Friday, January 7, 2011

Dinner at Bar Fizz (or Why We Made a Good Choice 10 Years Ago)

Last week, as we do at least once a week (or pretty darn close), we went into Bar Fizz for dinner. We often hit up the pizzas there (as detailed in past posts), sometimes getting a pasta, or salad, or the delicious fries. Rarely are we able to take advantage of the specials, which tend to be meaty in the week and seafood-y on the weekend (Fizz is known for the weekend seafood throw downs). We were the first ones in (early Americans) this night, and got to watch as Giuliano (the friendly owner and chef at Fizz) wrote the specials on the board. We were instantly intrigued because one was “Garganelli al pesto.” See, the pesto at Fizz is, I think, rather amazing. They never overdo it, and they never allow it to overwhelm the pasta. When Giuliano walked over to our table, Nat asked him “garganelli che cosa?” Turns out (I guess we should have guessed) garganelli is a type of pasta. To double check, we asked him (after some stumbling a bit, due to our lean grasp of Italian combined with his piccolo amount of English) if it was filled, and veggie, and he was yes, yes, laughing. The second special was lasagna ragu, which is lasagna with meat-y sauce. Nat said “vegetariano” we he started telling us about it, and he said ragu is carne, but then walked back into the kitchen, and talked to the other cook (another very friendly lady), and then came out to tell us that they could make “lasagna tartufo” or truffle lasagna. How nice was that? Just the idea of checking into it was super great. However (cause of course we ordered both specials), the lasagna itself was even better. My first lasagna this trip (most are meat-packed), the Fizz lasagna tartufo was perfecto. The pasta itself was in thin sheets, freshly made (more on this later), and cooked as right as any pasta ever has been. It was layered around a simple mix of black truffle paste and cheese, and not slopped up with excess sauce. This simplicity and non-goopy-ness also allowed the tips of the pasta to crisp just a bit, which I love:
The lasagna was without a doubt one of the best dishes had since arriving, but I don’t want to short shrift the garganelli, which was also delish. The pesto, as mentioned, was fantastic, light, bright moments of basil and nuttiness garbed in local olive oil, and the pasta was also dandy, like penne curled around itself (almost like when people can twirl their tongues) with little ridges, all together making a textured tasty dish:
Overall, a lovely dinner and a lovely evening, and on the way out, as we stopped to pay (we always just walk up to the register on the bar side, following in the footsteps of locals we’ve watch do the same), we told Giuliano (who also steps over to check out football scores, man the bar, and watch the register) how much we liked the pastas in our halting Italian. He told us, in a combination of Italian and his halting English, that it was made today (I thought). When I said, “oh, just made today” he corrected me to let me know that, no, not today, but right when we ordered it. He was--cause he’s that way--smiling and laughing throughout, too. The fact that they made a special dish for us, and that it was lasagna with fresh noodles made right then, and that he’s such a friendly guy, just underlines for me that we made the right choice about 10 years ago when Nat and I (and pals Jeremy and Megan) randomly picked this area to vacation in, and randomly picked a villa managed by Andrew and Marianne to stay in for a week. Sometimes, it’s the random choices that are the luckiest.

*See more Italian restaurants: Capponi, Nestor's,Nonna Gelsa, Le Capannine di Sommavilla, Calagrana, Trattoria Il Saraceno, L Enoteca Wine Club, Mastro Dante, Bar Fizz, Da Cesari, Calagrana Lunch, al Frantoio

*See all Italian restaurants


  1. It was sigh-able indeed. Love it that the Fizz is only five minutes away.

  2. I just ate a granola bar, which is a lot like truffle lasagna.