No fancy meal or across the border getaway this year, but being together with our pooches is the best anniversary gift we could ask for.
There are so many promising restaurants in Provence that you could go bonkers making a list of the best places to eat and drink. Factor in special occasions though, and that list grows smaller, with only places of extraordinary repute making the cut. If you had asked me a year ago where we’d end up celebrating our 14th, I never would have dreamt of a place backed by an association for autistic individuals. La Bourguette is an amazing project, and to that end, I invite you to watch the 10-minute video at the following link:
We lunched at Le Grand Réal, one of 2 dining locations connected with La Bourguette. The daily menu is on a blackboard ranging in formats from 13€-23€. Food, service, and overall ambience was top notch. The servers spoke only french and we took care to listen carefully and speak clearly, but there was one person in charge who worked with the waitstaff in case any problems with communication popped up.
This was the 13€ menu (entree+plat), water, 1/2 liter wine and tax included. Coffee additional but the entire bill for 2 just 30€. During the warm season, seating is under a shaded terrace decorated with plants. The experience was such that we returned the following day – we were that impressed! Well-behaved dogs are also welcome.
The reality after crossing The Floating Piers: you’re hot, thirsty, and utterly exhausted from the sweltering conditions – what’s next? There was no shortage of places to grab a sandwich and a cold drink, but what we had in mind was someplace away from the crowds and worthy of commemorating our anniversary and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s monumental land, or rather lake, art. I did my homework ahead of time and instinctively knew that the Menu del Territorio (35€/pp, cover, water, coffee incl.) at Dispensa Pani e Vini was going to make us ooh and aah over each course. Imagine our delight when presented with this beauty.
Sulzano a Montisola – trout tartare in a pool of goat milk yogurt, garnished with smoked trout roe, olive oil from Montisola, sardine crumble and a wafer-thin strip (corn?) that represents the piers. Brilliantly put together and I want to recreate this at home.
Risotto al pomo d’oro – yellow tomatoes from Vesuvio in a creamy risotto, topped with dollops of luscious burrata “innards”, crunchy bits of olives, and marjoram. Beautiful combination of color, flavor, and texture.
Manzo all’olio – in english, beef in oil doesn’t sound all that appetizing but it is thee best new thing I learned about traditional Brescian cuisine (the first being bagòss). This was melt-in-your-mouth soft that my knife literally fell right through it.
Tiramisù – as ubiquitous as it is, I found it cute that you could literally “pick up” your cup to bring a spoonful of tiramisù to your mouth.
Melon soup with mozzarella mousse – I’m going backwards with this but I can’t leave out the complimentary amuse-bouche at the start of the meal. I don’t think you could ever go wrong with fruit/cheese pairings no matter what form they’re presented in, and the sweet element of the melon was complemented with salty bits of crispy pancetta.
Dispensa Pani e Vini
Via Principe Umberto, 23
Torbiato, Adro BS