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Five Countries. One Table.

We got together to celebrate Anaïs’s 24th birthday with traditional Milanese apperitivi at an “art bar” in town. Several of us women from Italian classes get together outside of class for chats, bike rides and travel. Anaïs is one of them.

She’s from Cannes, France, and 3 of her friends drove over, (bringing her kitty with them) to spend her birthday weekend. There were 10 of us together around the table, representing 5 countries: 4 French, 1 Portuguese, 1 Turkish, 2 Italian, 2 American, ranging in age from 24 to 40-ish… and me. The language changed depending on the speaker and the listener.

The Milanese apperitivi tradition allows you to go to just about any restaurant in town, buy one drink for 7 – 9 euro and eat as much as you want from the buffet of appetizers: pizza and foccacia squares, bruschetta, pasta, french fries (!), sliced meats, cheeses, risotto, mini-tarts. A better apperitivi offering will include such things as steamed mussels, veggie sticks, interesting salads, and other foods that are lower carb and more artfully prepared.

After our apperitivi, several of us went out for dinner at 11:30 p.m. to a Mexican restaurant, while the others went to the disco.

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