This man can COOK! Dinner with Bill and Patricia

Photos by Tracie P.

Just had to share some images from last night’s dinner in the home of our good friends Patricia and Bill.

Tracie P and I met Bill last year at a Valpolicella tasting and we’ve been friends ever since. Dinner began last night with jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon and grilled (below). Only after I recited Artusi’s open letter to meatloaf did Bill acquiesce and agree to let us try his meatloaf from the night before.

“Signor polpettone venite avanti, non vi peritate,” wrote Pellegrino Artusi in La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, first published in 1881). “…lo so bene che siete modesto e umile…”

“Please step forward Signor Meatloaf and please don’t be shy… I know that you are modest and humble.”

He cubed it for us and we ate it cold. It was delicious.

It’s hard to describe how much sheer, pure fun we have when visiting with Patricia and Bill. Patricia is an interior designer by trade and their lovely Mediterranean-style home above Pease Park in Austin is a happy labyrinth of wonderful artifacts, paintings, and beautiful objects.

From his tales of working with the Israeli army to his anecdotes of Charlie Wilson and his time working in Washington, D.C., there’s never a dull moment in Bill’s presence. And the man can COOK. Bill made an unusual pasta shape, lanterne, dressed with a vodka-tomato sauce inspired by the Trattoria alla Vecchia Bettola in Florence. We paired with a bottle of 2008 SP68 by Occhipinti (which just came into the market here in Austin, available at the Austin Wine Merchant).

Next came involtini di vitello, veal rolls stuffed with mozzarella and accompanied by roast potatoes. We paired with a superb bottle of 2007 Bourgueil Cuvée Alouettes by Domaine de la Chanteleuserie (not sure where Bill picked that up, but I would imagine the Austin Wine Merchant). A supremely delicious pairing however you sliced it.

Customarily, one dines in the dining room when attending a dinner party chez Patricia and Bill. But on this special night it was just the four of us and so we ate in Tracie P’s favorite room in their house, the cappella. My lady loves her a turret!

Thanks again Patricia and Bill, for an excellent meal and a fantastic evening. We mustn’t let so much time pass between our visits again!

One thought on “This man can COOK! Dinner with Bill and Patricia

  1. What a nice write-up. You always make us seem more interesting than we really are.

    My experiences in Israel were as an escort officer for a group of international air cadets. Met a number of interesting people, saw some interesting places,and flew on some interesting airplanes. I don’t want people to think I was working for Mossad!

    I’m very happy you got to know Charlie Schnabel. I knew Charlie Wilson, of course, but as Mr. Wilson’s chief of staff, Charlie Schnabel was the go-to guy. I consider Schnabel a great fellow and I regret not seeing him in a while. You might remember we talked about Schnabel at Mary Gordon Spence’s house in December of ’09 when we were talking about Mr. Wilson and Texas politics. Almost 7 billion people in the world, and you run into Charlie Schnabel.

    I never actually lived in D.C., but was up there a lot. I was a Congressional Liaison Officer for the Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Air Force Axillary.

    Ciao, and I’m glad you liked the chow. How about that for a bilingual homonym?

    See you both soon, insha’Allah!

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