Portland, April 7, 2010—
OUT TO LUNCH today to a place I've always liked, but rarely am able to persuade anyone else to: Piazza Italia, over in the Pearl district. It opened quite a few years back, and has changed hardly at all, even though the man who opened it died a year or two ago. It's comfortable and dependable, the closest thing I know in Portland to an ordinary eatery in an ordinary small city in northern Italy.
The waiters are mostly young Italian guys; an older woman seems to be in charge — she told me today the cooks have been the same for quite a while. We shared an antipasto plate of various salumi, then tucked into plates of penne with speck in a cream sauce livened by Pecorino and Parmagiano.
Pinot grigio della casa
Dinner at home: a fine hominy stew with peppers, onions, kale, chorizo, and hominy, of course; and afterward, Lindsey's gelatin dessert: coffee gelatin, with slivered salty almonds and whipped cream.
Beaujolais, Dominique Piron, 2006
Correction, next day: it was Giovanna who made the gelatin; see her Facebook blog