08 August, 2009

La vita é bella!

Hello from beautiful, sunny Lake Garda! We've had a wonderful vacation so far-- have taken some really nice hikes and visited a couple of interesting cities up in the Valle d'Aosta region. I'll write more about the things we've done tomorrow, but right now I want to talk about tonight's dinner. Which was more than a dinner, actually, it was an experience!

We've got a kitchenette in our caravan and I've been cooking all week. Have been inspired by some beautiful vegetables I found at the market and have really enjoyed taking the time to enjoy the whole cooking process. This afternoon, however, we got a tip from some neighbors about a small local grill just a couple of towns further up the coast. They serve local cuisine and most of the clientele is Italian, which is both a rarity and a good sign around these parts, where most restaurants have menus in German and regularly serve Schweinebraten. **shudder**

The evening is balmy, and we sat outside near a huge old tree in a garden bordering an olive grove. Near the tables there was an outdoor sink where two people were cleaning eels and squid. B and I crept up nearby to watch and they smiled and invited us closer. Once the seafood was ready it was passed it on to be grilled over coals right next to the tables! The smell was exquisite!

After that the food orgy started. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I fell off of the vegetarian wagon this evening. Even if I have to wear a hair shirt for a week it will be worth the penance. We ordered plates and plates of food-- B savored grilled polenta and sardines, S had penne alla arribiata, M grilled steak and I lingered over a fresh trout. This was all accompanied by medeterranian vegetables and crisp salad. After that we couldn't help but order some of the calamari that we'd seen them clean shortly before. It was lightly fried and perfect-- the outside was crispy and the inside was soft and had that wonderful subtle flavor that calamari only has when it's really fresh.

M and I also enjoyed a really nice bottle of local wine. Now we're back at the campsite, sipping coffee and reclining in our chairs, gazing out at the twinkling lights on the lake. I've got that warm, sated, happy, relaxed feeling that washes over you after a really exceptional meal...

Will write more soon...

1 comment:

Goofball said...


Enjoy :)