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For the Happy List #2

January 4, 2011

New Year’s Day 2011 ~ 1.1.11 ~ seemed like it should be an uber-auspicious, comets in the sky, shaking in the earth, sea-change kind of a day.  It turned out to be just a really nice day.  I did have a pretty good, undissappointing 3 hour lunch only 45 minutes from home, which might qualify.  If you don’t live where every restaurant in town, and the next town, and every town for miles and miles, serves the same thing, and you’re not crazy about that thing (it’s not Thai), you mightn’t understand.

But Agriturismo Montangna Verde is one for the Happy List.  We’ve been there a number of times now and they are reliably enjoyable.  They are also very ecologically minded, offering tours of the Biological Park on their property, and raising their own meat animals. One of my favorite dishes there is just so historical and practical; chestnut flour pancake baked and served in a chestnut leaf, eaten with fresh soft cheese and honey.  The photo doesn’t do it justice, but I didn’t think to take a picture until I’d eaten two myself and barely caught the last one on the platter.  Some places call castagnaccio dessert, but Montagna Verde presents it along with a half dozen other antipasti (appetizers), including the delicious onions in the photo.

Which brings me to dessert!  The usual desserts of this region are, in a word, dry (aside from panna cotta, my fall-back when all the rest are crumbling tarts).  The prix-fixe menu had one of these torte listed, but we were surprised with something creamy and fluffy and quite lovely instead.  So, having managed to stuff myself without eating the meat courses (I don’t want to be “the worst vegetarian” and the holiday season has been… er… flesh-laden.  I’m working on being a respectavore), the Man and I took an hour and half walk through the sunset, past the landslides, and out to the ridge overlooking the next valley.  I was still very much in Python-Ate-Goat pose, but more comfortably so.  The year is off to as promising a start as I could ask for.  May yours be the same.  Welcome 2011, let’s go.

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