Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mastro Dante and Mom

When we knew my mother was coming to town (and by town I mean San Martino, which is just really a collection of houses on a hill, with none too close together) we had to decide whether to take her to Mastro Dante (the trucker-ish restaurant we and the local Italian gentlemen love, which I detailed here and go on about a bit). I mean, we didn’t want her running off with a trucker (well, not too much. Though it would be a good story. Which means something), unless it was a trucker driving a cheese truck. But she seemed intrigued by the Dante (as I sometimes affectionately call the place, cause then I go into a fever dream where the Dante—the Inferno Dante, Dante Alighieri—has been resurrected as a restaurateur making set menu meals and doling out wine like it’s water), and Italian/British uncle and auntie Andrew and Marianne said they’d meet us, so we decided to give it a whirl. We’ve learned (oh, how we’ve learned) that we need to arrive right at twelve to ensure that the antipasti/contorni buffet isn’t decimated by hungry burly men, so we showed up as they were opening the lunch doors (more or less). Look at the beauty waiting for us:
I (and mom, and Nat, too) tore into the buffet like starving rabbits (in mom’s case, rabbits not afraid of eating pork products). And it was delish, especially the peas (Dante makes the finest peas in the land, with a little onion, garlic, and salt). Someday, maybe I’ll step it up and write an ode to those peas, but until then, you’ll just have to believe me. For my pasta, I went with the basic, and basically beautiful, farfalle quattro formaggi:
Mom and Nat hit the same stride into the pasta course, and then Nat and I stepped aside. I figured mom (not being always a big meat consumer) would also skip the secondi/meat course, but dang if she didn’t decide to become an honorary Italian trucker (in menu choices at least), ordering up the mixed grill (which was some combo of farm animals and potatoes):
Did she eat the whole thing? Not completely (a situation Rory and Sookie were happy for later), but she gave it the Kansas try. I guess mom and the Dante is a good idea after all (and even though she didn’t leave with a trucker, she was making eyes—so, who knows?). Oh yeah, we also had perhaps my (and Nat’s) favorite panna cotta. So, be jealous:

*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, La Balestra, Lo Strattoio, Mencuccio

*See all Italian restaurants

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