Yesterday (Sunday) we decided to visit a restaurant with Susan and Gary that was recommended by our local Enotecca and also visit a winery in the Cannara area. This town grows the famous Cannara sweet onions to be found only here in the world! The weather was just spectacular for November 9. Warm enough for shirt sleeves and with that lovely Autumn slanting sunlight on the grapevines that have turned red and yellow.
First the winery. We headed up into the hills and stopped at an ultra-modern winery. It was not the one we intended to visit which was further down the road. This one, Tenuta Castelbuono had an enormous tasting room and some sculptures. I cannot imagine how much it must have cost. Perhaps it is um, money laundering? Anyway, they had two Sagrantino wines which we tasted and bought. Here are pictures.
ENORMOUS tasting room.
Click to appreciate the colors of Autumn.
The structure was designed by a sculptor. Very unusual.
After we visited this winery there were few others open on Sunday so we went to Cannara of onion fame. We drove into this little town which is situated on the Topino river, another St. Francis town with two medieval churches and the site where he gave his sermon to the birds. It used to be to be a lake until it was drained in the Middle Ages. We passed a sign advertising onions or Cipolla for sale. Couldn’t pass that up – world famous and all! We rang the bell and the lady came out and took us into the shed. As we entered the gate another car stopped with a family inside and asked us if they sold onions. We said yes and he was thrilled and gave out a Bellisimo and stopped to buy also. Only Italians would get this excited to buy onions. The lady began scooping onions into a bag, and scooping, and scooping! 2 kilos later (about 4 lbs) we left. Fun.
Now onto our restaurant called Hazienda Ristorante Cafe. What else would you name an Italian restaurant? It was one of those holiday places. It had apartments to rent for holiday makers and a swimming pool, great views of Assisi up on the mountain. We ordered the 4 course degustation menu. After we ordered the owner warned us that it was a LOT of food. Uh oh. Well it was a lot but we managed it. No picture, sorry. We had an antipasti with several fried specialties like onion rings (famous onions!) fried sage leaves etc. Next was a pretty plate with three fried dough circles on which were three poached (famous) onions on top of a parmesan cream sauce with drizzled balsamic (heaven!). Next were Raviolis in a parmesan cream sauce. The Secundo or main course was supposed to be horse but we couldn’t deal with that and had them substitute lamb, grilled, not great. Over done and gristly but thankfully not a lot to eat. We skipped dessert. Burp!
Back in Umbertide they were having a big market with clothes, jewelry, roasted chestnuts and peanuts. Happening place. Pictures.
Chestnuts being roasted.
Today, Monday, always a slow day. BUT it was an unusual Monday because our kitchen was due today!! I went over to the house to grab some things I needed and take a little walk. They were washing the floors in preparation for the kitchen.
We also got good news from Gary that Luther’s long-in-coming medicines had been delivered to him (2 months!). It is so funny, Luther’s name was on the package, we had my sister send it to Emanuele’s office but no-one was there. BUT they knew other Americans lived nearby and they MUST know the recipient so went to Gary’s house. He paid the duty and we met on the Piazza to take delivery and pay. Also Susan brought me my share of the Famous Cannara onions. Now I need to figure out how to fix them to take advantage of their special qualities.
Here is the Pedini truck delivering our KITCHEN!!!
I’ll go over tonight to see the progress. So exciting!!