Thursday, November 19, 2015

Birthday Fish in Fano

I love dining in local Italian restaurants, they're so.... unassuming!  The ambiance is modest, a bit kitschy, one might even say a little odd.   Men often dress in button-down shirts and dress jackets and their wives or girlfriends in skirts or dresses.  We dined on disposable, plastic tablecloths, but with proper ceramic plates and solid eating utensils.  The food was outstanding and the prices affordable.  

The entrance to this particular restaurant had an automatic glass door designed to appear like a fish bowl.  To say we were utterly delighted to enter is an understatement.  Finding a seaside seafood restaurant that was open in November was quite a challenge!  We began asking friends for suggestions a few weeks ago.  Italians love to talk about the weather and food, so we acquired several recommendations. 

The day before my birthday we began calling to make a reservation since the car ride to the coast was two hours and we wanted the guaranty of a good meal awaiting us.  After finding our first three choices closed for the season, I remembered a blog post from La Tavola Marche Agriturismo featuring their top five favorite restaurants in Fano

We enjoyed typical dishes such as octopus salad, steamed clams, fried shrimp, calamari and vegetables and a plate of grilled fresh fish -- oh, and french fries!  No Italian restaurant meal is complete without a side order of french fries!  They're oh-so-delizioso!

The weather was quite gloomy and chilly, but the buildings were all so colorful and cheery!  It was late by the time we finished lunch and as much as we would have loved to explore it was getting dark and colder by the minute.  A good excuse to return though!

All in all, it was a very fine birthday celebration and if you ever get the chance, we highly recommend dining at Trattoria della Quinta in Fano!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Free Falling

I returned from California at the beginning of November just in time to catch fall in full swing here in Italy!  Mushrooms aren't necessarily found solely in the fall, but it seems to be a prolific time for them given the right conditions. 

All around our house, the ground was blanketed in leaves.  It was magical to watch them raining down from the trees whenever there was even the slightest breeze.

Now back to the mushrooms!  Sometimes there are the 'same old, same old' mushrooms each year and sometimes there are varieties I have never seen before.  In either case, they always manage to delight me with their shapes and colors and textures.

 I mean, how amazing is this color!??  It's absolutely electric!

This mushroom is one of my favorites!  They grow on giant old chestnut tree stumps.  Don't they look like velvet!?

Now here's a surprise, with all the fall signs in the air and leaves falling everywhere around us there were still flowers managing to bloom!  We're halfway through fall, winter is still ahead of us, but I can't seem to help being anxious for Spring.