Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Seafood Extravaganza & Red-hot Lava

I was invited to a birthday celebration for my friend's landlady last night. She is a pharmacist, her husband a businessman, and they have two school-age children. They took us to a seafood restaurant about 45 minutes away in an ancient village right on the sea, Santa Tecla. We had a table on the covered terrace, over the water. The waves crashing up against the building reminded me of some places in San Diego.

I have never, ever had such varied, delicious, and FRESH seafood in my life! We had about ten antipasto dishes--several seafood salads, tiny fried fish, calamari, shrimp, mussels, oysters, clams, stuffed swordfish, pickled octopus, and more. I thought it would never end. But that was just the beginning! Then we went on to two pasta dishes and a risotto--all with seafood. Then the main course! We had grilled thin slices of swordfish, just cut off the fresh fish, scampi, calamari . . . and ended up with lemon sorbet, Amarano liqueur, and expresso. Throughout the meal, which lasted several hours, we had a great chilled white wine that is bottled privately for this restaurant in the area of Nicosia.

We didn't get home till after midnight, so it was a short night. I thought I might die and go to heaven, but I did wake up this morning still stuffed. Best of all, it was all pre-ordered and paid for by our host and hostess.

Oh, we also saw the red-hot lava from the two eruptions on Etna on our way to and from the restaurant. Luckily, it's on the opposite side of the volcano from my house and moving very slowly. It was quite interesting to see its flow glow in the dark night . . . two red trails that eventually ran together.


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