Sunday, April 15, 2007

Elvis is Alive and Well, He Lives in Florence!

Well, the mystery is solved. Even though he has aged, and lost a lot of weight, he is clearly recognizable and still making money on his past hits and fame by singing in trattorias throughout Florence.

When you come to visit, I will take you to Trattoria Birreria Centrale (The Central Pub). It is a restaurant now, but claims to be the oldest pub in Florence. When I visited Florence a couple of years ago, this was the location of my last meal here, which was the most outstanding grilled duck breast that I had ever put in my mouth. They marinate it in Balsamic Vinegar and serve it over bitter greens. Served with a great bottle of Chianti and Quattro Formaggia Gnocchi, it is superb.

Anyway, when I returned to Florence, I was on a mission to find that restaurant. I could not remember the name, and had some vague recollection of where it was and what it looked like. The memory of the duck was very strong and compelling. I must have told Amy (my partner is gastronomic fantasies) about it a dozen times. I located it about a week after I got here, but I was afraid to go in and eat and order the duck because I had such good memories, that I was sure it wouldn’t live up.

Long story short, it did live up to my memory and more so, it is fabulous, and if you have had duck and didn’t like it, or never had duck, or had duck and love it, you have got to try it here! Well, on to Elvis.

I took Nick and Will to this restaurant at separate times during their visit (That way I got an excuse to eat the duck twice). Nick and I went there first and had a fabulous meal. I, of course, had the duck and he had a steak, prepared in the same way, marinated in Balsamic Vinegar and grilled. We were enjoying our meal, when who should walk in but Elvis! Black hair coiffed and so shiny it is blue, sunglasses, a gold lame cape, and a flashy guitar. Before we knew it, the restaurant was a buzz and Elvis was singing Heartbreak Hotel. You will have to see this to believe it, because I can’t explain how funny it is when someone doesn’t really speak the language the song is sung in and has just memorized the words.

If you have little kids who have learned songs, you know how they will say what they think they hear, but it is not always right? Well that is what he did. Anyway, it was good entertainment, and we both laughed as he sang. I got this chance to get Nick and Elvis together for a photo when he was finished!

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