So with the Pulandian invasion comes the work of Honorable Pu's consort, 2B. He has his own way of researching restaurants and opportunities. Of the three restaurants we will be talking about today, his research selected two of them with the third being recommended by the tasting room guy at Vignalta.
An Overview Of Our Veneto Gastronomic Experiences
Did I mention anywhere in the past that I LOVE eating in Italy? Yes. Well it bears mentioning again. Every time I've come the value (quality of food and service for the money paid) always blows my mind. Here are three examples:
- Cured Meat - Italy is of course known for its wonderful cured hams and sausages (think Prosecutor de Parma). When we were in Padua, we saw this little place and we started buying all kinds of meats and cheeses and other stuff. Based on our experiences in both the US and Hong Kong, we're thinking this is going to be a $100+ bill - No it was around $48! Crazy!
- Wine - The wine price/value here is insane. In one of the restaurant descriptions below we were recommended a local wine that the waiter said was the best of the local wines. It was a 10 year old wine that clearly could have gone another 5 years and cost $44 at the restaurant. We went to the winery the next day and found it for $33 at retail. First where do you get many wines that will age like that for $33 and where do you in the US see wine that is only marked up 33% (100% and more is typical)?
- Truffles - I planned this trip knowing that truffles are in season and haven't been disappointed. In the US they make this big ass deal about truffles and charge an arm and a leg for things you can barely taste the truffles in. Here we've had various truffle pastas that are around $11!
A Tour of Restaurants
Restorante da Lino
Rovolon, Veneto, Italia
We went here on our first night out after our day in Padua. It was rainy and it was a winding hilly road we went up. We were practically the only people there. 2B in his research had found comments saying "put yourself into the owners hands and you will do great". What a wonderful experience we had.
The crudo, the raw cured ham in the area has been consistently wonderful and much less salty than that which I've had imported to the US
This was a hot antipasti with porcini mushrooms which are in season, a piece of cured salami cooked and some grilled polenta which was drizzled with some balsamico
My older brother introduced me to Amarone years ago. It is made with the Valpolocella grape that is allowed to dry slightly on the vine. Very yummy and around $45.
We were very tired after our ordeal with the rental car in the morning so were eating lighter so we just had pasta.
This was 'Mom's' ragout
And this was fetttucine with truffles and butter.
The story was they had truffle risotto on the menu that #2 and I really wanted but it required a minimum of 4 people to order it and neither Wife nor 2B like truffles at all. So the owner said "Oh you want truffles? How about a truffle fettucine?" Which wasn't even on the menu.
It was very yummy.
As fatigue set in I forgot to take pictures of dessert one was a sherbet with grappa in it (more like a drink) and a cheese cake.
but I said I just wanted coffee and a grappa. So he brings out this bottle of his own grappa that has orange peels and has been seeping for who knows how long and he just leaves it on the table!
Then there is this local family who the owner clearly knows who come in and there is a slew of food that comes out very quickly including the truffle risotto. We're already done with dessert and the owner brings over this plate of the risotto and tells us he know we really wanted to try it. It was awesome.
We're putting on our coats to go and he says, "Wait, and pops the cork on some house made bubbly light red wine that we have as a going away drink.
A really great experience.
Montegratto Terme, Veneto Italia
The next night we were in a place that was in a suburb of Padua. There was a big party in another room but the restaurant itself was pretty quiet. This is definitely not the season. Our waiter had very good English which made the ordering and understanding much easier.
This was after our day in Venice so we were beat again so I apologize that I've forgotten some and didn't take pictures of everything
This was a salad with burratta (sort of a half made mozzarella) with tomatoes.
The wine was recommended by our waiter as the best of the local area reds. I mentioned the price value in my last post
We shared two pastas
A tortellini with a butter sauce
And a pumpkin gnocchi
We each each had a secundi
Braised beef with potatoes and chard
Grilled steak over a wood fire with beans and truffles
Deep fried shrimp with zucchini
And grilled brahnzino with pumpkin (the pumpkin was particularly good)
Again I apologize because we had a bunch of desserts and a grappa di muscato made from muscat grapes that was very good but I didn't get pictures
Aqua Petrarca, Veneto Italia
This was this recommended to us at the winery and was a long leisurely lunch in an incredible setting.
It was beautiful outside and the room allowed the children to just go and relax while we did our culinary thing.
This was a fancier place and they had this long, long wine list with some old Barolo that from our perspective were a steal. This 19 year old bottle was $73. I mean seriously!
A baccala (salt cod) salad
Thin slices of a rabbit roasted with truffles
We had just one additional course this time
A risotto of quail
(Veneto is the homeland of risotto and we've enjoyed every mouthful)
A spinach spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and other veggies
And a roast guinea hen
And we had a slew of desserts that I don't even remember
Now as the final kicker
The most expensive of these meals was $50 a person