Keep the Rats Far Hence–new shoes, a dish of pasta, a vibe

It’s pouring rain when Tizi comes out of Marcello’s around 11:00 a.m. It’s her hair salon in Pesaro. Shortly after arriving in Italy, we go to Marcello’s, and she gets updated: the shampoo, the head message, the comb-out, the trim, the set, the poof agent, the anti-friz agent. All of Marcello’s ministrations which she so…More

A Reasonable Excess–a pastry, a pasta, a pleasure

I’ll see your 10,000 steps. And raise you 10,000 bites. Let’s hear it for disinhibition. Case in point: yesterday. If it had been a nice day, we might have walked uphill, from Borgo Maggiore to San Marino’s third tower, gaining thousands of steps on our way to 10,000 and, in the uphill part, climbing the…More

Lunch at “La Rampa”–too crazy for some

I’ve had my eye on this place for years. It’s at the end of Via Garibaldi, up by the gardens in Venice. Just outside the restaurant is a fruit and vegetable stand, actually a floating market with their goods displayed on the deck of a boat. I would guess that’s the rampa. You naturally think,…More

Hills Above the Adriatic–a walk, a view, then lunch

All roads lead to lunch.  We are on a trail in San Bartolo, in what they call a “natural park.” It’s an area of rolling hills and stunning views along the sea above Pesaro. You drive up into it on a road called “the panoramica.” The term is apt. Our plan today, like most days,…More

‘Tis the Seasoning–salt me

For years now I’ve suffered from garlic salt shame. It’s the seasoning I use most often, thinking that it’s a shortcut, that an accomplished cook with stores of self-respect would employ solo salt and stand-alone garlic that he would strip, dice, and sprinkle on a side dish or main course instead of going the two-in-one…More

Bean Me–tuna loves the vulgar staple

“Danny’s not having pasta,” my daughter says.  We’re setting the table for lunch at her house. I’ve brought a pot of ragu and tagliatelle, which we’ll eat with a generous dusting of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. If I were on death row, this would be my last supper request.  Her husband, I gather, is in a…More

Dubious Beef–a long table in Panzano

So you’re standing outside a restaurant in Italy. Its PR machine has been humming for months, no, make that years. The restaurant has been featured on Chef’s Table, in Food and Wine, who knows where else.   You’re standing outside enjoying a glass of their Tuscan wine, actually a third or fourth glass. It’s a small…More

In the Hills Above the Sea–required eating

I remember a distinction professors made on their course reading lists: required reading vs suggested reading.   Put Gennaro down as required eating. That’s Da Genarro. It’s on a hillside high above the Adriatic, on a two lane road called “la panoramica,” through a national park called San Bartolo. I wouldn’t say the restaurant is in…More