Day 7 Italy: Off to Friuli and a Night at a Vineyard

November 27

A last look at the Rialto Bridge.
A last look at the Rialto Bridge.

Heading to the vaporetto in the misty morning we’re sad to be leaving Venice but excited about the next leg of our journey. Zig-zagging down the canal to Piazzale Roma we lamented the fact that we missed going to the Guggenheim and seeing the DaVinci exhibit at the Accademia. Venice is a city that offers so much it’s impossible to see it all in just a short week.

Cividale del Friuli
Cividale del Friuli

Once we got the car all the regret was washed away, as we started driving to Friuli. Relieved we were actually able to rent the car without an International Drivers Licence, which we discovered on Sunday was forgotten. Gotta love the Italians!

The new restaurant and B&B.
The new restaurant and B&B.

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It was a short drive to Cividale de Friuli, the Bastianich Vineyard and the brand new restaurant and B&B, Orsone, that opened at the end of the summer. As we entered the village we could see the terraces and winery in the distance. It was so wonderful to be finally meet Tiziana, the Hospitality Manager, of Orsone. We’ve been emailing for months, and it was like meeting and old friend.

Oldest vines of the vineyard.
Oldest vines of the vineyard.

After a quick change we headed out with Wayne, the marketing guru of the vineyard, taking us on an entertaining tour which included bringing us to the oldest vines that produce the line “Plus.”

Persimmon tree.
Persimmon tree.
A view from the top of the vineyard looking south towards the Adriatic.
A view from the top of the vineyard looking south towards the Adriatic.

After the tour we headed back to the main building for a peek at the barrels and operation and then to have our own private tasting and enjoy a few wines that we’ve never had.

Ready for our tasting!
Ready for our tasting!
Peeking at the barrels.
Peeking at the barrels.

After a short respite we dressed and headed down for dinner. The kitchen, set off to the side of the dining room, was visible behind a large picture window. It’s always fun to see the creating happening, but I can also appreciate how stressful it is to have people staring at you while you are cooking.

Open kitchen at Orsone.
Open kitchen at Orsone.

The Executive Chef Eduardo Lobo came to Orsone from Del Posto, in NYC. Along with Chef Kelly Jeun and several others in the kitchen and front of the house. After dinner we got a chance to talk to them and get a tour behind the glass. They were all so genuinely excited to talk to us, I think because we were visiting from New York. Kelly and I realizing we both went through the same program, in the same year, at the International Culinary Center. It’s a small world, especially in the food world!

Scottish Langoustine with Avocado and Apple
Scottish Langoustine with Avocado and Apple
Angolotti cooked Risotto-style with Truffle Butter and Freshly shaved Truffles.
Angolotti cooked Risotto-style with Truffle Butter and Freshly shaved Truffles.
Duck Three Ways with Endive and Persimmon
Duck Three Ways with Endive and Persimmon
Chocolate-Nutella Cake with Mascarpone Gelato and Caramelized Banana
Chocolate-Nutella Cake with Mascarpone Gelato and Caramelized Banana

Chef Eduardo created a magnificent tasting menu for us, and Andrea paired the wines. Every dish was stunning in plating and taste. We had eight courses, and these were our favorites … although, each and every one was amazing. We could not have asked for a more memorable meal.

Tomorrow we head for Milan and the end of our vacation. I’m already starting to feel a little wistful …

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