Life is never quite how you plan it. We were going to go see the ice sculptures in downtown Plymouth and it would give us a day of exercise. One year, we went and it was so warm the sculptures were melting as we looked at them, there were puddles everywhere. This time it was extremely cold, so the sculptures were safe, but we weren’t. I don’t know if the homeowners on the perimeter of the downtown take umbrage at all the tourists that flock into the city, but the sidewalks were a “slip and fall” waiting to happen. My Bride, didn’t want to take a chance, as she is still in physical therapy for falling and having a hairline fracture in her ankle. We were going to look at the exhibits, stop and have some wine and something to eat. We had to go elsewhere, and the next place that we tried was closing at in fifteen minutes, due to a lack of staff, as we are still suffering from the fallout of our forced lockdowns. We were going to go grocery shopping afterwards, because I said that I was over due to make my Sauce Bolognese.
We went to our favorite Italian grocery store Cantoro’s Market, which is a huge interpretation of their original location, only about six miles away and still going strong as well. The Market is a labyrinth of small aisles that defy navigation and two carts cannot go side by side in some of the aisles. From Prosciutto to Wagyu Steaks and everything your heart desires from an Italian viewpoint. We picked up everything we needed, my Bride went to the cashier and then to the trunk of our car, while I went to Cantoro Trattoria, which was entirely full for reservations, but I was told that if I went to the back bar about twenty minutes before the restaurant opened for dinner, I might be able to snag a couple of chairs, and I did, immediately after I go there, the bar was totally full. It was not the first time that we have dined at a bar and we ordered two appetizers to share and then a pizza after that. We had Calamari Peperonati, which was lightly floured and grilled, tossed with sweet, sour and spicy peppers, fresh lemon and Marinara Sauce. We also had Carpaccio, thinly sliced, raw beef tenderloin, capers, red onion, parsley, lemon, arugula and Parmigiano Reggiano. Our pizza was their “Rucola & Bresaola” (and I shared a frou-frou pizza) of Italian Beef, tomato sauce, fresh Mozzarella, arugula, grape tomatoes, olive oil and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.
I did mention that we were sitting at a bar. We had Henri Gaillard Cotes de Provence AOP 2020. Henri Gaillard was the best negocient in the Cotes de Provence area for Crus et Domaines de France. He was a descendent of an old Languedoc family and is regarded as a pioneer for the South of France. The Cotes de Provence is the largest growing region in Provence. The Cotes de Provence was originally a VDQS designation in 1951, encompassing forty-two communes. In 1977, it was awarded AOC status and covers eighty-four communes. This wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre. The wine I am sure was done in Stainless Steel with minimum aging. The wine offered notes of strawberry, rose petals and spices, and on the palate, it was a dry wine with good acidity, offering red fruit, florals and some light spices. Then we had Pratello Pinot Grigio Garda DOC 2020 from Azienda Agricola Pratello di Bertola. Pratello was founded in 1867 on the morainic hills off of Lake Garda. The estate is now one-hundred-twenty-hectares, of which eighty are vineyards and the balance is for olive groves and borders two districts; Valtanesi and Lugana. Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and it splits up two DOC areas; Lombardy and Veneto. In 2017, Garda DOC combined with Valtanesi and Riviera del Gard Bresciano to become the Riviera del Garda Classico DOC. The fruit is hand harvested with a soft pressing in Nitrogen saturation. The initial fermentation is for about fifteen days, and then aging in Stainless Steel for five months, with an additional bottle aging for three months. The wine was a pretty golden color with notes of pear and golden apples, and on the palate, great citrus flavor and acidity and a finish of fruit. After dinner, we had to go back into the market, as someone wanted more of this wine.