I didn't want to leave you on such a grumpy note. Even though there are Italians who seem to have no sense of color or taste, there are many more who have an imaginative, creative way with color and design, including food.
Fabrizio Tesse, a young and adventurous chef, note that word, is showing remarkable skill with color, form and taste! His restaurant is called Locanda di Orta, and it is in the middle of town of Orta . Lake Orta is one of the least visited of the Italian lakes, but it is as lovely as the others. There is a soft light that drifts over the water, and a serenity that reminds me of a Japanese painting.
I ordered an antipasti of smoked salmon. This is what appeared.
It was as delicious as it was beautiful. I felt that I needed to eat it with great reverence, which I did.
Our friend Michael wanted a vegetarian antipasto, so the chef whipped up this special plate for him.
The Stoic One fixes a delicious risotto. The necessary ingredient for this dish is patience, which he has. We hadn't had risotto in Umbria, but it was on the menu at Orta, so I ordered it. Eating is so much fun in Italy. We never know what we will get when we walk into a restaurant. We would go back to Orta just to eat here.
The apartment is now ready for some furniture. These are 2 "orci" or urns that we saw. They used to hold olive oil. The one on the right is 400 years old from Le Marche and the one on the left is 200 years old from Umbria. They are smooth, almost feeling like enamel inside from all of the years that oil was stored in them.
We will move the big book shelf in between them so they won't look so forlorn!
Back to the US to see what the crazy Americans have been up to since we've been gone.