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Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Gelato

The Italians are famous the world over for their ice cream.  I can’t say I’m a fan.  Until now.  

Some friends introduced me to a family run gelateria near the train station of Jesi where they make their own ice cream. 

I must have passed this place a hundred times, but have never been tempted to enter. 

What a mistake.

We walked through the fairly conventional shop area to find a couple of small rooms filled to the brim with all sorts of interesting items hanging from the walls and ceiling which (for the main part) reflected the strong farming history of this area. 

 

It was a warm and balmy evening, so we sat outside in the small walled garden. 

I was thinking that I’d just have a cup of coffee, but I got caught up in the moment and the atmosphere and decided to have a hazlenut ice cream. 

I was pursuaded to try the chocolate.  So, hazlenut and chocolate it was. 

 

The hazlenut was lovely, but the chocolate…  

I don’t know where to begin.  It was a world apart from any other ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Never, ever have I experienced such an intense, rich and velvety ice cream before.    

It was rich but not sickly.  Dense yet light.  It was an ice cream that was also the best chocolate mousse and the best chocolate cake that you’ve ever eaten.  (I said I didn’t know where to begin and now I’m finding it difficult to stop.)  It was sublime.

So, I’m converted!  I’m a little bit worried, though, that after this the others might be a big huge disappointment.

This modest little faded card put up in the window of the garden states that Bar Trieste was awarded 5th prize in the whole of Italy for artisan/handmade ice cream by Gambero Rosso.

I don’t know who the first 4 prizes were awarded to, but they must be amazing.

Where are the photos of the ice cream?  Come on!  It’s only ice cream.  Look at the size of this pig!

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We have Dan’s lovely Aunt Alba staying with us (after whom we named the house).  We only see her once a year; what better excuse to eat at one of the very best local restaurants: Taverna La Staffa.  There is always a warm welcome and the food never, ever disappoints.

La Staffa has a wide menu which includes traditional dishes, local specialities and pizzas, but this was a special occasion so we chose the fish menu. 

Deep breath, because here we go…

Antipasto freddo di mare:
(salmone, molluschi, insalata di mare, carpaccio di spigola)

 

Primo piatto:
(maltagliati con vongole, zucchine, ceci e burro)

 

 

Cozze:

 

 

Fritto misto di mare dell’Adriatico:
(gamberoni, moscardini, seppie, polipo, calamari e pescetti)

 

Lumache di mare:

(I separated this fellow from his friends.)

  

Arrosto misto di pesce dell’Adriatico:
(pesce spada, sogliola, gamberoni, triglie)

Those little breaded balls on the left of the picture are the Olive Ascolane.  We also had the house wine from the owner’s vineyards and the ‘insalata mista fina, quattro colori’.

This dish was exceptional: giant prawns whose tails had been shelled and dipped into sesame seeds.

 

You might be wondering about dessert.  We were all too full!  Just a coffee and digestive on the front porch. 

We had eaten so well that we asked for a doggy bag.  So that’s lunch sorted too, because it’ll go with the Panzanella I made in the afternoon.  (It’s always better the day after.  All the juices from the tomatoes are soaked up by the bread and the flavours are more intense.)

 

Notes:

Distance from Casalba: 2 kms. 

Closed: Tuesdays.

Price: Slightly above the local average, but worth every single penny.

Fish Menu: I’d certainly have this again, but would order less.   Every single dish was delicious, but the true stars were the antipasti and the prawns dipped in sesame seeds.

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