If I were married to a surgeon, I would hear about cuts and scalpels; if I were married to a movie producer, I would be regaled with stories about talent and above- and below-the-line costs; I am married to a classical figurative sculptor, so I have spent considerable time in Possagno, at Canova’s Gypsoteca and the nearby breath-taking Tempio.
Tonight I wanted to try a new place for dinner. Sabin googled a restaurant and, en route, we passed an Agriturismo.
“Oh, let’s stop there, I love Agriturismos!” I enthused.
Sabin was skeptical, but he was in the mood to please me. I had, after all, endured several hours of waiting for him to emerge from the Canova museum. He raised an eyebrow but drove up the gravel road to the restaurant.
We were greeted by the honks and shuffles of a small pen of ducks and hens. “Dinner,” Sabin observed. But he was happy to note that the immaculate walkway to the Agriturismo was lined with half-life-size sculptures. It was all very neat and manicured.
Once inside, we saw several locals and a few tourists. Nice-looking young Demitri waved us to a table in welcoming fashion and then informed us of the day’s offerings.
The antipasti consisted of two plates of the most delicious salumi. One plate was heaped with prosciutto, pancetta, and salami. The other plate sported paper-thin slices of roast breast of turkey. As a rule, I don’t eat pork. But the salami was mouth-wateringly scrumptious, and I couldn’t resist. I ate every bite that Sabin allowed me—he finished most of it, and he wasn’t sharing, despite the kilo of beef he’d eaten for lunch.
I also indulged in the wine. It was a riot of purple goodness on my tongue, fresh and drinkable and absolutely superb. At night I have one glass of wine at dinner. But tonight a few glasses vanished before I belatedly realized that I really should pace myself. It was just so clean and yummy that I wanted more, and more. Oh, and have I mentioned that the wine is home-made?
Then came the pasta: home-made tagliatelle with duck ragu. Ohmigod. As a professional writer, I really should have a better way to say it than Ohmigod. But that luscious primi deserved devout praise, an exclamation of the purest pleasure. Again, as a rule, I don’t eat pasta. But this was a divine exception.
Sabin devoured his pasta without saying a word or even breathing.
Then I had the steak, and it was fantastic, clean and lean and perfectly cooked and exquisite. Sabin and I shared the secondi because he had, after all, eaten a kilo of beef at lunch.
We passed on dessert. I couldn’t have wedged another bite of anything down my gullet. So Demetri brought me home-made limoncello, and it was another mouthful of bliss and paradise. We fell to talking to him, or rather, Sabin spoke Italian and I understand a lot more than I can say, so I followed the conversation. Then Demetri introduced us to his wife Jessica, a lovely and talented young woman who keeps a sparkling kitchen and cooks like an angel. We begged her to allow us to take a few pictures, because it was overwhelmingly impressive.
And then Demitri brought me a glass of an herbal liquor that he claimed was a digestive, something they make themselves. Have I already used the words delicious, divine, scrumptious, and bliss? Because they all apply to this liquor, which must be tasted to be believed.
So next time you are in the area of Asolo or Possagno, or anywhere in the Veneto, stop by Agriturismo Al Vecchio Borgo. They’re located at Via Fusere 7 – Fietta di Paderno del Grappa, tel 0423 190 14 57. Restaurant open Friday and Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch and dinner.