Dinner at Albergo Ristorante Italia ~ Romancing Italy
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Oct 11, 2008

Dinner at Albergo Ristorante Italia

A is back from his hunting trip with stories that made me double in laughter and tears come to my eyes. I think he should write a blog about them.

Last evening, we decided to dine in Varallo at a restaurant called Albergo Ristorante Italia. Doesn't seem very original, does it?! But it is unique in that it is one of the restored old buildings, near the historic center. Their calling card has an old photo, the one you see on their website and it gives it a nice "old feel". The ceilings are high and arched...like many domes put together, the walls treated with one tint and the ceiling with another. It is incredibly inviting and cozy. The ambience is surpassed by the friendly welcome from the head waiter who seats us immediately. I am glad to see that he is as friendly with everyone and not just because I happened to be wearing a dangerously plunging neckline! The depth this one came to is a new experience for me, but is not anything new to a true Italian woman who, in my opinion, grows up knowing what it means to be sensual. It is just a part of their daily lives. Anyway, I digress....

I wanted to choose the typical dishes of the area to learn more about Vercelli through it's food. Since A chose the Moscetta and formaggio, a plate of thinly sliced and dried meat with melted toma cheese on top, our friendly waiter suggested that I take the smoked salmon. Yum. I agreed with him instantly, even if it wasn't a tipical dish, and we moved onto deciding our other course. By now, I've learned that an appetizer and one course is enough for me. I usually skip the Primi Piatti of pasta dishes and go straight to the Secondi of fish or meat. I chose the tipical dish of vitello or thinly sliced veal, topped with cheese and mushrooms. A ordered the "elephants ear", the main reason we wanted to come to this restaurant...a huge slice of veal, that was breaded and baked. It arrived, draped over an already large plate and hanging over the side. He couldn't finish it because it was absolutely enormous. Perhaps if he hadn't had the appetizer he might have made more of a dent. We both ordered a side plate of croquettes, breaded and baked potato.

Although delicious, I have the foods of the south to compare with and I think I am a southern girl at heart. I like the spicy foods and I like the variety there. And I love the wine from Sicily. The wine from the north, from this region does nothing for me. i am not a wine person by any measure, but I know what I like and my vote goes for the Sicilian wines.
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