How to Rip Your Pants in Italy
Greetings my fashion-loving readers! I'm back from my ski holiday in Canezei (the Dolomites, Italy) and I'm rested, well-fed (really well-fed), and ready to pick up where we left off before I bolted for the slopes and left you holding the sartorial baby.
While you may be thinking that the sly grin on my face is because I ripped my ski trousers in a super-glamorous accident on the slopes involving a chiseled Italian ski instructor and a bottle of Ferrari Spumante, you would be mistaken - but I'll get to that in a minute.
I try to pretty much stick to a fashion-and-beauty-only format here on the blog, but I do occasionally stray-off into the realm of travel and food, and this is one such occasion. I suppose it's inevitable when you spend as much time in transit as I do. There are however, some things in life that are just worth shouting-out, and this past week definitely had an abundance of those things. To prove my point, I give you exhibit A.
After a massive 24-hour dump of snow, we were set-up nicely for the week, and the weather steadily improved to become the glorious spectacle that you see there.
But enough about that. Let's talk about the food. Oh. My. Gaaawd. How much did I eat!? The week was basically one big, long bacchanalian feast, and I have at least as many pictures of food as I do of skiing. Probably more. But there was one place in particular that caught our fancy; so much so that we were in there every single night, either for dinner or for aprés-ski, which then would usually turn into dinner. Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that there were nights that we clomped in there in our ski gear right off of the piste and just never left.
Osteria La Montanara is located at Via Dolomiti 147 in Canazei. If you are looking for really well-prepared, delicious, unpretentious food and amazing wine that will make you question everything you thought you knew about anything (two words: Valpolicella ripasso), look no further than this place.
In case you're unfamiliar with the whole Italian eatery thing, an osteria is historically a more casual, inexpensive dining experience where once upon a time, you could expect to find the place crowded with locals. A step above the osteria would be the trattoria, and of course above and beyond that, the ristorante. These days, there is a lot of blurring of lines with these designations, but it's a good guideline nonetheless if you're trying to decide where to eat in a pinch. Basically, the bottom line is this; if you're going to be all fancy-pants about it and demand a reservation and a lot of quiet so you can eat your meal in the tomb-like silence that so many diners seem to think is required in order to eat a meal, you should keep walking. This place is crowded and buzzing, and there may very well be more than a few people still in their ski gear at midnight having not yet conjured the will to put the wine glass and the fork down and walk away.
The staff here are beyond gracious and professional, despite what can become a very hectic serving environment, and by the end of the week, despite having every reason to want to murder us where we stood (pretty much in their way all the time), we actually felt like we had made a friend or two along the way. My husband bonded with the Chef over all things Scottish, and it was really great getting to know more about his point of view on his food, business, and life in general. He didn't even give me too much side-eye for my vegetarianism, and made sure I had plenty of grilled veggies, mushrooms, and polenta to keep me from falling off my perch. Vegetarianism is not so much a thing in this part of the world, as was pointed-out to me by the guy from one of the local specialty food shops who practically chased me down the road waving a giant slab of speck and yelling "You cannot beeeee a vegetarieeeeeen in EEEEETALY!"
I don't know when it happened. I can see how it happened, but I still cannot put my finger on the exact moment when it happened. All I can tell you is this; at some point in the evening of one of our last nights in Canezei, we were at a table at Osteria La Montanara when I felt a cool breeze…right around the region of my parte posteriore. I casually ran my hand across my derriere and realized that my beloved Rag & Bone skinny jeans had split like Moses and the parting of the sea.
I have absolutely no idea how long they had been like that (although one of the members of our party would later tell me that he thought he had noticed it before we ever left the apartment !?!?), but I had been potentially parading around Osteria La Montanara like this all…night…long. Back and forth to the bar. Back and forth to the loo... scooting past other patrons who were seated and therefore right at eye-level...scooting past Sexy Bearded Italian Waiter Guy with a shy "scusami" while the only bright white knickers I brought on the trip screamed forth from the gap at the back of my jeans.
You know what? Totally worth it.
If anything, the experience boils down to two important points:
- Never, ever buy factory second jeans, even if they are limited edition Rag & Bone, no matter how much you love them.
- Osteria La Montanara is so good, it will blow the derriere right out of your pants. For real.