Restaurant rules: Part I and Part II
Part I: A wise woman once said there are three critical rules to follow when entering a new restaurant. Number one: take a circuitous route to your table eyeballing as many dishes as possible being enjoyed by fellows diners. Number two: always read the dessert menu first. Number three: if the place smells fishy… Leave.
Part II: Unless you have an eminent trip planned to Italy, never give up on the quest for the perfect pizza. Although a seemingly impossible challenge when inundated by cardboard like take out choices or double stuffed crust monstrosities, do not lose hope. Case in point, last night, when we least expected it, in a small understated restaurant in Ketchum Idaho, we found pizza near perfection – – the best we’ve had in the USA, and we have had an embarrassing amount in our search. The wood fire oven tucked in the back corner replete with visible flames, so necessary for just the right hot searing of the dough immediately caught our attention. The undertones of fresh roasted tomato sauce perfume got our hearts beating faster. The mouthwatering burrata and show stopping flatbread appetizer made the wait for our pizzas delightfully unbearable. At last, our waiter approached; the suspense mounted , and then, it happened: A gustatory transport back to our favorite Italian dive–the one in Naples not Rome. Oh my! Could it be? Had we found it? The plates in front of us we’re pure art, authentic in Napoletana style. Look at the tomato! look at the mozzarella and basil on top ! The crust was bubbly and chewy crunchy ; A drizzle of bright green and yellow olive oil with just the right bite provided the perfect balance miraculously melding the flavors. I closed my eyes in pure bliss and for just one moment , I was in Italy.