Let's eat!

Hi. My name's Carol, and I love food. No, you don't understand. I love food. If I were on the Titanic, I'd be in the galley (kitchen) eating up the chocolate pudding and the roasted quail. I go to most events, activities and parties just for the food. The company and the conversation are secondary. Here, I'll try to document everything that goes into my mouth. Aren't we excited? Oh, hey, are you gonna eat that?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Visconti's in Leavenworth

We're in the middle of German country, Leavenworth, WA, for the entire day today as a family and where do we go for lunch? Leave it to my husband to suggest the only authentic Italian restaurant in town, Visconti's.

The night before, my son and I tried Visconti's gelato downstairs (mango!), and earlier before lunch today, we plus my husband checked the Cured salumeria next door (jalapeno-stuffed olives! Italian bread!) before finally going upstairs into the brightly painted yellow-orange room that is the dining room. Seated by one of several large windows overlooking the main street going through Leavenworth proper, we settled in and gladly drank of the iced water, Coca Cola and iced tea while deciding on our orders.

James wound up eating three huge bowls of salted and buttered Mostaccioli (looks like penne without the lines), while I shared the calamari fritto (fried calamari with marinara and aioli sauces) and the house Italian bread slices dipped in a garlicky-peppery olive oil dip with Eddie. The calamari and bread were the best dishes.

I was so tempted to order just appetizers: Bruschetta, wood-oven steamed clams (with lime and butter), the Panzanella salad, some minestrone (theirs is without the beans), a Margherita pizza, a Prosciutto panini... But I gave in to my husband's suggestion for Linguine alle Arrabiata (with pancetta chunks). I threw in a Tuscan bean soup for laughs (so that's where the beans went to).

I think I fell in love more with the ambience (this place has plenty of it and great vantage points for people-watching) and the way the sun cast a glow amidst shadow on my cup of bean soup than anything else. My arrabiata was decent, but nothing close to the jarred sauces from Rao's and Mario Batali. Eddie had some beef ravioli with cheese and mini-meatballs. He said the meatballs had a weird flavor, maybe too much fennel. But his dish looked ravishing.

Whatever you do, go for the dessert, if nothing else. I had Affogato (espresso poured over vanilla gelato), which I'd seen a million times on TV. I'd always longed to try it. It seemed right up my alley, like an adult version of an ice cream float, a fancy, strong, exotic cafe latte. And, it was everything I'd imagined it would be. I would've taken a picture, but by then my cell phone camera's battery was out. Your loss.

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