Memories of Italy

15 Mar

I’m not going to re-hash the memoirs from my 2007 trip to Italy, but today I was going through some old belongings, and I found a card file. Full of business cards that I have collected over the last 10-15 years. Old credit cards, my student ID from the University of Utah. You name it, and it’s in there.

I stumbled upon the business card of “Il Vecchio Dado”. IVD is a restaurant in Pisa, Italy. I kept the business card, because it’s easy to forget the name of a local joint, in a country, far, far away.

When I went to Italy with my parents, I had this mission. A mission to find the best Italian food in the world. Seems pretty simple, right? Well, it was a bit more challenging than I thought. I started off my culinary adventure in Venice, and then ventured into Rome.

Now, if there is anything to know about me, it’s that I LOVE FOOD. I know where to look for good food. It’s not a mystery to me. Not even in foreign countries. I struck out in Venice and Rome. I figure, food in two very well-known cities should be amazing, but since I didn’t find it, I had given up. Before my trip ended, I did venture out to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Pisa seemed like one of those cities at first. You know the type. An economy that revolves around one or two tourist attractions, with nothing left outside of what you “know”.

Down on my food luck, I did the unthinkable. I asked the hotel for some restaurant suggestions. The only name that came up, was IVD. I reluctantly walked in with my folks, and enjoyed the best Italian meals of my life. We actually ate here twice.

I remember eating “Pizza Frutta De Mare”. A lovely pizza that shattered any notion of a typical pizza. I ate the toppings first, and I was treated to an array of clams, mussels, shrimps and calamari–all atop a crust that had the most subtle hint of garlic. It was to die for!

On my second trip, I had a gnocchi that was beautifully paired with a porcini mushroom sauce, and much to my liking, red pepper flakes adorned the top.

Upon my own research, I’ve come to find out that this restaurant is over 200 years old. I have no doubt in my mind, that I will return to Italy, and the very first place I will go, is Il Vecchio Dado.

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