Only in Italia !

On Sunday night while I was in Udine for the International Pinot Grigio Challenge, I wanted to find a place to have dinner. One of my fellow judges said he knew a great restaurant, however it was closed, as were five others he tried. Finally he found a restaurant that was open and just a short taxi ride away. The name was Semplicemente di Vino

When we arrived we were the only customers in the restaurant and we began to think that we had made a mistake. The waitress, Lucia, who is also the sommelier, spoke some English and I speak restaurant Italian so that was not a problem.IMG_5826

Lucia offered us prosecco to start and when we could not decide which of two Refosco’s to order she let us try both. The wine we ordered was a 2010 Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso Friuli Colli Orientali DOP from Vigna Lenuzza. Lucia said it was made from 90% Refosco and 10% other grapes. It went nicely with the food.

We spoke about the menu and asked about the chef. She said that Enrico is an excellent chef and that they were going to be married shortly. We started with Prosciutto Crudo di San Daniele and Salumi. Next I had the ravioli con ripieno di melanzana e scamorza affumicato e battuto di pachino, ravioli stuffed with eggplant and smoked scamorza cheese with chopped cherry tomatoes.IMG_5825

The chef came out and showed me the meat for the next dish and described it. It sounded wonderful so I ordered it, spiedini di vitellona, rucola e salsiccia, skewered grilled veal rolls stuffed with arugula and sausage. IMG_5827

I ended this wonderful meal with a bowl of fresh fruit and of course café. Everyone could not have been nicer. It was a very informal restaurant but the young waiter who assisted Lucia was dressed very formally. He said he was attending culinary school and this is the way they told him to dress. When he saw the bowl of fresh fruit he said that in school he was taught how to peel the fruit before eating it. This is now a lost art.

It was a very pleasant, fun evening with great food and when we asked them to call a cab to take us to our hotel, Enrico would not hear of it and drove us back himself!

3 Comments

Filed under Semplicmente di Vino

3 responses to “Only in Italia !

  1. Charles: Nice story! Isn’t it great to find unknown treasures such as this restaurant? Quite often, it’s the simple pleasures that come along unexpectedly that are the best. As you said, only in Italy!

  2. Ciao Tom, Yes and only in Italy!

  3. Joanne Borkoski

    Ciao Charles, Your post triggered a memory of a similar experience on my first trip to Italy. My friend and I were unable to find our tour bus after attending the outdoor opera in Rome and an Italian guy with only passable English overhearing our plight offered to help. Could have been a really dumb move for two 23 year-olds, but we let him rescue us by driving us to an outdoor restaurant with strolling singers and colorful lanterns where we had a good meal and a fun evening. Did he drive us back to our hotel? Can’t remember, but whoever and wherever that Good Samaritan is, I hope his life has been full of good fortune.

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