Please – No Children’s Menus

Tartufo sauce

That’s a picture of Nico’s lunch from Saturday, or what was Nico’s lunch. He ate it so quickly it was gone before I realized it. It’s his favourite pasta – homemade with black truffle sauce – at his favourite restaurant in Calvi dell’Umbria.

Nico, who is not quite 7 yet, is really tired of driving to Calvi every weekend to check on the progress of the renovations at our house. And so we’ve been bribing him by promising to take him to lunch every Saturday at La Locanda del Francescano after we visit the workmen.

As we settled in to eat – Nico with his maltagliati al tartufo and James and I each with our plates of polenta con salsicce – James said we’re really lucky to be raising our son in Italy. If we were in Toronto, our son’s favourite restaurant could easily be McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Even if it wasn’t a chain restaurant, his favourite meal would likely come with french fries.

Here in Italy, since you rarely ever see a children’s menu in a restaurant, the children have to try new things on the menu. They don’t expect special, fun food. Here, the chef is so thrilled with Nico’s enthusiasm, he shaves extra truffles on his plate, giving him even more than he gives to the adults who order the dish. It’s wonderful to be able to go to a really nice restaurant where we can all eat well and James and I can have a glass of wine with our Saturday lunch.

My only fear is that truffle season will be over well before the work is finished on the house. I’m not sure quite how we’ll bribe him to keep hopping in the car every Saturday morning once he’s eaten every black tuber in Umbria. Though, he did say he’s interested in trying the stuffed pigeon next time.

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