So here’s something you don’t get to eat every day: Stewed gourds.
Or rosewater ravioli. Or dessert made of mozzarella cheese.
But that’s exactly what you’re going to get if you show up to Le Virtu on February 23 for their (somewhat clumsily, but accurately, named) Pre-Columbian Medieval And Renaissance Dinner.
See, owner Francis Cratil is a man who loves history. The kind of guy who, with a little bit of time to kill, goes flipping through ancient cookbooks like Apicius (from the 4th or 5th century, full of marvelous and ridiculous rich-people foods from an Italy before the coming of the tomato) or Bartolomeo Scappi’s Opera dell’Arte del Cucinare (from the 16th century) looking for interesting historical tidbits like how Jewish communities in Italy were fattening goose livers for a kind of foie gras, or the first actual picture of a fork–which is found in Scappi’s book.
But he’s also a guy who owns a couple of excellent Italian restaurants, and a curious sort besides. So here’s how his thought process went…