Sunday, September 09, 2007

Viaggio: SMDC: Food! And Wine

Buongiorno signori e signore!

Mangiare e bere....isn't that what you want to know about?

We had a few good meals in San Marco dei Cavoti (BN) that I would like to mention (ok, truth be told, we had no bad meals during our trip to Italy, only absolutely fantastic meals, very good meals, good meals, and then maybe one or two meals that did not live up to the rest but were still buonissimi!!)

We ate in three places of note: U Magazzeo, Ristorante Il Melograno and a place that I only remember as containing the word enoteca in the name (we did not receive a receipt, if you know what I mean, so I don't have anything that tells me the exact name).

In all three restaurants, we felt as though we were eating in someone's home and in the case of the enoteca, we were! (the scampering of little feet and the shrill voice of a talkshow host from a television on the third floor above us accompanied our meal)

There were no menus. The owners asked us what we wanted to eat, and we asked what they had, what was good, what was local. I'm not trying to be the patron saint of localism but hey that's how it went! We ate quite a few dishes in which the pasta was fatta in casa (homemade).

At U Magazzeo, we had pasta ai fagioli (with beans that the owner of the restaurant grew in his yard) and lombatina di vitello (veal sirloin). The wine was a wonderful local Aglianico (red) and the bread was crusty and homemade. We also had rucola from his garden and local tomatoes. Should I mention this was lunch? We were hungry. Very hungry.

Unfortunately, it was a bit dark inside the restaurant so I did not get any shots of the meal there. Peccato! It was good. The restaurant's mantra, printed on its business cards, reads: "Il vino è sollievo...per l'anima." Wine soothes the soul. Amen!

At Il Melograno (the name means pomegranate), I ordered spaghetti alle vongole, which as you can see came with tomatoes as the dish often did in southern Italy. It seemed only appropriate: as we drove around, we were often passed by flatbed trucks filled with crates of just-picked tomatoes.

And the enoteca is where we scored the wild boar mortadella and other local salumi I mentioned in a previous post. Here's a marginal shot (perdonatemi!) that shows a small amount of the pieces of parmeggiano that we were given, and as you can see, ate! Ah mortadella, parmeggiano, bread (the remains of which are in the photo!), wine....what more can one want?

I won't lie: this food report is a bit lacking (incomplete meal reports and a shocking scarcity of photos)....but just wait until we arrive in Puglia where we ate in not one but four restaurants listed in the Gambero Rosso guide (somewhat like the Michelin guide). Want a sneak peek? Va bene. Eccolo!

One more thing I want to show you about San Marco dei Cavoti. Floats from a holiday (La Festa Dei Carri) we missed by just a few days. What the little car is made of I don't know, but I will find out just as soon as Il Nostro Inviato wakes up tomorrow.

Grazie per averci seguito. A tra poco!


Compagno di merende said...

Tranquilla, leggere in inglese argomenti piacevoli è fattibile anche per me :-D
Che bei piattini...slurp slurp

Ciambellina said...

Bene, mi fa piacere.

Mary Kate said...

I like the shirt in the background of the wild boar picture. ha! Everything looks delicious, and the places you ate sound amazing. No menus? You weren't just busting in on random homes, right? Did these places have more than a couple of tables? Sounds awesome.

Ciambellina said...

Hi MK!

Let me say they didn't look like people's homes. They looked like restaurants but you realized at a certain point that the owners lived above where you were sitting.

Hey, I was thinking. I got an idea. I think your parents should blog their trips!!!!! It's time for them to start writing a travel blog! And when they are not traveling, it can be the News from Cranbury!

Let me know what you think.