Fabrizia Lanza, the daughter of our dear friend Anna Tasca Lanza, visited from Sicily to help us prepare a Sicilian holiday dinner: Dinner of the Seven Fishes. Interestingly enough, upon Fabrizia's arrival I learned that the dish is not a Sicilian tradition, at least not for Fabrizia who knew anything about. Fabrizia eats turkey for Christmas, just like many of us! For me, the highlight of the dinner was the baccala e patate zafferano (salt cod with braised saffron potatoes), which was served with a mint sauce.
Our dinner on Saturday night was probably the highlight of the trip for Fabrizia. We made our way down to Kim's Barbecue as a motley crew comprised of our Vietnamese chef Thien, Kaitlin McCann (one of Thien's new understudies), Fabrizia and her boyfriend Gianni (who speaks very little English), my boyfriend Wayne and I. Kim's Barbecue is a very ethnic restaurant. Many of the servers don't speak English, but since some of the servers are Chinese Koreans who left China during the Communist Revolution, I can typically order in Chinese (my mother tongue). The conversations at the table were crazy and confusing. Picture this: Wayne, who spent three months in Italy, was conversing with Gianni in limited Italian. Gianni was speaking to Thien in broken French. And I was speaking Chinese, Italian, and French, all poorly at best! What a sight we must have been. The one thing we had in common was a great bottle of wine that Thien brought, which certainly helped to forgive any misunderstandings that were created at the table that night.