For some reason, I got confused on the time and arrived at 8:30. Actually it worked out okay because it was a nice evening and the outside patio was almost full, so I went ahead and secured a table, ordered a bottle of wine and waited for Regine. She arrived promptly at nine and we chatted a little bit about our day before we ordered.
I had had a small lunch in anticipation of a nice dinner out, so I was very hungry. Italians eat in several courses as I have described before: Antipasta, Primi piatti, Secondo Piatti, e Dolce. Meals last for a couple of hours and they are usually able to eat all of this. Americans usually do not eat this much at one meal, but we probably eat more at each meal. Anyway, I had decided to do the full "italian dinner" without the dessert which always has eggs in it, which I am allergic to.
I started my order with Bruschetta, and then Penne arrabiata. When I got to this point, the waiter turned to Regine and I said "Che piu’" (There is more). He turned back to me, and said he was sorry and then I ordered the Tagliatella petti di pollo con vedura griglia (Grilled breast of chicken with grilled vegetables). He said "Tutto per tua?" (All for you?) And I laughed and said "Si, molti fame!" (I am very hungry) and he said "Complimenti!" (Help yourself!) Regine order an antipasta and a primi piatti, and we chatted as we continued our dinner.
I ate every bite of every course and it was delicious. One of the things I have missed is grilling out, and this restaurant has extraordinary grilled chicken and vegetables. Grilled meats in Florence are very popular (Fiorentina Bistecca-is a grilled T-bone and a regional specialty) but most of the grilled items are meat of course. The grilled vegetables are loaded with olive oil and spices and are red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini, and eggplant....delicious!
When I finished my dinner, I headed off to the restroom and Regine ordered coffee. When I came back the table had been cleared. Just as I sat down, our waiter came over to the table and said "Brava! Mi Complimenta! Bellisima!" (Great job, congratulations! Beautiful!) He was speaking of the fact that I ate everything! That’s how Italians are about food and it is just one of the reasons I love them!