Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eating our way through Italy

During our trip to Italy, Masha and I were all about the food. Finding the next meal was always more important - er - as important as getting to the museums. What can I say, we have priorities.
We started each morning with cappuccinos. No, I don't read Italian.

On the flight from Amsterdam to Rome, my seatmate noticed me looking in the guide book for a nice restaurant. Being Roman himself, he had a few recommendations. Though he didn't have any addresses, we looked on a map and he directed me to restaurants. His directions sounded something like: "Walk down the street. You'll see a church on your right, a pink moped on the corner and the restaurant is over two blocks next to the stone building." Got it. Piece of cake.

But the food at Zi Gaetana was worth the wait. Masha got a buffalo prosciutto and mozzarella plate and I got fruit/vegetable tempura. Don't knock until you have tried apple tempura. Awesome.

As it turned out, we ate a lot of prosciutto. Like from this cart, in front of the Vatican.

And on the train to Venice.

And at this restaurant in Rome.

And from this deli counter in Florence.

And of course, we had to eat pasta, including this tasty bucatini all'amatriciana (pasta with pork cheek, onion and tomato). Yum!

In Venice, for our anniversary dinner, we went to this little inn on a random canal. Masha wanted to try the quintessential Venitian dish: cuttlefish cooked in a sauce made of its own ink. It was pretty tasty, but Masha couldn't eat more than a few bites, as its appearance completely grossed her out. And this is a woman who has eaten guinea pig.

On our last night in Venice, we popped into this restaurant. It was 6:30 and they weren't serving dinner yet (Italian dinner is generally after 8). But they accommodated the bumbling Americans. No written menu, so we just guessed at what she was saying. We heard her say "calamari," and figured we were home-free. The dish arrived covered in cinnamon - but it was actually fantastic. Lesson learned: just order because everything is good in Italy.

And there was gelato.

And weird-looking blue desserts from Sicily whose names we cannot recall.

And tiramisu:

And in Venice, our new favorite, panna cotta:

The End.

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