Monday, July 21, 2008

Cherry Soup!

Dinning at Antico Ristorante agli Schioppi, this creature just had to try the angel hair with black truffle from the mountains surrounding Vicenza (Monte Berici). She hesitated to order them not sure when black truffle season was (a fanatic about white truffles from Alba, season Oct – Jan), but she had a hankering for them and thus, threw her thoughts of doubt to the wind. This dish of heaven was the best pasta she had had in such a long time in fact, Golden Piglet just about fell over telling her how outstanding the flavor of the truffle really was. This restaurant served lots of polenta with the various dishes, not in quantity but just the fact that it accompanied many of the dishes (no kidding, polenta is synonymous with Vicenza)!

They brought an antipasto of baccalà mousse with white grilled polenta that was incredible, sort of reminded her of the fish mousse served on the terrace on the lake at Isola Madre. There was the classic Vincentian veal liver with glazed onions on a bed of polenta and sauce that was worth every bite particularly for liver lovers and for those who are not (moi), it was fantastic; She was so sure she would have hated it, ha! Veal liver is divine; tender and light in flavor and not as dense as beef liver and definitely lacking the heady heavy liver flavor. If anyone hates the taste of beef liver, then you should give this a try just to put your taste buds right with the world. ;-)

Finishing off the meal with a dessert, which she truly had no room for, was definitely one of the smarter choices made in her life one she would not soon forget. This simple and light little offering was called “cherry soup.” These were hand-pitted local grown cherries (Marostica, and Vicenza are famous for their cherries) swimming in their own cherry juice with a dash of a secret spice topped with a tiny ball of spearmint green gelato and cherry liqueur. The soup was served cold with giant soup spoons to ensure you did not miss a drop of the luscious juice. She dreams of picking some cherries from those trees in the garden or buying some in Marostica and making up her own batch of this mix to save and serve on those hot lazy summer evenings…guess she needs to figure out how they made the mint gelato; did they mash and “Cuisinart” the leaves or did they make a very concentrated tisane?

A bottle of Amarone, one of the other famous wines from the Veneto region accompanied this meal and, never having tasted a good glass of it, this little angel was impressed even with 15% alcohol. After a bottle she was far from tipsy because good wine (not that cheap 2-buck Chuck) does not give you headaches, does not turn you tipsy even after a bottle and it is usually consumed over a longer period of time and slowly (slow meals, slow eating). Unfortunately, the Amarone expert Golden Piglet will have to fill you in on the beauty of this wine, this is truly out of Snow White’s league

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