Friday, August 21, 2020

Dining Alfresco At Real Italian Gusto


This strangest of summers is waning and all we wanted was one night of normalcy, the way things used to be, a simple dinner out in a nice place.  We got it.

We snagged a balcony table, only one of two, at Real Italian Gusto, a small, off-the-beaten-path spot just around the corner from us in Medford.  We sipped an icy rosé whilst relaxing and enjoying the view on a warm, breezy night at sunset.

I began with the Arancini, served elegantly and simply with a tiny pool of delicate red sauce, sweet and savory and just that leaf of fresh basil likely grown on the same spot.  Delicious.  

I have always said that what gives rise to a memorable meal is not just the food but also the conversation, the view, the service, the plates and table, the entire experience.  Tonight I was joined by a great neighbor.  For years we have promised to celebrate our mutual summer birthdays.

Artichokes Wrapped In Prosciutto.  I don't know about you but I just always have the time to prepare a dish like this at home, making it all the more special.  Chewy and salty and textured and unforgettable.

We both chose the same main, this Pappardelle Bolognese.  Fresh ribbons of house-made pasta with a sauce rich in bubbles of beef.  Again, fantastic.  I scoffed down the generous bowl like a starving maniac for once not even staining my white shirt.  This is living.

Tiramisu.  The goal is not to serve it soggy and this was was perfect.  One could taste the coffee soaking the bottom layer.  I felt like I was back in Venice, tucking in with the view of the gondolas and the hushed Italian chatter and laughter all around me, backdrop to a memory. 

And then my Pistachio Gelato With Chocolate Swirl.  Covered with a layer of caramelized, real pistachio nuts, roasted, not some cheap substitute.  It was served in a tall glass with the proper ice cream spoon so I could dig out every drop like I was a child again.  

In this frenzy of unknown dining out, things falling apart daily, an uncertain future measured against a reliable past I have to say that this will be among the best dining nights and a very, very hopeful memory that I will savor for years to come.

Real Italian Gusto

24 High Street 

Medford, Ma 02155 


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