Saturday, August 18, 2007

Venice to Rome via Eurostar

Italian Dining Car... it's not the food, it's the warm and wonderful experience!

A meal on an Italian train reminds you that food can be more than sustenance. Of course, wine always helps and I'm not one who generally snubs another country's local customs (particularly if it involves alcohol).

The food can be a little on the bland side, it's a few stars short of your Michelin guide. But the experience is wonderful!!

You sit at a table with linen table cloths, nice napkins and real plates, glasses and silverware, and are treated to wonderful service of a multi-course meal which can take 1 1/2 to 2 hours, a veritable delight!!

You start with a pasta course (the "prima patti", take note, AMTRAK) which, on our first train (pictured above) from Venice to Rome was a choice of either prawns and linguini or tomato-basil fettucini. On the train to Paris a few days later, our choices were risottos, the first one being asparagus-based and the second artichoke-based.

The second course was a meat plate. On our first train, we both chose a lemon chicken, passing on the pork-something in a tomato base, but in each case accompanied by grilled zucchini. The second train we both chose the veal over the cold plate (with proscuitto, cheese, etc...) and the parsley potatoes.

The third course was a dessert, on each train involving the same choices, a wonderful peach torte thing or a carrot cake, which also looked good but never enticing enough to win over the peach torte. On the second train trip, our conversation went as follows: "Gary, why don't you try the carrot cake, I'm ordering the peach torte." "Karen, why don't you try the carrot cake, I'm ordering the peach torte."

After desserts, they brought out fresh fruit, which was a choice of either mixed sliced fruit in a bowl or whole fruit from a basket.

The wait staff on both trains were friendly and happy and each meal was a joy!!

Gary & Karen, riding the rails

"... has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!"

No comments: