Sunday, October 01, 2006

2006 Richmond Italian Festival

Don’t you love gorgeous Fall weekends? I do. It’s definitely my favorite time of year. Cool, crisp breezes. Perfect blue skies with a few lazy white clouds as counterpoint. I can take a deep breath, sigh, and exclaim “Life is Good!” This has been such a weekend. And we celebrated on Saturday Italian style by attending the Richmond Italian Festival ( A small affair located on E. Broad St. at St. John’s Church. Booths lined the street offering artwork, handbags and shoes, jewelry, etc. Of course, we came for the food and wine. What a pleasure to find both wine and beer (Peroni, of course) offered. Nine Italian wines (3 white and 6 red) were available to taste, or to purchase by the glass, or to purchase by the bottle. Since we had arrived in time for dinner, a bottle was in order. All bottles were $21 a pop (of the cork, as it were). We skipped the Chiantis and headed for the Morellino di Scansano (Sangiovese). Even though the wine was unoaked, it still contained some body and suited our purposes for the evening. Now, what to eat. Many reputable local Italian restaurants were plying their scrumptious wares – Roma’s, Angelo’s, A Taste of Italy, DeFazio’s, etc. We headed for The Italian Kitchen West for Spicy Sausage Subs with Sautéed Peppers and Onions ($5). This place makes its own sausage. Heavenly – just the right amount of heat, but nothing to overwhelm the meat. We parked ourselves at an outdoor table, enjoyed our wine and food and did a considerable amount of people-watching. Before we left The Italian Kitchen West booth we were encouraged to try a Sformato (sp?) pastry ($4). Orange-flavored ricotta custard nestled in strips of pastry and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Absolutely delightful! We took ours wrapped up for home and enjoyed it with a small amount of Belle de Brillet (pear cognac). As we ate the sounds of Ron Moody and the Centaurs wafted our way (It was far better to just listen than to actually watch them).

This tiny festival was just right to grab a decent Italian dinner and dine al fresco. Viva L’Italia!

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