The Great Plotnik

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dinner at Baglio Nuovo

The backstory is that in Italy the food is fabulous. Every region is different -- in Western Sicily it's olives, capers, tomatoes, fresh fish, eggplant, oregano. Very little garlic. A pasta called busiata- a tube, kind of  a cross between a thick spaghetti and a rigatoni. Patsy says it's a fusilli suffering from spina bifida. Usually Americans order one primi each, and split an appetizer, glass of house wine and out you go. We eat small. The Italians think we're nuts.

So. Last night we are driving down a totally dark country road of olive groves, when a roadhouse appears. The owner of the farmhouse where we are staying, Don Carlo, has told us it's a simple country restaurant. We pull in. It is very fancy. 

The owner greets us, smiles, seats us. There are three forks on the left side of each china plate (but paper napkins.) We are the only ones there. There is no menu. The owner speaks not one word of English (though he spent one month in Detroit and Cleveland), but uwe recognize the expression "fix-price."

First he brings a bottle of (chilled) red wine, and, a bottle of fizzy water, a bottle of still water, and a basket of bread. Home-made, of course. We are wondering how much this is going to set us back. Barb wants me to ask. I don't have the balls. So Patsy orders Peter into the kitchen, and Peter goes. He returns, says "twenty five each?" "For everything?" I ask. We think so.

And then!!! Here come:
The antipasti.

Fried cubes of chestnut flour (panzelle)
Eggplant fritters
Fried eggplant
Little biscuits stuffed with prosciuto
Sun dried tomatoes

Lamb Innards
Mushrooms with garlic

Eggplant parmesan
Chunks of Ricotta
Plate of prosciutto and provolone

And then!!!!! The Primi.

Tagliatelle with sausage
Busiate with bacon
Ravioli filled with ricotta and tomato cream sauce.

We will be happy to die right now. 

And then!!!

A platter of grilled veal, sausages and pancetta. The pancetta tastes like a can of grilled pig fat. It is heavenly, if lethal.

All along the wine is being replenished.

And then!!!

A plate of grapes. I am thinking Please, God, let this be the dessert.

But no.

 The dessert: cassatella. Amazing balls of dough, shaped like a bear paw, fried turnovers filled with creamy, molten  ricotta cheese. OMG

And two bottles of grappa.

And espressos all 'round. 

After we have recovered, and ask for the check, the owner comes back and says: "100."

"That's it? Tutto?" I ask.

"Tutto." He says, moving his hands side to side and smiling a huge smile.


The best?

Plotnik says: "the dessert."
Duck agrees, though everything was fabulous, except the snails.
Peter says: "The guts. (I don't get this at home.")
Patsy says: "the funghi (mushrooms) with the busiati a close second."


At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Cousin Seattle said...

OH DEAR GOD. That's it, I'm going to Italy with my biggest-stomached friends. Write every detail down about this place, because some day, I am going to want it. Scratch that--I'm going to NEED it!

So, I take it we're cooking Italian in December? ;)

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Linda Davick said...

You're lying.


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