Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Torino, Italy: Porto di Savona Ristorante

We reached Torino, or Turin, as some might say, after a fourteen hour bus drive from Budapest.  There was little to do besides consider a meal or settle in for the night.  I found myself doing a quick set at the gym, before heading out with the usual suspects for an authentic Italian dinner.  Adam took the initiative and sourced, Porto di Savona Ristorante, the most well respected and popular trattoria in town. Near the city center, it was just a quick ten minute taxi ride from the hotel.  Savona is a charming and very non-pretentious, family-style restaurant, just seconds away from the cities main square.  It was exactly what we were hoping for something familiar and easy.
I presume that the hotel was generous with their suggestion of Porto di Savona, because two other parties from our extended group were already seated and seemingly enjoying their food.
We waited briefly before being escorted to our table towards the back of the fully packed small informal dining room where we were then presented with menus written in Italian.  We opted for the more familiar English version.  The cuisine was traditional Northern Italian, offering brothy and hearty dishes, rich risottos, gnocchi, soups and lean meats--veal, pork, beef and lamb, and fewer tomato based pastas.  For an appetizer, I chose the goat cheese medallions topped with pesto, and for an entree, a very fresh and flavorful, homemade veal stuffed ravioli in a gravy reduction. Together, we chose a lovely Chianti and sparkling water for the table to help wash it down.  Dinner was spectacular and truly delicious, rich with color and flavor and lightly spiced.  We sat full bellied and savored the moment before deciding on dessert, choosing to cruise the streets in search of a Gelateria, as to not prolong our visit at Savona.  We didn't have to look far, walking only a few short blocks, before we eye spied a plethora of pastel colored iced cream through a window that seemed to be calling our names.  By now, I was craving straciatella (chocolate chip) and pistachio, two of my long time favorites.  Yum!  It was like reconnecting with old friends.
Our brief evening ended much as it started, at a taxi stand in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, waiting for a return trip to the hotel.  Though I can't actually say that I saw much of Torino this visit, I'd like to think that my time in town was well spent.
As they say, "when in Italy, do as the Italians,.....EAT, DRINK and be merry." Well, it's really, "when in Rome,.....", but hey, what the heck.

Until next time......Buon Apetito!

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