Friday, July 1, 2016

Honeymoon, Day 3 evening, May 25th: Dinner at La Botte di Bacco

After our day of traveling around small towns, we returned to Radda in Chianti with the plan to reserve dinner the next night at a Michelin guide restaurant for a final romantic dinner our last night in Tuscany.
Radda had transitory shepherd communities as far back as 2000 B.C., and then was an Etruscan stronghold. In the middle ages, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina banded together for protection against Siena. The camminamento medievale is the tunnel which leads from one cobblestone street to another.
This would be the world-famous medieval door to nowhere. It symbolizes the lack of progress and enlightenment in the dark ages and the... no, no it doesn't. It's just an interesting door high up in the old stone wall.
Our plan was to get a light dinner somewhere and then reserve a table at La Botte di Bacco for our last night in the area, but it turned out they are closed on Thursdays to allow their staff a night off. After a quick discussion, we made a reservation for that night instead, not wanting to miss the restaurant that had come so highly recommended by another couple at our hotel.
This turned out to be a very, very good decision. Knowing that we were on our honeymoon, they'd saved us the table by the window overlooking the street, right over the front door. The hostess showed us to our table and poured us complimentary glasses of Prosecco and our server brought handmade breadsticks and then a basket of savory little rolls to the table.
Our appetizer was goose carpaccio with pomegranate, field greens, citrus fruits and toasted pine nuts. Neither of us had had goose carpaccio before but it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Sitting next to us was a friendly couple from Dublin celebrating their 45th anniversary. They liked our rings and were curious about our use of Gaelic in our wedding vows.
We had a bottle of Nozzole Chianti Classico from Greve, made (our server was quick to point out) with 100% San Giovese grapes. We had as our main courses pappardelle with duck ragout and ravioli stuffed with fresh spinach and ricotta cheese drizzled with sweet Abate pear and pecorino cheese sauce. The chef and owner, Flavio, came by during our dinner to check on us and tell us about how all the pastas and breads are made in the restaurant by hand.
We chose their dessert Toscona, typical of the region - biscotti and sweet Vin Santo from Antinori. After dessert, Flavio came by and poured three glasses of limoncelllo so he could toast our marriage with us. It was just an unbelievable meal all the way around.

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