For my Foodie Friends

Even *I* have to post at least one or two food and wine entries while we’re in ITALY, right?

As I told my friend Becky when she asked about the glories of Italian food and wine, we kind of blew our budget on a rental car in order to get further afield into the Dolomites than public transport would have taken us. As a result, we eat most meals in the apartment, which is definitely NOT glorious Italian food.

But we had a great dinner on Sunday that’s worth talking about, not only because the food was great, but it was really fun, too.

Corvara is shutting down after its summer season and we are some of the last remaining tourists in town. All of the lodging closes for the shoulder season at some point in September (we had to leave our first apartment because they closed a week after our arrival), and even the little grocery market around the corner closed today until ski season reopens.

So on Sunday when we visited a restaurant that had some interesting “Ladin” items on the menu (it’s the traditional culture/language from before the Roman period), we weren’t surprised to learn it was ther final day of the season.  In fact, it was the second time it happened to us that day: earlier we’d stopped in a bar after climbing and hiking, and the staff was in a playful mood, goofing around with local customers on their closing day.

The Salvan Pizzeria (that seems to be a generic term for “restaurant” here) was boisterous, too, with lots of locals out for the final night: people greeting one another as they came in or left, speaking in all three languages and lots of laughter. The waitress was extremely gracious – as is everyone in this part of the country, as far as I can tell – and switched to English at the first glazed stare when she tried to explain to us that we couldn’t order a half-liter of the house wine, as it was their closing day and they only had wine by the bottle. Overall, there was a really lively energy about the place that evening.

But when the food came, things got very serious, indeed. From the “typical Ladin food” section of the menu:

  • Cold cuts of wild boar, pork and venison. I’ve never tasted anything like that smoked venison.
  • Homemade ravioli with something like ricotta stuffing and a blue cheese sauce
  • A plate (a very LARGE plate) filled with a buttery-tasting cheese melted all over the plate raclette-style and a monster pile of fresh wild mushrooms (in season here just like at home!) sauteed on top. Oh, and homemade bread.
  • Venison chops with cranberries (we couldn’t figure out what part of the animal “Deer Chaps” came from on the English-translated page of the menu until the entree arrived…)

Oh, it was a good night! And no, I don’t take photos of my food so you’ll just have to imagine that plate of melted cheese and wild mushrooms.

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