Monday, October 10, 2011

The Villa Montegranelli, Gubbio

I have been off line because we have had company.  A couple from California came for a short visit. They wanted to look at real estate in order to buy a place and retire over here. It was a major adventure for all concerned, and took up our time and energy.  More about them and the process of real estate buying in a later post.

On Sunday after they left, we were missing them; so what else could we do but go and find another eating adventure.  

This is for all of you food fans out there.  We ate at this same villa about 10 years ago with friends and family.  There were 8 of us at the time.  At that time, we had a difficult time finding the villa.  It was listed as being in Gubbio, a small hill side town that is close to us, but it was quite a bit outside of the old town limits.  They told us to turn right at the stadio, I was thinking modern football stadium, they meant an ancient Roman ruin of a stadium.  We went around the round about 3 or 4 times with me hopping out to ask directions.  We finally found an old man who literally walked in front of our van to show us the cut off.  When we found it,  the owners were in the process of redoing the villa to make it a hotel, restaurant and site for weddings and other celebrations.

We found the villa this time by accident and memory.  When we saw it in a field up at the top of the hill, without the directions of the old man, and  we looked at each other and we both knew that was it.  We wondered if our memory of the food would match our present day experience.  We walked into the restaurant.  They had done a superb job on the restoration.

Once we pulled into the parking lot a torrential downpour over took us.  We dashed in through the door and were properly greeted and seated in the main dining room.  There was a large family of 8 at one table and at adjacent table 5 children sat and were having a grand old time.  We were seated in the room behind them.  The harried waiter came out and told us they did not have a menu, but would serve us what they had in the kitchen.  That was fine with us, we responded.  We had 4 courses and a wine that matched each course.  Because we are in truffle season, the meal had shaved truffles, (not chocolates but mushrooms) on top of each course.  Here are the photos from the Stoic One.

This first dish is an antipasto...It was a flaky crust, filled with melted cheese and white truffles on top

A type of pasta in parmesan basket filled with pasta ..these are black truffles.

The main course was a veal chop, 4 slices of boiled, sauteed potatoes, and a swirl of carrot.  Excellent.

The inside of the restaurant.

We were not disappointed.  The restaurant, service and food all lived up to a memory from 10 years ago.  I also finally found a white wine that I loved.  For those of you who are interested it is called Baldassarri and is an Umbrian Chardonnay.  It was a perfect match for the pasta.  We had our standard Montefalco red which was matched with the veal.

We came home and skipped dinner.  We re-watched "Michael Clayton" with comments from the director.  The comments were so interesting I might have to watch the movie again.

This week we should hear some news on apartment number 2.  We will be looking at flooring and other things on Wednesday.  The weather has changed here and gotten quite cold.  We discovered that there was more to switching the ac system to a heating system than we originally thought.  Simone came over to help and it seems as if we are now warm and cozy.  It should be heating up tomorrow, so I think this was just a dry run for the winter.

Several people have asked about the reactions of the Italians to the Amanda Knox trial.  Apparently there were some journalists who thought anti-Americanism played a part in some of the media.  I have to say I have no experience of that here.  Most people I know are a lot more interested in the soccer scores than the trial.  They were relieved to have the trial over and the media to go home.  The Italians that I know when asked about it, shrug their shoulders and say, "Qui sa" who knows.  They all agree that the justice system here is as screwed up as the American justice system.  And there you have it my friends.

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