The Year of Eating Dangerously

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Sept 18, lunch. A seafood risotto, mixed bits of seafood (mussels, clams, shrimp, octopus, whatever else they had) in an outstanding risotto.

Sept 18, lunch. Salad.

Sept 18, lunch. Caffè.

Sept 18, snack. Before dinner, some Prosecco, a bit of salame left by Francesco and Alysse, some cheese, and olives. I split this plate with Jan. At Colle delle Querce.

Sept 18, antipasto. At Le Scalette in Todi. Split five ways with Jan, Craig and Eileen, and Alysse.

Sept 18, dinner. A pizza Capriccioso from Le Scalette in Todi. Ham, olives, artichokes, etc. Not too different from a Quattro Stagione, but not the same. Very good, although this was not the best pizza I have had there. I think the sauce was a little watery.

Sept 18, dessert. Some hazelnut gelato at Colle delle Querce.

Sept 19, breakfast. Cappuccino, fichi, and grapefruit juice.

Sept 19, lunch. At Colle delle Querce with Jan, Eileen, and Craig. Eileen made up this plate of fichi and prosciutto.

Sept 19, lunch. A goat's milk Robiola cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves. Very delicate. Should not have been refrigerated, but was wonderful nonetheless.

Sept 19, lunch. An Arrabiata sauce I made, on Fusili. I didn't make a classic sauce since I didn't have pancetta or guanciale, but some sausages, so I put it on a non-standard pasta. That was a mistake. There's a reason it goes on Penne---it works better. Don't try this at home.

Sept 19, lunch. A slice of the strongest cheese in the world. A caccio, which itself is not too strong, but marinated in Amarone. Something happens. It's actually too strong for me. But Craig and Ellen loved it. So I guess that's OK.

Sept 19, lunch. Un biscotto for dessert. Leftover from the plate we got at Le Noci in Grutti. Still very tasty. This one had a bit of fig jam in the middle.

Sept 19, dinner. At Antico Forziere in Casalina, just south of Deruta. With Jan, Craig and Eileen, Ellen and Carlo. Our last dinner in Umbria for this trip! This is a wonderful little place, just a tiny bit upscale, in a nice location with a beautiful outdoors patio.

Sept 19, dinner. A bit of zucchini cream soup just to start and get the juices flowing.

Sept 19, dinner. Maltaglia pasta with a bit of pork in the sauce, but mostly tomato. Wonderful and wonderfully done. This was a half portion; I split the other half with Ja.

Sept 19, dinner. Suckling pig with a bit of pineapple, some radicchio slaw (interesting idea, VERY interesting idea) and a tomato. All wonderful and delicious except for the tomato which kind of didn't do much for the plate.

Sept 19, dinner. One of two dessert plates. The Antico Forziere has a "gran dessert" which is just astonishing, but we got a second dessert plate (this one) of sacher torte just in case the other wasn't big enough (it was).

Sept 19, dinner. The "Gran Dessert" of Antico Forziere. An amazing assortement of wonderful things, spun sugar, fruit, molten chocolate, and so on and so on and so on. You need to have this if you ever go there, but you have to split it 4 ways. At least.

Sept 19, dinner. Caffè.

Sept 20, breakfast. Cappuccino, grapefruit juice, and two figs. And a bit of cinnamon bun that Alysse gave us.

Sept 20, lunch. Porchetta, bread. The usual Saturday fare, on the patio, with Jan, Ellen and Carlo, and Ron and Joe from Virginia.

Sept 20, lunch. Some mascarpone/gorgonzola spread on a bit of bread, washed down with some Biondi-Santi Brunello.

Sept 20, lunch. Cheese plate. We had eight cheeses in the fridge, so here were bits of leftovers of as many as we could find. The astonishingly hot cheese, the goat cheese in chestnut leaves, some Sardinian pecorino (aged), and everything else.

Sept 20. Last thing I ate at Colle delle Querce: a newly picked black fig.

Sept 20, dinner. At Gusto, in Roma, with Jan, Craig, and Eileen. This is a very trendy place that has turned into a whole brand---four or five restaurants, stores, etc. The restaurant continues to be good, although a bit cramped. These were gnochetti with shrimp. What was great was how well they infused the flavor of the shrimp into the pasta and sauce.

Sept 20, dinner. At Gusto split with Jan: duck breast with dark cherry sauce and some greens. The green salad behind the duck is actually a warm cabbage salad with a really outstanding sauce, not a cole slaw, but cooked very lightly and with some stock in it. Probably duck, but who knows?

Sept 20, dinner. Caffè at Gusto in Rome.

Sept 20, dessert. Coffee Gelato from Antico Roma, a famous old Gelato store, near the Piazza Spagna, on the way to the hotel. With Jan, Craig, and Eileen. I honestly don't know that this was any better than any other gelato, but I was so full from dinner that it would have been hard to evaluate.

Sept 21, breakfast. Rome Airport Hilton Buffet. Cappuccino, some bread and cheese, and orange juice.