Last weekend we celebrated Art's birthday not once but twice! On Saturday evening we drove to Panicale, a charming village overlooking Lago Trasimeno. Our friends Greg and Marguerite have a house there and were able to spend several weeks in Italy this summer. Marguerite fixed a wonderful dinner - lasagna, roast chicken, veggies and potatoes, salad and bread. A stroll around town helped to make room for the wonderful dessert they had for Art - this beautiful chocolate cake! I know Marguerite won't be offended when I tell you that she didn't make it, but discovering the new pasticceria that made this cake was definitely a find!
On Sunday we had a wonderful lunch at Angelino and Peppa's, Art's favorite local restaurant. Luckily I had run into Angelino at the doctor's office early in the week and told him we were bringing a group on Sunday. He told me they were going to be very busy but assured me there was still room for us. When I called to make the reservation later in the week the woman who answered the phone said no, they couldn't take us because they were full! I told her I had spoken with Angelino, and everything was okay.
It was a beautiful day, not as hot as it had been, with a nice breeze. Our usual table outside was waiting for us when we arrived. I had made a lemon meringue pie as a substitute for Art's favorite Key lime pie, and Stefano, Angelino's son graciously offered to put it in the refrigerator for me while we ate.
If you've been reading this blog for long I know that you know about the amazing quality and quantity of food that's served by here, all lovingly cooked by Peppa, Angelino's wife. Hot torta al testo, fresh pasta, home made lasagna, chingiale, meats roasted on the grill....everything was as delicious as it always is, and of the the wine flowed freely along with the conversation.
Once dinner was over Angelino came out to apologize for not having made a special dessert for Art, but I explained that I had made Art's favorite American sweet. The servers brought out the pie, and along with the leftover chocolate cake we all somehow managed to eat a few bites!
We all chipped in a few euro each to buy a lottery ticket for the record-breaking €105+ superenolotto to be drawn on Tuesday. Winning that would certainly make this a birthday to remember, but even if we don't win, having such great friends to share special occasions with comes pretty darn close!