Tuscany has long had a special place in our heart. When we left our 10 year gig at large Redmond-based software concern 4 years ago, we rented our house, packed a few changes of clothes in our backpacks and took off for Europe for a few months.
We meandered our way down through France, into northern Spain, bopped over to Berlin, but spent the bulk of time in central Italy. It was exactly what we needed: slow food, slow cities, timeless times. We picked olives, rented an apartment in Florence, ate handmade pasta bought fresh from the shop nestled in next door, biked the cobblestone streets (but never quite memorized the way to anywhere), drank olive oil like it was wine, and met a dozen or more Florentines, many of whom we keep in touch with to this day.
Which is why it’s such a pleasure to have a little slice of that Tuscan spirit right here in Wallingford, at Cantinetta (3650 Wallingford Ave N). Rich, hearty Tuscan food with rich, hearty Tuscan attitude.
And tonight, from 5 – 8 pm, they’re holding their annual “thank you, neighbors” Block Party. They’ll be serving their epic pancetta-wrapped dates, delicious cheeses, red and white wines and an assortment of nibbles free for all their neighbors. In past years, they’ve only let their immediate neighbors knows, since it was originally intended as a “thank you, residential neighborhood neighbors, for tolerating our parking-spot hogging clientele” event, but they’ve given us the thumbs up to let all of Wallingford know about it tonight.
We’ve gone the past couple of years, and it really is a little slice of old world neighborhood transported local. Adults and children mingling on the street with food and drink, chatting with people who live nearby but you’ve perhaps never met, happy in the way the well-fed are happy.
We were a little nervous about letting everyone know, we don’t want them to be overwhelmed, so thank you, Cantinetta, for welcoming all of Wallingford tonight. In culo alla balena!