It’s the food that’s so sexy at Avanti. All the locals know about the Quiche. If you don’t get there early, forget it, it’s gone. The rest of the menu is fabulous so it’s not as though you will be disappointed if you’re forced to order something else. There were nine of us, the Russians, the Welsh, and the Americans. Half of us met in Photo Shop class years ago, the rest were spouses and guests.

There were only three slices of Quiche left. Three of us raised our hands the minute the waiter said, “There’s only…” We knew he meant the Quiche. I ordered that and a spinach salad and passed the Quiche around the table for everyone to have a taste. My salad came with perfectly seasoned tubes of polenta rolled inside strips of bacon, paper thin slices of pecorino cheese and a sliced, boiled egg.  The center of the egg was soft and gooey and bright orange. (Somebody in town has great chickens.) I got a shared nibble of the duck confit and it was juicy, in a delicious sauce.

Avanti is not much to look at from the outside, which is good, because if it was tarted up to attract the hordeschocolate pot de creme nobody would ever get a seat.  The quality never varies, the menu is short but every dish is prepared from local produce and by an inspired chef.

When it came time to order dessert though my compatriots failed me miserably. No one ordered dessert but The Story just had to be told. Yes. I confess that I had a bad day once, maybe it was a bad week. We went to Avanti, and instead of ordering lunch, I ordered three desserts. I’m a foodie. I’ll die a foodie. Today I simply couldn’t let the meal end with no dessert so I ordered a Chocolate Pot de Creme…..and nine spoons. Our little pot of chocolate went around the table twice. It was just enough chocolate to feel decadent without the guilt.

After lunch, four of us borrowed all of Marlene’s binoculars and there were enough for each of us – she and Bill are serious birders. We walked along the cliffs at Wilder Ranch. Sometimes you just need a day off enjoying good friends, good food and fresh air. I feel ten pounds lighter.