Monday, December 22, 2014

Pranzo al Violino

Monday December 22 dawned wet and cold, raining and right at the freezing point. Yet we never let miserable weather deter us from doing what we are going to do, so we jumped in the car and started off for Barboursville Winery, about two hours from the house. We came up to a stop sign about a mile from the house and when I applied the brakes, the car skidded a few feet. Awesome! At that point, Ann decided we needed to stay around Winchester and since it was noon, I was hungry, and I knew that we had to climb up through Chester Gap to get to Barboursville, I didn't argue. We headed downtown to find a place that is open on Mondays. Ann decided we should have a nice lunch and a bottle of wine at Violino, a local high-end Italian restaurant run by our friends, the Stocco family.

When we eat out, we don't go out for Italian. Ann is full-blooded Italian and I cook plenty of Italian at home. For us, it is not a change of pace. But still, it is always good to go visit Violino and say hello to our fellow restaurateurs.

Really, Really Good Calamari
I don't generally go for fried food (not to say that I won't readily wolf down my share), but Ann does. She ordered this calamari and it is probably the best I have ever had.

Gnocchi ai Funghi
We are pasta fiends the both of us and so pasta was a natural selection for lunch. We ordered gnocchi with mushrooms and ravioli stuffed with ricotta and Swiss chard, styled Ravioli alla Nonna.

Ravioli alla Nonna, Filled with Ricotta and Swiss Chard
It was so great just to sit for a couple hours at a window table on a miserable day and just talk with Ann and relax over a nice bottle of wine and a great lunch. Many people probably take this for granted, but for me in particular it is a special treat. The restaurant business rarely affords us the time to do so.

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