So my good friends, the Jersey Kid (a.k.a. Brent) and his wife, are celebrating 20 years of marriage. Now, let’s face it. In the world we live in, are there many people who hit this plateau any more? Without a doubt it’s a life event that is worth marking in a special way, and they did it right: a romantic getaway to Italy.
Here I present the Jersey Kid’s post regarding their first few days in Italia!
There are not too many places that lend themselves to Foodie’s desire to emphasize food experiences over a simple review. His direction makes sense since great meals are built on so much more than ingredients. A perfect day at the beach turns even the most average beer into a ‘top ten’. So, I imagined most of my food experiences in Italy to be biased towards the memorable.
Our first night in Florence, we ate at a wonderful restaurant called Vini e Vecchi. It is a small osteria located just off of the Piazza Della Signoria. Just a 30 second walk from copies of famous and breathtaking sculptures, the Uffizi Gallery (where we saw Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’), and the Ponte Vecchio was a memorable food experience. There is only room for about 16 people in this establishment. While you have your own table, you are situated close enough to others that the meal soon becomes a shared experience. Pesto ravioli, rabbit over pappardelle, osso buco, pheasant and a shaved artichoke appetizer were phenomenal. Throw in the house wine and you are in your happy place.
Why was it a great experience? Feeling like you stumbled on a gem of a restaurant (Though I didn’t. Thanks, Trip Advisor!), watching party after party turned away while we ate and smiled and drank and ate and smiled some more. Asking our waiter in an amusing combination of English, spanish, Portuguese and Italian what he recommended and being told, “is ok, I surprise you”. Seeing my wife’ smile as she tried each dish. Learning that our table mates are an Englishman who married his Italian bride many years ago and watching as their son treats them to dinner. All of that alone makes for amazing food experiences, but add to the mix knowing I’m having the first of many great meals in Italy with my wife of 20 years. How can you go wrong?
That’s all for now. We are on a train heading south to the Amalfi Coast. Even the dried up crackers we have been given will be recalled as ‘top ten’ crackers when we talk of the breathtaking countryside that is filling up our window. Italy! Arrivederci!
– Jersey Kid