Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oste della Mal'Ora, January 18, 2014

For over a year now we’ve wanted to try out this osteria in Terni that my brother in-law told us about.  I believe one of my wine rep’s also told me about it too.  Last weekend we finally had the opportunity to experience it.  I made a reservation on Thursday for Saturday at 20:30. Upon entering from the cold, into the warm tightly packed Osteria, we worked our way toward the host, or “Oste” as they call the person who works the Osteria.  With a smile “The Oste” guided us to our little table on the back wall. 
This sturdy little marble table was basically shared with another couple.  

The Floor, I never got a chance to 

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I had a couple of shopping bags full of recent acquisitions, which the waitress kindly offered to put in their storage closet for me, to allow for more elbow room.  At first I felt a little closed in, but after the first glass of wine, the intimacy was kind of nice.  Everyone seemed like locals, and was genuinely enjoying the simplicity of drinking and eating with friends on a Saturday night at the Osteria. 
The menu was informal but interesting, the wine menu more so.  The waitress was ever so nice and the food was good, and the wine even better.  I felt like maybe, for the first time in all 13 years I’ve been in Italy that I was really in an Osteria.

the Barbaresco

Osteria translates into tavern, pub or public house in English.  I like the idea of public house.  The other concept of an Osteria is that the tables are shared and the focus is more about the wine.  My kind of place.  Granted the Osteria lacked all the things I usually MUST have in my dining out atmosphere, like music, candles, lighting and comfortable seating, the absence of all the aforementioned didn’t seem to bother me.  I actually didn’t even notice these things until after the cheese plate. A true Osteria is based on simplicity.

Back to the good stuff, wine & food.

Wine, an excellent Barbaresco with a selection of 10 cheeses, 

the cheese plate

Graziano wanted the 14 but I put the brakes on that. One of the 10 cheeses was this really famous Italian cheese that I have always wanted to try called Castelmagno.  


It was quite particular and went well with the wine.
For desert I saw these big chocolate wafers arrive to the table in front of us, so I asked the waitress what they were, and she said they are canestrelli.  Shortly after the same plate of canestrelli with a zabaglione cream was brought to our table too.  Absolute heaven! I’m still thinking about those canestrelli to this day.
At the bar on the way out “The Oste” offered us a digestive drink, which we accepted.  Graziano got his usual grappa of the moment and I got a Czechoslovakian cinnamon amaro.
I wish this place were just a little bit closer to us so we could enjoy it more often.

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