Have you ever thought of Italy? one might ask. Truthfully, I haven't thought of it in terms of travel. But I just might, if it is anything like where we just were, and what we just ate. It is an experience that bears repeating.
This wasn't your ordinary Italian-esque restaurant with a little parmesan thrown in. It was the real Deal, and in an unforgettable way. It was Dametra Cafe in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and we are not likely to forget it!
But then we discovered where everyone had gotten to - the Dametra Cafe. We heard it before we saw it. People were crammed and smooshed in there, being served and hugged and plied with drink. On the wall was an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about the place. There was a photograph of two handsome Italian men, one the Chef, the other (I think) the co-owner. They looked very nice. And very happy. And very Italian.
We were seated and settled in jig time, given menus and waters, and then the most divine artisan bread. I was already agreeably pleased, and we hadn't eaten a single bite.
As we watched, Italian waiters, and an American server went from table to table, making sure the customers had what they wanted. I don't know how they actually heard anyone answering their queries, because by this time the place was a riot of noisy joy (I think just about everyone had a bottle of some kind on their table). Laughing, shouting, being as near to Italian as you can get, and not be one.
Our lasagne arrived, which we split - and it was meraviglioso (marvelous, in Italian)! Of course, we were asked (more than once) how we liked it. If we needed more? If the wine suited. And might we like some dessert?
We were sure the dessert would be to die for, but opted out. It was going to be hard enough walking the almost mile back to our B&B, without a dessert. As we got up to leave, I saw several waiters kissing the customers left and right, putting on their coats for them, and generally behaving as though their best friends were leaving for the moon. I wondered if anyone was going to try and kiss me..
But it made me think, maybe Italy would make a good destination. Maybe I could find a tasty food type to blog about, there. Or make about a gajillion friends during the length of one meal, and blog about that. It sounds intriguing.
As we moved toward the door, a man resembling the newspaper article came to us, to ask how we liked the meal and the wine. It was indeed the owner, very tall, expressive and kind, thanking us for coming. Inviting us to come back.
Time to check out what Rick Steves says about Italy. But is the SconeLady ready for such a radical change? I just don't know..
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8356650@N03/2526869873">Carmel Coast</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>