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Report 834: There's No Such Thing as Too Much...Pasta and Ceramics

By Palma from California, Fall 2005

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Page 6 of 23: Friday, September 9: Chianti

photo by Les Wolf

Greve Enoteca

We woke to thunder, lightening and rain. After breakfast, we set out for Greve. We spent 50 minutes sitting in a dentist’s office trying to get Les in for a toothache. The dentist never saw him (or anyone else in her waiting room). We went to a farmacia and talked them into aspirin with codeine and a numbing agent for Les’ tooth. Finally in the piazza, I bought four kinds of salami, a wine bib, fig balsamic spread, charms, an olive tree runner/napkins, a small painting, and a green sweater (in case this cool weather continues).

We had pasta carbonara for lunch at La Trattoria Il Gallo Nero. Then we found La Cantine di Greve in Chianti to reward our husbands for their amazing patience with our shopping. They looked like two children in a toy store as they purchased their wine tasting cards and began sampling wines. It is an amazing place with over 150 wines and numerous olive oils available to taste. If I could establish one of these cantinas in Deruta and Vietri, I shudder to think what kind of damage I might do with Brad tucked away happily while I shopped for ceramics! Jan and I took pictures and enjoyed getting off our feet for an hour while the guys tasted and shared sips of wine.

We left and drove to Panzano in the rain, looking for the Mailboxes Etc. store we were told was there. After driving aimlessly through town several times, we found it and spent a ridiculous 200E EACH to ship a box of purchases home to ourselves. Ok, so we learned to bring less clothes…(not to shop less). The rain let up for a while, so we stopped in a picturesque vineyard to take grape pictures in the sunshine. We returned to our rooms for a nice nap and Les and Jan decided to stay in for the evening.

Brad and I were not going to miss our dinner at Gallopapa because of some rain, so we got ready for dinner and drove the 4K into Castellina and prayed for a close parking spot. We were rewarded on parking, but the streets were flooded, it was pouring and by the time we got to the restaurant; I was soaked from the knees down.

It was cozy and warm at our table and the big beautiful glass of Spumanti we were served with parmesan crisps, onion bread puffs and fried dough transported us to the magical anticipation of another sensuous dining experience in Italy. (I’m salivating as I write this just remembering the first course.) I started with a pecorino mousse with a hazelnut crust and a layer of figs and nuts in the center, served with fig preserves and berries. Brad had venison lasagna with a piece of venison breast on top. Then they served us a complementary plate of four tiny starters: spinach mousse, fried zucchini, porcini mushrooms and melon balls in melon puree with proscuitto. Their selections of bread were divine with a cloud of burro. Our second courses were a stuffed pigeon, potato cake and sweet garlic puree for Brad and a baby pork loin in sauce with roasted garlic, French green beans and a pork rind for me. Brad drank Chianti Classico Reserva, and I had Vernaccia. With our coffee we were served tiny lemon cakes, pear jellied candies and dark chocolate truffles. The owner was very charming and friendly, and came to our table twice to chat with us.

After dinner, it was dry outside, and we returned to have a nightcap with Lobrando. Our somewhat frustrating day ended with a lovely, memorable dinner and almost dry shoes!

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