One evening while sitting in an intimate bar full of locals on Corso Umberto I a well dressed gentleman strolled in. As he entered he greeted the barmaids with familiarity, cast his gaze around the room and nodded to us and the other patrons. He slowly removed his coat and hat, placed them on the coat stand and took a seat near the window, but facing in towards the bar. The barmaid took his order and shortly returned with a shaken martini in the iconic glass. With apparent deliberate ritual he pulled a silver lighter out of his pocket, flicked it open, and set the martini alight. Obviously pleased with his show he glanced around to ensure he had an audience and blew on the flame with the intention of putting it out. Only it didn't go out, it grew bigger. With surprise he pulled back and there were audible snickers around the room. Panic rising in his expression he grabbed his paper napkin and nearly put it over the glass before thinking better of it. Meanwhile the flames grew bigger so he stood up and cried out for help to the barmaids at which the entire bar erupted into hysterical laughter. The barmaid seemed to deliberately take her time as she picked up a beer mat and with a stoney face slowly walked to his table. With a roll of her eyes she plopped the mat over the glass, extinguishing the flame at once. Everyone applauded and the man bowed his head with arms wide open as though to say, "I meant to do that!" The bar didn't settle down until a second martini was brought out and he left his lighter safely in his pocket.
The food. I didn't photograph all of it, but here is a taster.
gnocchi with mozzarella, tomato, and basil - vitello alla marsala (veal in marsala)
bresaola (air-cured beef) - penne con la sardine (baked sardine pasta)
involtini di pesce spada (swordfish rolls) - I was addicted to those chocolates
espresso - puccini (mandarin)
risotto di zucca e salsiccia (sausage and pumpkin risotto) - I don't remember what this was, I think it was pork. :)
gorgonzola, rocket, and pistachio pizza - spaghetti al nero di seppia (spaghetti with squid ink)
ragù di vitello (veal ragu) - veal stew
and as an extra treat...
volcanic tat. ash Mussolini bust, anyone?
Nice shots as always, thank you. Your hair is lovely and the color complements your eyes and aquamarine dress perfectly. I'll have to pass on the bresaola however. Seems to resemble steak tartare which is not on my favorites list.
Thank you! It isn't like steak tartare as tartare is raw minced beef and this is cured just as parma or prosciutto ham is. It is served similar to beef carpaccio, which is raw beef tenderloin sliced thinly. I like beef carpaccio, but only order it from restaurants I trust.
I had all of them except for the squid ink pasta, which I tasted and it was so delicious that I wished I had it. :)
I'd like to try making gnocchi, have heard it isn't too hard. I would like to recreate the sweet potato gnocchi that I used to eat at my favourite restaurant back in my hometown. My memories of it are still strong they were so good.
I have an underused pasta machine and have made some ravioli and fettucini before with it; it's a lot of fun, I really need to drag that thing out from the back of the cupboard more. ;)
Thank you for the gnocchi recipe, I'm eager to try it!
Beautiful photos, I must go to Sicily.
When I was young I worked as a commercial fisherman
and our skipper was Sicilian. Good old Sammy Mazzarino,
may he rest inna peace.
I would get invited over to his house for lunches
and his wife Renatta would make the most amazing
Ahh good memories.