Last weekend, Michael and I took advantage of our location and made the 1 ½ hour drive so we could attend the Music, Food & Wine Festival at Bastianich Winery in celebration of the 1st birthday of Orsone Ristorante and B&B in Cividale del Friuli, Italy. Let me tell you, it was by far the highlight of our time in Italy so far.
We arrived a few minutes early, and we were glad we did. We were greeted cheerfully by the wonderful Bastianich staff, and promptly browsed around to check out the food and drink options for the evening. The menu had a great variety of options from not only the Bastianich's, but also several other local contributors. Everything was spectacular. I am ashamed to admit that we ate everything up so quickly that we kept forgetting to take pictures of our food. Bad food blogger or just really good food? Maybe a little of both.Evidently the turnout was more than they had anticipated, since it seemed that maybe people were being turned away at one point during the evening. If you ask me, that's a great problem to have. Arriving early paid off big time. We got a good seat, and I got to meet Joe! He was so friendly and down-to-earth. For being so incredibly multi-talented, I would have expected him to maybe be a little bit more high maintenance.Very cool guy, a great musician, and he throws a great party too.
I am so glad we had a good reason to make the drive to this area of Northern Italy. It was beautiful. Since I'm not much of a wine aficionado, I've never been to a proper vineyard before. I can see why they're so popular as travel destinations. It was such a lovely area- I have already sent Orsone my request for a reservation at their B&B and restaurant over my 30th birthday in October. Here's to hoping that they have an availability!
We didn't really know what to expect as far as music goes, since we were familiar only with Joe, but had never heard him live. I'll tell you what, the lineup was incredible. We loved (and knew) almost all of the songs! I figured most or all of the music would be in Italian, but lots of it was in English. (I should have figured. Most of the music on the radio here is in English too, but there's not one single thing in English on our satellite TV...) I must admit, the timing for this particular event was spot on. We had a couple of frustrating days dealing with the cell phone company here to get our Italian cell phones set up and working properly, so having a super relaxing evening in the sunshine was just what we needed. Singing along to some great tunes was the icing on the cake, and I haven't even told you about the food yet!
The food for the event was clearly carefully chosen to represent the Friuli area and all it has to offer. The Bastianich's contributed USA made hamburgers and hot dogs that were, well, phenomenal. Best hamburger of Michael's life, according to him. Everything was delicious. I wish I could name and describe everything accurately for you, but truthfully, everything was in Italian so we only caught bits and pieces of the descriptions. Delicious is a universal language though, and that came through loud and clear. We tried almost every item on the menu, and if it weren't for the lines being long later on in the evening, I think we would have gotten seconds of almost everything. It was so much fun.
You simply can't go visit the Bastianich Winery without trying some of their wine, so we tried two of their offerings. Both white, both delicious. I don't have enough experience tasting wine to give you much of a wine education, but I will tell you that it is very impressive and very affordable. I'm not sure where all it is available for purchase in the U.S. other than in their restaurants, but I do know it is available at Eataly. To see a list of their distributors in the USA, click here.
If you are ever fortunate to find yourself in this area of Italy, I would highly recommend for you to pay them a visit at the Winery, or at the Ristorante and B&B (or both!). You won't be disappointed. It doesn't take much to see how deep-rooted the love for the region and its ingredients is here. The tradition and respect for the heritage of everything was so apparent in each of the details of this event, its hosts, and the venue. I can't wait to go back.
You can see some more photos of the event on this site.