Tag Archives: dining

O little town of Brez

4 Feb

Winter-tortured vines and the mountains we skied in.

In the town of Brez, in the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy, there is one bakery, one butcher, one bar, one restaurant, one general store, at least three churches, and one little loft apartment that was ours for the weekend.

Our patio with a view of sprawling Brez.

After coming perilously close to staying in on the night of our arrival, drawn magnetically to the couches by a sizeable movie collection and a big bowl of popcorn, we motivated ourselves out the door to try town’s restaurant, an unexpectedly swank place in which we were nearly underdressed. Colin and I made sure to keep our hiking boots tucked out of sight beneath the tablecloth.

I need to give making my own pasta another try because it is seriously good. It’s hard to believe pasta can be so soft, practically melting on your tongue.

Sunday morning we took off under a beautiful blue sky for some not-so-nearby slopes. The boys agreed we should go to Madonna di Campiglio, the most popular ski park in the area. We rented gear there and split up so Aaron and Leah could do the more advanced runs while Colin hung back with me on the beginner slopes.

Colin Cam

I had only two or three really memorable falls and otherwise had a good time. For the second half of the day, all four of us stuck together, as I was feeling a bit more comfortable going down steeper runs. We got a light dusting of snow up there, and for the first time ever, I saw snowflakes that look like the snowflakes you cut out of paper—perfectly symmetrical six-pointed stars. Around 4:30 the lifts stopped, and we trudged back to the car for the hour-long drive back to Brez, where a lasagna was waiting for us.

We decided against a second day of skiing and snowboarding on Monday because it was just so darn expensive, and instead we drove into nearby Bolzano to explore the heavily German-influenced Italian town and get some strudel. How heavily German-influenced? Signs were in German, then Italian, and the strudel-seller sent us off with a “Danke!”

Italy is wonderfully obliging

26 Sep

Especially when it comes to living up to expectations. Most of those stereotypes that people hold in their head about Italy have turned out to be based on reality. For example, everyone actually eats gelato, from school kids to businessmen. That’s pretty much all they eat during the day, as the huge number of cigarettes they smoke dulls their appetites. They actually live a slower pace of life, closing for a three-hour siesta every day after lunch.

And they don’t mess around with dinner. Colin and I went with Jane, Lars, and Justin to the Osteria Broccaindossa on Friday night for a wonderful exercise in stuffing ourselves.

The waiters brought out at least eight different antipasti dishes, including deep-fried baguette with sautéed zucchini, mini eggplant parmigiana, bean salad, green salad, cheese with a little comfiture, beans and wienies, and a couple different quiches. Those were the appetizers.

Then they brought out meat-filled tortellini in broth, cheese-filled tortelloni in a butter-sage sauce, and tagliatelle with ragu. Since I couldn’t help with the meat pastas, they pushed almost all of the tortelloni my direction.

Stuffed though I was, there was no way I was passing on il dolce. Jane and I selected the crème caramel and the cream puffs with dark chocolate sauce, and the boys only just managed a few nibbles. Absolutely delicious.

I know there are dozens of restaurants in Bologna that we should try, but I’m already thinking of excuses to go back to Osteria Broccaindossa. Will someone come to visit already?