Monday, January 2, 2012

Her Manly Appetite

I don't eat a margherita pizza like a Neopolitan woman, or so I was told tonight.

We were at Stuzzi for dinner and because it's Monday, the place was a zoo. Once I scored a stool, I waited for my girlfriend to show up.

In the meantime, any number of people came in, including several bearded regulars to whom the bartender asked, "Peroni and pizza?" to imperceptible nods.

You have to appreciate a woman who knows what men want.

One guy told me that he knows better than to bring a friend on Monday nights given the mayhem. Now he tells me, I thought.

Once my friend made her belated arrival, we began with a bottle of Prosecco and traded tales of our recent exploits (she'd discovered that cayenne and chile powder are not interchangeable).

Working our way through margherita pizzas, the owner came over to say hello and observe our eating progress.

My plate was empty but my friend's was not. She'd eaten the center of the pizza, leaving the circular outer crust intact.

"That's how the women in Naples eat their pizza," he explained. "Only three hundred calories if you eat the center."'

Meanwhile you could have rolled a marble across my plate it was so empty.

I'd be a disgrace to Italian womanhood except that my ancestry is Irish.

He also told us that the traditional wine to accompany pizza in Naples is il Grotta del Sole Gragnano della Penisola, saying that they carried both the dry and sweet versions of this sparkling red wine.

We opted for dry and enjoyed glasses of the very purple and slightly bitter bubbles, although I still have no idea how well it pairs with pizza since mine was long gone.

Even the music had a decided Italian influence with Patrizio Buanne breaking up the Van Morrison and Band of Horses with which it was interspersed.

My friend thought Buanne's voice was so romantic that she jotted down his name so she could share it with her boyfriend.

But then, unlike me, she probably has a boyfriend because she eats like a woman.

I'll know for next time.

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