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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Osteria Baccus and Mimmo

On Thursday night, after settling into our mini-villa we ventured out to Sant' Ambrogio for dinner. The drive was only a kilometre, but the hills and turns made it into an orienteering experience. Arriving in town on the narrow one way street we quickly found the restaurant, but not the parking. The town is small and only has the one-one way road that loops around. After one full loop, we found parking and the Osteria Bacchus. We selected this restaurant for two reasons. First, it was the location of our cooking class the next day and second the only other local option was a pizzeria. 

We were the first customers of the evening but the place soon had more hungry patrons. Our waitress was a sweet teenager who was attentive. The menu for the night was written on a small notepad which she explained and then left with us to ponder. Mimmo, the chef, came out to chat and was very engaging. We were looking forward to trying his food before we had our cooking class with him the next day. 

The Osteria is certainly a family affair. Mimmo is clearly in charge of the kitchen. One of his two sons came in and out to assist and his wife was also busy. Mimmo started the restaurant partly because of his passion for food, but also to establish a family business that his sons can continue. It is a very pretty room, filled with art work done by Mimmo and seating for about 25 people inside. Outdoor across the street there is a patio overlooking the ocean with more seating. 

For our dinner we shared an antipasto that was a meal in itself. They kept bringing out plate after plate of delicacies, including local eggplant dishes, mushrooms, meatballs, olives, cheese (with a reduction of balsamic) and it was all organic and, of course, local. We then shared a dish of fresh pasta with clams. Good thing we shared, this pasta was another HUGE serving. For our secondi we each had our own fresh whole grilled local fish (two types). Of course they were perfectly cooked and dripping in olive oil. Mimmo served us his own white wine and a local red - at no extra charge.  We then shared a  semi-freddo for dessert. By the end of the meal we were stuffed and very happy. Amazing food experience. 

Tomorrow we take a cooking lesson from Mimmo!

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