clouds in a delicious cheese sauce flavored with truffles. Osso bucco so tender it came apart with a touch, and a special delight: a big bone with a great medallion of marrow cooked to perfection slathered with aspargus sauce beside roasted polenta and mashed potatoes. (We're almost in Austria here, and the flavors cross borders easily.)

A huge insalatone – anything that ends in -one is big in Italy, so minestre is soup and now you can figure minestrone out for yourself. Just in case that wasn′t enough, tiramisu of surpassing lightness. And a local grappa, yellow as sunlight and just as strong.

Luckily, on the next day, there will be a lot of walking for us. Probably eating too.

22 September 2011 : Padova            jump to this page > > >
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Insalata Fantasia, Lasagna, White Polenta with Mushrooms and Squid

6 October 2011 : Hvar, Hvar            jump to this page > > >
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Ooops, Sorry, hunger overcomes photography. We have aleady started when I remember to haul out the camera...

There were two kinds of stuffed bread, sort of like calzone, that smelled delicious and were exceptionally tasty. A plate of three local meats and two local cheeses surprised us. Delicious lemonade, the first we have seen on the trip. Lovely local white wine. For dessert, Pijane Smokve – "drunken figs," figs stuffed with almonds then marinated in local brandy – and Prošek, local sweet white wine like what we call muscat.

Throughout the dinner our server checked on us, explained things, and made sure we were pleased. I mentioned that at home I am a chef, so when the bill came, it included a 10% courtesy discount, one chef to another. Nice touch!

23 October 2011 : Vallelunga, Sicilia            jump to this page > > >
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Dinner the first night at Tanarizzi

25 October 2011 : Enna, Sicilia            jump to this page > > >
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Dinner at Ristorante Centrale was as delicious as one could want. In stark contrast to dinner the night before, we were graciously served exactly what we ordered, and it was delicious: the primi del giorno of tagliatelle e funghi, a superb minestre of lentils, and contorni of artichoke, eggplant, onions, and mixed salad.

I want to heap opprobrium on the night before's dinner (and will, on TripAdvisor): the lamentable Ristorante La Trinacria. Seems the owner's brother doesn't like to talk to foreigners, so instead of the risotto we got penne; instead of the lamb we got who knows? (Rochelle was sure it was horse.) Instead of roasted potatoes with hazelnuts and rosemary we got french fries. And our order for mixed salad came out as butter lettuce -- nice butter lettuce, true, but nothing mixed about it. Insult to injury: we had fallen for a Stupor Mundi City Pass scam, 5€ each for discounts on meals. La Trinacria's "discount" was to add a 10% "service charge" -- something we haven't seen in 70 previous meals in Italy -- and then calculate the discount, for a big savings of .42€.  

2 April 2013 : OAK->KON, Waimea            jump to this page > > >
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You may note in the above picture the spoon marks on the Chocolate Purse. Sorry; afraid we couldn't contain ourselves. THAT is a dish we mean to reinvent at home. The black bean sausage sauce too.

Not at all a bad end to a day. We came home, watched Stephen Colbert, and slept like bricks ...until 6am local time. 

10 August 2014 : Caspar            jump to this page > > >
The Big Seven Zero
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Birthday Dinner at Mendo Bistro

Last week, 16 of my Caspar family celebrated my 70th birthday with us. We were reminded how blessed we are with friends where we live. 

This trip is for time with scattered family – a wedding for Vanessa (Rochelle's niece) will gather the Elkan clan to Portland, Wisconsin for Allicia (Michael's third daughter) and her children Devan and Stella (Michael's unmet granddaughter), then Chico for (Rochelle's son) Chad's family. Something over 5,000 miles in something like 21 days. You can watch our progress right here.

18 August 2015 : Caspar            jump to this page > > >
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A couple of recent dinners, nearly 100% from our own garden and our two local farmers' markets.

21 August 2015 : Port Angeles, WA            jump to this page > > >
Dinner at Sabai Thai
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Pad See Iew (Noodles with Vegetables and Chicken) and Yum Neua (Salad with Beef)

Not just delicious, but instructive. Raw eggplant slices along with the whole mint leaves, galangal, and lemon grass in the Yum Neua. The salad rolls, rice paper with fresh crispy vegetables and shrimp, with a smoky ginger sauce. And this:

In Thailand, our food is the central fcus of our lives. Because we believe that life should be 'sanuk' (enjoyable) and 'sabai' (comfortable and relaxed), the pleasures of relaxing and eating with friends and family are of the utmost importance to us. In virtually every aspect of our lives, from simple get-togethers to important ceremonies, our food is at the heart...

Our life and business philosophy include the uniquely Thai concept of 'mai-pen-rai,' which translates as 'Don't worry, Be happy.' We feel that as long as we are cooking and creating this extraordinary culinary and cltural experience for our guests, we will accomplish our goal. 

22 August 2015 : Port Angeles, WA            jump to this page > > >
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Farmers Market Corn, Hama Hama Oysters in panko, and salad, all from within 50 miles

Simple preparation for the oysters: carefully dried, egg-washed, breaded in lightly seasoned panko, and then gently sauteed in onion-flavored olive oil. Buttered corn, fresh from the garden this morning. The head lettuce so big it barely fit in a bag, and crisp, crisp. Simple pleasures. Wild-crafted Blackberries for dessert.

next group : Victoria

other topics:    Lunches     Markets     Transport

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