Monday, June 1, 2015

Festa! part three

Festa! part three
photo: Julio  Levy
Via Troglia, Cardano, May 30, 2015—
TWENTY-SIX OF US at table tonight, in a festa I'd organized — disorganized might be a better word — to celebrate someone's 80th birthday. It doesn't really fall for another week, but this worked out better for the guest list. I'd wanted the European component of our family — I hate the term "extended family"; this really is a family — I wanted them finally to meet one another, partly to get to know one another, partly to see, thereby, various aspects of our life they hadn't understood before.

In the event the turnout was pretty successful. I regretted the absence of three couples, who at the last moment were unable to make it to this corner of Italy for the weekend, but the room was full, as you see, and the party was festive.
I'll no doubt write elsewhere my conclusions from this social experiment. In the meantime, the menu: we had a merenda at first, on the terrace outside the dining room, in the twilight, overlooking the Monferrato landscape that never fails to charm me; and then we moved inside and sat down to work.
Tonno di Coniglio su Valeriana
Insalata Russa
Flan di Erbette con Salsa al Formaggio
Agnolotti del Plin fatti in Casa
Roastbeef di Fassone con Insalatina dell'Orto

Frutta fresca
A typically Piemontese menu. The "tonno" was rabbit poached, I'd think, then sliced and served with tuna sauce on a bed of young valerian leaves. Insalata russa is of course cooked peas, green beans, potatoes, carrots and whatnot, mixed with mayonnaise and served cold — an old-fashionedd dish I very much like.

The flans were little individual baked vegable rissoles, let's say, under a light cheese sauce. The agnolotti were superb, I think; plin is a Piemontese version of Bolognese, very fine, rich, but well balanced.

The bonet was also exceptional, chocolate and hazelnut in a sort of Bavarian cream — I know Lindsey will correct me on this — in a light slightly bitter caramel sauce. Really I've never had a better version; I particularly liked the texture, creamy but slightly grainy and substantial.

Vino Rosso di Nostra Produzione da Uve Barbera, Grignolino e Nebbiolo
Società Agricola Crealto, Strada Crealto 6, Cardona di Alfiano Natta (AL); 348 384 6665

Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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