This nostalgia tends to kick in whenever I eat at one of my favorite restaurants: Osteria Monte Grappa.
One of my girlfriends and I decided that it had been too long since we had traveled, a feeling which we chose to remedy with large amounts of mozzarella, basil, and wine.
Speaking of wine, we accidentally ordered an entire bottle of this red blend:
It's called Red4, a blend of Syrah, Petit Sirah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. Reasonably priced...and extremely drinkable.
Both of us prefer to order dishes tapas style, rather than one heavier dish, so that's what we did.
First, we started off with these bad boys: Bruschetta Al Pomodoro Fresco.
I have tried making my own versions of bruschetta so many times, and they never come close to these. I am obsessed.
Next, we went for the Burrata E Fragole, which is essentially all of my favorite foods on one plate; the perfect blend of mozzarella, strawberries, avocado, and balsamic vinegar.
Worst salad I have ever ordered...
Finally, we ordered the Antipasto Cima Grappa, a smorgasbord of olives, beets, Italian meats, and cheeses.
I had the most intense Déjà vu when I was eating this dish.
As I ate the salami and cheese from the platter, I was taken back to my European travels when I was in high school.
Anyone who's ever stayed in a youth hostel in Europe knows that the food options are limited, and consist predominantly of white rolls, salami, cheese, and nutella.
This dish was essentially all of those items combined into a more refined presentation.
Funny tricks your senses can play on you, huh?
I love this restaurant. Not only because they use local and organic produce in their cooking and make delicious food, but also because I used to work in this same shop years ago.
Before it was an Italian restaurant, the space was occupied by a British tea shop, which also doubled as my high school job. Unfortunately, the tea shop eventually went out of business. But on the bright side, Monte Grappa is a great alternative!
A mural of Humpty Dumpty and Little Bo Peep's lost sheep still decorates the walls in a very "tea-shopy" way. See?
So, I guess the moral of the story here is: you must eat at Osteria Monte Grappa. The service is always exceptional, the food never disappoints, and the ambiance is exactly what you need put up your feet(probably shouldn't try this) and relax after a long day.
Osteria Monte Grappa
242 E. Ojai Ave
Ojai, CA. 93023
*Seating for lunch and dinner