November 10, Evening
I wanted one more food experience before leaving Parma. It was Sunday evening when many of the restaurants were closed. It was drizzling and I didn’t want to venture far so I went a few streets back in behind my hotel. I had walked by di Beppe, a small, insignificant restaurant on many previous occasions but never went in. After walking around and finding nothing open I decided to try di Beppe and see what they (he) might turn out. As soon as I walked in, I was met by Beppe himself, a cheery and thin fellow dressed in immaculate chef attire. He was just setting a plate on a table in front of an Asian looking fellow so after hearing this patron speak in flawless “American” I took the table next to him. I was surprised to learn that he was a doctor from Washington D.C., I also learned that he was a “foody” and had come to Parma specifically to eat. On his short list was Restorante di Beppe, whose Napolitano owner, chef and personal waiter Beppe Palumbo is a master of at least twenty risottos and a host of other dishes. I was encouraged by Daniel at the next table to try what he had just eaten Osso Buco (literally: bone hole but I think we would call it a pig’s knuckle) over a bed of Saffron Risotto. He almost begged me. I had come in for pasta but how could I turn him down? I recognized that he was no newcomer to food and likely knew what he was talking about. I assure all of my readers that I was not disappointed. I took a fork full of rice and almost said out loud, “I kill you!” He chided me by saying, “You haven’t even tried the osso yet.” This challenge did not go unmet and as the tender meat melted in my mouth I nodded in agreement to Dan’s enthusiastic approval.
It was then that our conversation turned to more important things and we had a marvelous time talking about our mutual spiritual journey. We have exchanged contact information and with the invitation to visit him in Washington. Jeanne and I will likely make the trip in the near future.