It was the 8th of September.
When did CoVID-19 really get going so that our normal disappeared?
Well, it seemed like eternity had passed when My Beloved and I decided to go out on a date to a restaurant – AT LAST!
Where we live, there is not much choice: Lefty’s, The Finer Diner, Wing ‘n It, Trellis or, a relative newcomer to the scene, The Rustic Crust pizzeria. Yes, just five. Our old friend, Smitty’s, unfortunately folded three years ago, and now Wing ‘n It. Well, we know what three of the four present for eating – and drinking – but we had no idea how this newcomer, The Rustic Crust, which had been open only since last Fall, had survived the CoVID crisis, nor what their menu was. I could have looked it up, it seems, but we thought we would go and find out for ourselves.
On arriving, we saw there were plenty of tables, as in picnic tables, available and we were told we could select any one. Our server took us to our selected table and placed paper menus on it. Only to see them being blown off. No problem once they were collected and placed under napkin and cutlery.
On reviewing the menu choices, we were very pleased: there were five Starters and a small or large Caesar Salad, fifteen different pizzas (after all, it is a pizzeria), and three desserts. While looking over the menu and trying to decide which of the pizzas we would share, our server brought us our chosen wines, a Tidal Bay 9oz for My Beloved and a Padrino Rosso 9oz for Yours Truly.
Parenthetically, for you wine snobs to whom I talked in my last post, Tidal Bay is a registered Nova Scotia appellation, just the same as Beaujolais or Gevrey-Chambertin or Sauternes. “A wine with Nova Scotian character, Tidal Bay brilliantly reflects the terroir, coastal breezes, and cooler climate of its birthplace.
“Officially launched in June 2012, Tidal Bay is the first wine appellation for Nova Scotia and one-of-a-kind for North America. A racy, aromatic white wine, it displays the Nova Scotian characteristics of our cool climate region and pairs flawlessly with the local seafood we’re known for. The name Tidal Bay was inspired by the influence of the sea and being home to the biggest Tidal changes in the world.” (https://winesofnovascotia.ca/tidal-bay/)
As My Beloved and I sipped, we could not decide on a starter: Garlic Fingers or Wood Fired Pepperoni? We settled on the latter and chose a pizza entitled Salsiccia comprising San Marzano Tomato sauce , fior di latte mozzarella, fennel seed , sausage, roasted red peppers, pesto and aged Parmesan on a thin whole wheat base. Our server asked if we wanted the starter first or together with the main course: I responded ‘first’, but subsequently discovered that it was such a large starter that it would have accompanied the pizza beautifully. Next time.
The pepperoni was cut into numerous slices and sauteed in the fire oven. Very tasty, I might add. As for the pizza, it was simply delicious. We love thin crusts and The Rustic Crust pizzas are all very thin. We did not know what San Marzano tomato sauce was and I still don’t, but it seemed to us that it was like any other herbed tomato sauce.
While we ate, and while some parents were presumably chatting, some children were pleasantly enjoying themselves using chalk to make a hop-scotch route or just chalking a picture of something on what once had been a paved driveway. It was great to have them there close to us and see them enjoying themselves so much. Much better than having them run around inside a restaurant, as some are wont to do under uninterested parents.
Of course, there has to be a dessert and even more certain when the choice includes genuine Gelato. So, My Beloved preferred strawberry, I preferred chocolate and asked our server if that could be provided. “Well,” she said, “our ice cream always come with three scoops, so I’m afraid I will have to add our neopolitan scoop.” Oh, what a shame, we said! We’ll have to eat all three scoops.
So, our first visit to The Rustic Crust was a rousing success. We will certainly be going back. Before the cold weather comes and threatens to shut things down. Actually, we are meeting a couple of our best friends there tomorrow, Friday.
In my last post, I recounted (viz below) a story from my past, in which a certain then-colleague and I submitted ourselves to a plethora of wine. His response below:
“For those reading your delightful and informative post, the recounting (and that word was chosen deliberately) of consuming 5 bottles between 2 persons at dinner is accurate. As to the wine referred to therein, that particular vintage comes from France when the Pope was living there because it was too dangerous to stay in Rome. It literally means “The Pope’s new castle”. It is located in Avignon (the bridge made famous in a children’s song) in the Rhone appellation. The “Avignon Popes” were actually there for about 70 years, but I digress.
“The beloved author of the post/column/rant also introduced me to Barolo wines. One of Italy’s finest wines. Although well meaning, I cannot ever forgive him. I am just a poor country boy and as I have frequently commented, “once you go to Paris it is really hard to go back to the farm”. Having been seduced to try this wine forever changes you and one now are saddled with a refined palette or at least an addition to your oenophilic experiences. It is not the education that I regret but the cost of the wine today. In our liquor stores they range from $36.80 – $92.50 a bottle. Like Mel, I am no wine snob but this pricing is just not sustainable if you want to enjoy wine in satisfactory quantities over the long haul.
“In my not so humble opinion the author justifiably is critical of wine snobs, the verbiage around them and other related sins. He refers to reds and whites, etc. There is only thing you need to know and that is the best wines are the ones we drink with friends. Yours very truly, Robert the Red.”
It was, as usual, a pleasure writing to you again, so, until next post, keep healthy, stay safe, keep your mask on, except when dining, and bon appetit.
Adieu until next From time to time….
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