Visintin family runs this humble farm-to-table konoba even outside the summer season, which is always a good sign. While we soak homemade bread enriched with pumpkin in Nerino Visintin’s delicious extra virgin olive oil, his wife Giuliana comes and takes the order. Italian roars in the background since the majority of inhabitants in Brtonigla are of Italian origin. It’s like being in a forgotten trattoria from a Fellini’s film.
I am not a sophisticated cook, I’m just lucky we have all these wonderful ingredients from our family farm, Guliana says and brings us a big bowl of maneštra. She grills fresh pork sausages and ombolo, cured pork tenderloin, on wood fired barbecue, just for us. Few jugs of hearty homemade wine break all the barriers. We talk and talk, like we are old friends. Her treat is Adriatic squids with potatoes under čripnja (peka). She hates frozen food in restaurants – this you can also eat at home! We nod our heads while we savour her ricotta cake and warm our backs by the fireplace. A glass or two of grappa (there’s a myriad of flavors to choose from) and we are ready to go out.
We step outside on the nice terrace shaded by old vines. Now in January there were no leaves, of course. Although hurricane-speed bura wind was cutting our faces we looked at each other and said: We have to come back here in the summer!