You may remember my visit to Volare Ristorante in Louisville, back in August, with my sister. It is an enormous tribute that we went back a second time, considering how many great and unique restaurants in Louisville. But we couldn't resist the promise of an Umbrian dinner a couple of weeks ago.
It started with an antipasto of two kinds of sausages, both apparently made in-house, a couple of wedges of truffled cheese and a melange of olives that had been marinated in orange juice.
The next course was a wonderful dish of asparagus topped with salsa besamiella laced with truffles, sprinkled with grated parmesan and run under the broiler. It was a substantial dish, and I would have been delighted to be able to finish it, wiping up the last dribbles of the sauce with the excellent bread we had.
Then came the primo piatto: a wide pasta--wider than fettuccine, narrower than papardelle--tossed with a very light tomato sauce with bits of eggplant, onion and herbs. In the true Italian manner, it wasn't drenched with the sauce. It was delicious, but now we were starting to get full, and were only half way through the meal!
Our next course was a sort of intermezzo of a pear poached in sangiovese on a bed of arugula, with shavings of pecarino cheese. I would have liked a drizzle of the poaching liquid on the greens, but it was still quite tasty. This is a course I've never had in Italy, and probably, had I been orchestrating the meal, would go better after the secondo piatto, before dessert.
For the secondo piatto, we had our choice of a pork chop marinated in white wine and herbs and grilled, grilled trout, or rabbit simmered in a rich tomato-wine sauce redolent of garlic. My sister had the pork, I had the rabbit. Both were very well done.
The final course, the dolce, was a sampler: ossi dei morti ("bones of the dead," an All Saints Day traditional cookie in Italy), a slightly dry (and therefore very Italian) lemon cake, and the best, chocolate fettuccine in a creme anglaise sauce. In spite of the fact that we were by now thoroughly stuffed, we both somehow managed to put it away!
We are now planning our next trip to visit the parents for the last weekend in January, for the Tuscan meal!