Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ordinary Italian

Eastside Road, May 15, 2011—
WHY, A FEW DAYS BEFORE flying to Italy for a visit, would we go out to an ordinary local "Italian" restaurant? Because we were with others, and it was their choice. Cheap, relatively predictable, available. It reminded me of all those checkered-tablecloth Italian joints of fifty years ago: fake grapevines on the ceiling, empty fiaschi, a good-natured woman of a certain age waiting tables, booths, a menu running to pastas, pizze, eggplant parmagiana, all that.

I had a small house salad with "traditional Italian" dressing; the dressing arrived in a Chianti bottle with instructions to shake it up good. Then a plate of ravioli with meat sauce. The black pepper was in a shaker; the grated cheese in another. It could be worse.
"Burgundy," bulk California wine, nonvintage
• Giorgio's Restaurant , 25 Grant Avenue, Healdsburg; (707) 433-1106

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