Rome Finale

April 28, 2010 Our last night was the PERFECT FINALE to our vacation in Rome. I wouldn't have changed a thing, well, maybe just one little thing; I'll tell you later.

Our dear friend, Dennis Cigler, artist, art educator, cook extraordinaire, and so much more, joined us for our last meal in Piazza Navona. We absolutely delighted in catching up with him and learning of his latest escapades. Dennis always has exciting anecdoates, travels, and other details to share.

We were glad Dennis chose the restaurant because it was the best, by far, of any eatery we tried in the piazza and, even better, Dennis is familiar with the owner and staff, which helped turn an already fabulous dinner date, on account of the dear company, cold drinks and delectable eats (in Rome!), into an enchanting evening. We were heartily welcomed and tended.

Below, Dennis translates the fascinating fables told by Tucci Ristorante-Pizzeria's owner. Sadly, we forget his name. He was a kind, generous man, and vibrant, dashing and debonaire. I'm going to call him Mr. Tucci until Dennis corrects me.

The conversation and food came in rounds. We talked and talked and yet it's difficult to recall, though the emotions and full-heart feeling comes quickly. What we did, what we didn't, what we want for next time, what we want for us... It 's all such a wonderful whirl, even then!

And I don't remember ordering a thing. The appetizer appeared unprompted and featured a bread and olive oil that could only come from Italy. I think Mr. Tucci chose the wine. In fact, I don't think we ordered a thing aside from the first couple/three rounds of Italianized margaritas. Refreshing and deceptive those margs.

Between courses Mr. Tucci's stories and copious charm endeared us to him. And we gotta love the language and the expressive Italian gestures that always enhance or embelishment a story.

Here is my one regret: I was so stuffed with bread and drink, mostly drink, that I hardly touched the tastiest--the best--pasta dish of my life, prepared especially for me. And dessert! I could only take in one mouthful. And then things get fuzzy from there.

You see, Mr. Tucci gifted us with a dark liquor digestif he freed from the cellar, a very special bottle from his dwindling Kambusa Amaricante reserves. It's a difficult flavour to describe, but I'll try: sweet yet bitter, aromatic, full, flowery, strooong (sneaks up on you me), ... pleasing.

And this is what it looked like later, notice how close the spelling is to "Ambush". ;)

Not only did Mr. Tucci share the drink with us, he sent us away with a new bottle too!

I wish we could repeat the night, over and over! But we passed along the Kambusa to Dennis so guess we'll have to wait until the next time

We will always cherish the experience.

Dennis, thank you for a delicious and heartwarming evening we will never forget, and even for the Kambusa Amaricante-laden parts I do forget.  xox...