Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Wood-fired Sparrows

At the very far end of Torre Del Lago, just across the square from Lake Massaciuccoli, sits a fantastic restaurant called Da Cecco. My family used to holiday in the region through the 60s, 70s and 80s and a selection of us, plus some friends, gathered there this weekend for my cousin Joanna's 30th birthday. After a hairy journey with my 74 year-old Dad insisting on driving our enormous hire-car (my sister in the back seat quaking while I shouted 'too close!' and 'change gear!' and 'bike!!'), we arrived at dusk just as the mist was gathering over the lake and the first glasses of Prosecco were getting lined up on the bar.

Twenty eight of us in all, sat round a long table and ate nine courses over a five hour period. After the first hour it all got a bit hazy but I can remember that there was antipasti, crostini (the restaurant's signature dish and secret recipe), two pasta courses, two meat courses and that it was one the best meals I've probably ever had (hic).
On the long table next to ours, a group of real Italians were celebrating a birthday too, but one of their thirty nine courses was being spit-roast over the log fire at the end of the room. The chef marinated baby sparrows in seasoned oil and threaded them onto a very long spike with some bay leaves, lardo and the odd little chunk of Tuscan bread. Uncle Gino says baby sparrows like that are usually eaten whole as the bones are so soft. Mmmmm.

8 comments:

Ben said...

Is anyone else slightly weirded-out by the sinister coincidence between yesterday's two posts from S&R?

Sylvana posts about skewered baby sparrows, that an "Uncle Gino" says are usually "eaten whole as the bones are so soft". ("Mmmmm," they say.)

Rob then posts a track that happens to have: "a saxophone solo that makes your bones feel rather softer and more liquid than usual."

I reckon they plan to eat us all.

You have been warned.

Damian said...

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Kate said...

Hope you took a doggy bag home for Rob and Scrap!!

James Franco said...

I am amazed you remember the second half of the meal, If I remember correctly, you were were far too preoccupied with getting your sister to set fire to her own hand!!

It was a good night though, and that steak was amazing.
Have you figured out what was in the crostini yet?

Tony said...

Sounds great. Glad you made it back, despite dad's driving.

Davy H said...

Wood Fired Sparrows. Good name for a band.

Joanna said...

Line of the evening for me:

Silvana to Uncle Tony "Dad, I can't believe you hit a pedestrian".

Alison "I can't believe we only hit one!"

So glad you were all there. Best birthday ever!

xxx

Joanna said...

Line of the evening for me:

Silvana to Uncle Tony "Dad, I can't believe you hit a pedestrian".

Alison "I can't believe we only hit one!"

So glad you were all there. Best birthday ever!

xxx