Now that NW has moved and is getting situated in his new digs in New England I expect to see him blogging once again soon. Finally one of our grand children are within driving distance and so my wife and I took a little jaunt down to see NW and our daughter and of course our newest grandson.
An added delight of their new proximity to us in Snake Navel, Maine is their proximity to the great little city of Boston. If you are ever in the neighborhood, you MUST take a lunch or dinner trip to Boston’s fabled “North End”where you’ll find the best Italian cuisine this side of Italy.
Our dinner trek took us to La Summa, a very small and very quaint family run restaurant which is just plain old authentic. Nothing glitzy or pretentious; no plastic gondolas on the table. We walked in without reservations as it was early (5:45) otherwise reservations are strongly suggested everywhere although we have never had a problem getting seated (at some restaurant) even at peak hours. In other words, without reservations you may not get the restaurant you want but we have just walked in to totally unknown establishments and they have all been outstanding! So never mind Zagat’s and other reviews; I don’t think you can really go wrong in this genuinely Italian community.
The wine list at his restaurant was scant; one page on both sides but interesting and affordable selections. (See previous blog re: the price of wine in restaurants)
NW and I collaborated on our selections and chose the Argiolas as the first bottle. It was $27 which means it retails for around $13 if you can find it. Neither of us had any knowledge of this wine which is what enticed us to try it–that and it’s price...
It was a nice surprise! With our cheese ravioli (home made of course)appetizer the wine was a perfect pairing. This wine from Sicily is made from the “Monica” grape. A grape I had never heard of. It had a nice, juicy bouquet of cherries and dark fruit even right out of the gate. Antonio Argiolas ferments this wine in glass lined vats and then ages it 16 months in French Oak. What was especially nice about this wine is that it was nicely made, well balanced and didn’t need any breathing. This blind choice was a great choice!
The second wine I was familiar with and knew it to be a value wine although I had tasted a different vintage. This was the Morgante, Nero D’Avola 2003 another Sicilian which I have bought for $12-$15 locally. Restaurant price–$27–I think.
This wine was even a littler bigger than the previous once which again, was just perfect for all of our entrees which ranged from Italian sausage over penne pasta with roasted peppers to papperadelle (wide pasta) with egg plant to NW’s smorgasbord of all kinds of delicious stuff including the restaurant’s kitchen sink.
This was a GREAT evening and mind you, with a wine tab of close to $60, four people stuffed and a 20% tip, this evening was a bargain at $160! If your anywhere near Boston, check out the North End and raise a glass to the wine cask!