ON OUR BIANNUAL trip south for a theater fix we break the trip here in order to return to a place we liked last April. Then, it impressed us partly (I now realize) by contrast with other places we'd then-recently visited. Tonight the contrast is with chile and hot dogs and eating at home.
And, of course, with the previous visit, and with our memory of it. It's best not to think too much of all these subtle influences on the formation of our enthusiasms, I suppose. They lead to Thomas Wolfe's famous stipulation: You can't go home again. A revisit is never up to the memory of a first encounter.
But there's nothing to complain about here. The wine was ingratiating; ditto the waiter, who began by asking Sei italiani?, prompted I think only by my nearly faultless pronunciation of the word carciofi.
We each began (the Contessa and I) with the house mixed salad, which arrives with tomato wedges cold from the refrigerator. Why do people refrigerate tomatoes, anyway?
I went on to ravioli di carciofi con pistachio, ravioli stuffed with ricotta and puréed artichoke, in a cream sauce studded with bits of pistachio. A bit bland, wanting black pepper (why did I not ask for it?), but rather nice.
Pinot grigio, Anterra (Veneto), 2015
Piccola Trattoria, 18302 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country, California; (661) 299-6952