Yesterday, we went to Milan for aperitivo and then, for the first time since I’ve been living in Italy, we ate INDIAN. I had eaten it several times at friends’ houses or cooking it myself, but never ventured out to a restaurant in Italy. We went to Rangoli in the Moscova/Garibaldi area of Milan.
There were about 13 of us there, and the food was pretty decent. I have no complaints, except the bill was much larger than any of us anticipated, about 29/head. This is a general caveat in many non-chain restaurants in Italy. If they offer to “make some special” or “bring a little of this and that” or “a few of everything” you have to know that you’re not going to be eating a budget meal.
Those four samosas, mixed fried vegetables, bowls of daal, extra plates of naan, even the raita, will set you back a pretty penny at the end of the night, and might not even get eaten! And don’t forget at one point we had an extra Chicken Korma floating around that no one had ordered, but it got eaten, in the end. They didn’t pad the bill, it’s just that much more was brought than anyone realized since we gave them “carte blanche” on the appetizers. Mistake.
One time when we were in an Italian restaurant in Trastevere (Rome), they brought us some custom appetizers since one of the party had worked there before. There were beautiful plates of Parma prosciutto, mixed cheeses with honey, Bresaola, rucola, and lemon, etc. very tasty and good quality. But it added another 20 euro per head, just for the appetizers! This can be a real treat for a special night or when you really want to try what they feel are their specialties, but it’s probably better to order exactly what you want to avoid getting in over your head!
Sante and I were spoiled as we had just returned from London and a great curry there, but I thought it was good, and I’d like to go back! Also, it was funny because my friend from CA, who’s Indian, was there, and all the waiters and the manager deferred to him even though he didn’t know any of the other people there that night.
Today, we walked around Milan and though many shops were closed, I saw something that made it a great Sunday (not to mention the sun came out). There was this man:
that was playing classical music on his accordian. REALLY WELL. We sat and listened to him play about 5 songs with incredible skill – Mozart’s Figaro, and others. Things I never thought possible on an accordian, and definitely put the rest of the “Besame mucho” players on the metro to shame. There were about 20-30 people gathered around him at all times and when he finished a piece, people applauded loudly and shouted, “Bravo!” I felt like I was being treated to a mini-concert.
What really struck me were the children. They were transfixed, watching him, listening. Not one was looking around, tugging on his mother’s coat, playing with a toy or asking to move on. One little boy made his mother give him all her change, he carefully placed each coin into the man’s box, and when she was talking, he said, “Ssh!” so that he could hear better.
Why do we set children in front of TV screens, Barney as a babysitter? They obviously recognize talent and entertainment.
Speaking of concerts, this Honda Civic TV Ad is really cool. I spent about 15 years singing in choirs so I’m happy that people are realizing choir can be cool!
PS> My friend arrived from Moscow ok, only 1.5 hours late. But today, 30 minutes after we confirmed his flight on the phone, and right as he entered the terminal, he discovered his flight cancelled along with 120 others. Go, Alitalia. He’s switched his flight to Air One.
Another day, another legal trial. Hope you don’t get called into jury duty on this one, it may last a while. Italian Lawyers Asked to Prove Jesus Existed