For the last day and a half I've felt like I was living in a movie. We are visiting our friends Yuri and Vera, who are semi-retired, and five years ago bought a vineyard here in the Piedmont region. There is a vast sprawling complex of very old buildings and many acres of grapevines. At dinner last night were an assortment of people who have led adventurous lives and speak many languages. Much good food and wine and wide-ranging conversations.
Today we went to Ovada for lunch. It is the end of porcini season and the beginning of truffle season. The appertivo was a poached egg with a bright orange yolk, covered with a creamy sauce made from sheeps milk cheese, and white truffles shaved before out eyes by our waiter. The primi was first a hand-made pasta with fresh porcini, then pasta with truffles (all fresh of course, but I am over-using the word). By then I was full and happy, but it is Italy, and you must have a secondi. I broke the rules and had minestrone, but others had suckling pig and wild boar stew. I did find room for green apple and raspberry sorbet for my dolce.
Then we went high into the hills to a dairy for milk and cheese. After such a lunch, dinner was simple and satisfying: fruit, cheese and bread by the fire.
The restaurant where we had lunch is run by two brothers, which reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Big Night, about two brothers from Italy who open a restaurant in New Jersey in the 1950's.