Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Like the Italians Do It at Acqua Pazza

Today I was invited to lunch by two dashing gentlemen named Robert and Angelo. Robert is a very successful painter in town who I have known for six years, and have written about on more than one occasion, but have never spent a good deal of quality time with as most of our interactions happen in passing out in the art world we both dwell in. Quick hugs and kisses here and there at galleries and museum events were replaced today with a long overdue lunch at Acqua Pazza.

Sitting outside on the shaded patio we all decided to do like the Europeans do and savor a long lunch from the special $19.99 pre-fixe menu that includes a starter, entree and dessert. I have been a fan of Acqua Pazza for years. It's an old stand by for good bistro style food like my favorite duck, brie and pineapple omelet, cute little quesadillas, yummy pizzas and when I am feeling especially decadent - the lobster salad.

Because we were having Cabernet at noon like the Italians, and stepping out of our ordinary boxes to discuss things like atheism, animals and American attitudes towards nudity, I decided to order something entirely new with the sand dabs. First I had a bowl of the grainy and light mushroom soup to whet the palate for the exotic new dish. When it arrived, the four small slivers of soft and light white fish swimming in a worthy cream sauce were comfort food to the stomach. A swirled, pile of mashed potatoes and al dente veggies rounded out the meal. Probably didn't need the flourless chocolate cake that followed or the second glass of wine but what the hell, when "pretending to be in Rome."

I was totally reminded of the time I took my daughter to Italy in 2005. We spent the last leg of our trip in Venice. We quickly discovered our favorite spot, tucked into an alley, where we went every day at noon for lunch. I got the same thing every day, a pint of sweet white wine and a warm salad of julienned mozarella, eggplant and corn. It was always followed by a nap at the hotel after my daughter's stop on the walk back for a new flavor of gelato.

Stuffed on food, hazy with wine and happy with the love received by restaurant managers Willie and Michelle and their perpetual sweet smiles, I had to go home to take a nap, just like the Italians do. I could get used to having my biggest meal at lunch with wine followed by a siesta, only to resume work in the cooler and darker hours of the day when the phone is no longer ringing with the nine to fivers.


  1. looks like you are eating better than we are here in Italy! Doing a Vespa tour of Tuscany in the morning. Having a ball! all the best to all three of you! ciao, Steve

  2. Life is too short to rush through it - Keep enjoying European style lunches! Sante!-Christy