Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hunger Pangs??

Torre Mangia

Is that a hunger pang I feel??? So exciting!

Walking around and shopping has got me a bit hungry. So I ordered many things at Osteria le Logge. It all looked so good! And it was not translated into English, rare in Siena. They are only serving vino della casa by the glass. I am fearful and seriously considering a bottle. I don't have to drink it all, right? And I'm certainly not driving.

I can relax and enjoy because they are not pouring just any house wine, they own a winery - of course! They pour glassfuls and it is terrific. And they are serving it all in nice crystal. I forgot my phone so no photos for this meal. I'm disappointed because everything is fabulous and beautiful on the plate.

They have poured me -

Gianni Brunelli
Chardonnay & Insolia, 2008 (from Sicilia)

Followed by
Brunello di Montalcino, 2003

I started with two salads, quite opposite of each other - one of octopus, the other of tongue. They are both terrific with the Sicilian wine.

Polpo, sedano & olive
Lingua, finnocchiona & pomorodi

Sorry no photos but the octopus was tender and tasty with some olives, and it was made exceptional with their olive oil. The salad of lingua and trippa was poached and sliced thinly with wonderful braised fennel and flavorful tomato wedges. And of course, extra virgin olive oil.

Paccheri con Funghi Porcini

A big fat rigatoni, with my favorite mushrooms, porcini. May all others bow down and take their respective back seat. Of course, I poured extra olive oil on top. I am not afraid. Fat equals flavor.

The food has been terrific. I am, of course, full after my first three courses. But I will prevail. The extremely handsome waiter has offered his camera for me to use. He promised to send me the photos but I think I have the USB cord in my new purse. I left only the phone in the room charging.

Coda di Bue & pecorino wrapped in cabbage with sedano rapa fritto (small arancini of celery purée, I think)

So glad I left a bit of room for my 'secondo' which is actually my fourth course here. Braised oxtail is so good! Paired with aged pecorino and wrapped in cabbage. It is fantastic! Probably the best thing I've put in my mouth in the last week. (foot note: Katie).

The server left the bottle of Brunello on the table. I assume I help myself and am charged for what I consume. Dangerous. But I love the concept.

One macchiato and I will straighten out. Certo!


I took a very long walk around town with Chiara, my friend I met earlier through Small Vineyards who lives in Siena, to see many beautiful and historic sights. Gardens, churches, and towers. I love Siena! Trying to 'walk it all off'. A Campari and soda turns into three, funny how that happens the world over. I have an offer to come cook for someone at his new cafe and I'm considering it seriously. I know I can come learn this food and cook it well. I will pour my heart and soul into it.

I make some new Facebook friends and perhaps a date for later but find myself without dinner at 9:30pm. Not to worry, this is Siena, not Portland, restaurants are not closed. I walk into a neighborhood trattoria and order crostini con formaggio, ribollita and insalata verde. The hedonistic version of a late supper. They are only pouring house wine by the glass for 2€. I am doubtful but order it. And it sucks. So I refuse it. Yes, in Italian. I apologize as best I can, but I spy a half bottle of something red on a nearby table and request the Carte di Vini. A half bottle of Aiola Chianti '08 for 10€ will do me just fine.

Crostini e Formaggi

The food is lousy. This is the first time in Italy, but I have been waiting for it. The olive oil tastes like it's from Costco - that bitter, over-processed taste that is ubiquitous in the US. The lettuce is prepackaged, so the salad is lousy. The ribollita, a classic dish of Tuscany is like a minestrone cooked with stale bread, is missing any trace of salt, never mind any soul or depth.

Ribollita and Insalata Verde

I feel like a snob but I know how to cook so much better than this. I give some credence to my earlier offer of a job. I feel a little bit like jerk, but I tell them its no good. Instead, I enjoy the wine and move on. I know I am a tough customer but also know I am right. If the food is cheaply made, I can recognize it. I have had so many great meals I feel I am due. I decide to move on to the Piazza del Campo to watch the people walk by and drink Frenet Branca.


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