My first port of call in Italy is Civitaveccia, the coastal port for Rome. It gets several cruise ships and ferries in every day, and thus, is loaded with tourist-friendly cafes and pizzerias.
I stopped here for 3 days as an R&R stop after pounding the pavement in Barcelona and chose a little hotel in the hinterland with nothing around it but hills, sky, ocean views and cows.
One of the great parts of Tenuta dell'Argento is it has a courtesy bus for trips into town. And as the restaurant was closed on monday (and I was out of fags) I chose to have a drive into town and a little look around.
The town is how you would imagine any cruise-port-tourist-trap, with expensive boutiques and 'THIS IS ITALIAN FOOD' cafes.
I chose to head off the main drag and found a small cafe with predominantly locals in. I ordered a 66cl Heinekin and a Pizza el Funghi con Bufala Mozzarella- A Mushroom pizza with extra buffalo Mozzerella.
For my first 'Italian' pizza, I was very impressed.
|A very pleasant view.|
Tantula's Hors D'Oeuvre: including carpaccio (right), and the one on the left tasted like slow cooked, pulled beef- both were to die for. The carpaccio had the most beautiful pink peppercorns which exploded to the bite in a pleasant, not-at-all overbearing pepperiness which was so complimentary.
Needless to say, I need a lie down after that, especially seeing I had promised myself dinner in this restaurant as well.
I really love when I develop a repertoire with a waiter as I had here. It had literally gotten to a point where he would ask what I wanted, and I would give him free reign to bring me wait he willed.
He certainly didn't fail in the dessert department.
Behold: Puff pastry with chantilly cream, pepper and fragrance.
As hardcore as it looks, it was surprisingly delicate, and surprisingly light. The puff pastry was lighter-than-air, the cream was velvety and sumptuous. Quite possibly one of the most beautiful desserts I have ever eaten.
I called my waited back for a digestif (as you could imagine), and it was the perfect finale to a perfect day of eating.
If this is my intro to Italian food, I can't wait for the rest of my adventures.