Mangia Krystina, mangia!

20 Dec
2009

Whilst the ex-boss and wife and child were still sleeping I got up and had breakfast on my own in the kitchen and dressed for lunch as they informed me we were going to the ristorante Bovio in Ceretto Langhe with Ornella also in attendance. Together we rugged ourselves up and braved the chilly winter air and sat down to a wonderful lunch. We ordered and pretty much were all having an antipasto and a secondo but then the restaurant chef who knows Giorgio well ended up bringing us an antipasto on top of our other orders which consisted of carne crudo di vitello in small balls on bread, a spoon of insalata russa and grissini…the child of Anja and Giorgio, Lidia, is two years old and eats like an adult. In fact she ate more of the antipasti than everybody else. On top of that she also ended up eating an adult sized primo of agnolotti, then a smaller sized steak. Hungry kid.

My choices were coniglio then polpo caramellata. I brought Giorgio Meletti-Cavallari’s 2006 Impronte red wine for lunch. First we had a Spumante that was lovely, followed by a Vermentino done by Antinori which was terribly simple and bland. Then we had the Bolgheri rosso, which Giorgio said he liked but Anja wasn’t so keen on. We talked a little about the wine and how La Spinetta’s going etc. The coniglio was delicious in an involtini-style dish cut into slices with an orange-coloured sauce alongside. They followed up with a surprise primo of beetroot-coloured gnocchi with lobster sauce. Again delicious but rich and thankfully portioned well. Giorgio ordered another red wine blind as he wanted to be surprised and it tasted really good and ended up being the 2005 Sezzana (La Spinetta’s reserve Tuscan label) that he would like to put down for another 10 years even. I was really impressed with that one. I also came to learn that the reason for him drinking so much Vermentino of late is because La Spinetta Toscana are doing a Vermentino, 2009 being the first vintage from bought grapes.
My secondo of caramelized polpo (octupus tentacle) was ordered by Ornella and Giorgio also, and was too sweet and the balsamic darkness of the sauce overpowered the freshness or any polpo taste you were hoping to get! It was on a lovely bed of polenta but the sweetness dominated and ruined the dish overall. I mean, it wasn’t horrible, it just could could have been much fresher for fish, y’know?
Afterwards we had said no to dessert and they still brought us coffee cups of tiramisu, probably the best tiramisu I’ve tasted with a yellow-creamy topping, not white, so I wasn’t disappointed they brought us this, but we were trying to eat light! Che ridere! Amazing dessert.
Anja, Ornella and I went for over an hours walk after lunch up the hills to attempt to work it off and chatted about everything. I mentioned how I am going to start studying again and how I’m interested to learn the business side of things also. Anja was interested in that and I think in the new year we will see what we can work out, whether there can be some sort of arrangement. Can’t really say anything just yet.
Later on I went back to Alba with Ornella to her place and we reheated her pipes with a hairdryer to get water as it had frozen. The joys of living where there falls snow. It worked anyway, no matter how funny it looked blowdrying a box. We then went for a walk together and got an espresso in the centre of town before heading back. At 7pm Manuela Rivetti and her boyfriend Simone passed by the house and picked me up and together we had an aperativo first at Piazza Duomo in Alba with rockclimbing friends of Simone, then had dinner at ‘Il Corsiero’ in Cinzano with his group of rock-climbing buddies. The night was spent chatting away with Manuela about old times. Good times, good times.

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