May 17, 2023

Is it 53 or 54?

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It's the Parental Units' anniversary again, and it's a day worthy of celebrations because, as I like to tell people, I wouldn't exist if they hadn't gotten married all those years ago. So for the last 20-some years I have tried as much as possible to spend the day with them to commemorate that momentous occasion. After not being able to do this for the last 3 years since their Golden Anniversary, I was so, so happy to be able to fly back to resume the annual ritual.

After trying out a few other options over the last few trips, I decided to take us back to Tutto Bello. I wanted to be able to order à la carte to cut down the amount of food, and needed somewhere that could handle the precious bottle of old wine. This seemed like a good choice.

Even though we could choose the number of dishes to order, I was still greedy and wanted a primi piatto between antipasto and secondi piatto. Having a pasta course in the middle isn't too much, riiiight?

We started with some bread, and as both mom and dad were pretty hungry by now, we cleaned this out pretty quickly.

Salmone affumicato di Balik / salsa al Champagne / uova di trota - Balik salmon is always a good idea, and they stressed that this was a "4cm cut". Very tasty, indeed. However, I've definitely seen that "salsa al Champagne" before... with little trout roe mixed in. Still pretty nice, though.

Insalata mista - the dish came with 2 sides, one of which was nice much-welcomed green salad.

Bruschetta - I was somewhat surprised to see this on the side, and even more so when the bread was walnut raisin.

Scampi arrostiti / salsa all'erbe aromatiche / spaghettini con brodo di seppia, aglio e peperoncino - so the spaghettini was cooked just the way I had it more than 10 years ago, with tasty squid jus and some peppercorn giving it a kick and almost a hint of smokiness.

The three scampi tails came with a sauce that was almost a little fruity, with some acidity. Interesting to see the leek cut this way and lightly-charred.

Pluma di maiale di bellota / Parmigiano - they always do a good job with ibérico pork pluma, and tonight was no exception. The pork were garnished with some microgreens like red amaranth.

The meat was very, very tender with good flavor. I'm so glad I chose this.

Salsa all'erbe aromatiche - one is meant to dip the pork into this shallot sauce, but I thought the pluma tasted just fine on its own.

Insalata di fragola / cetriolo - I really did appreciate this cucumber and strawberry salad as it refreshed the palate. Not that the pluma was too greasy or heavy.

Per tradition I brought along an appropriate bottle of wine for the occasion, but Foursheets and I eached ordered a glass of white to start.

2020 Trimbach Riesling - nose of stone fruit with some flint. Relatively dry on the palate.

1969 Clos des Papes Rouge - started serving around 20 minutes after opening, without decanting. Very cloudy. Pretty fragrant with red fruits like red cherries and some leather. Fifteen minutes later showed some toasty notes, and developed a lovely nose with rose petals. Second pour about 1 hour after opening and the wine was already more muted, showing some mint and eucalyptus. Pretty happy with this.

Mom had been a little apprehensive about today, given the accident which happened on the way to dinner 4 years ago, and her recollection of other unfortunate events which seemed to fall on this day. She was somewhat relieved when dinner went without a hitch. Meanwhile, dad made a math error and announced that this was their 53rd anniversary, and mom was not impressed.

As for the food, we all felt that the restaurant had "upgraded" their presentation to be a little more modern. Maybe they're shooting for a star?

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