Local Heart, Global Soul

March 24, 2013

Post This One Onto Your Bucket-List…

Filed under: ART,Films... all Foreign to me,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I remembered that I once made a post about my love of foreign films and wanted to fill you in about  some of the films I have in my collection.

When I did a search on my blog I was a little shocked that it’s been two years since my last film post: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/new-312/.

I’m not going to spoil this movie with a plot summary or details of the best bits because anyone who’s intending to watch this needs to be delighted by these discoveries themselves.

Instead I will just tell you that watching the  film “Il Postino”  is something to put onto your bucket list and see if ever you have the opportunity.

Les fugitifs” of the previous post will always remain an all time favourite but “Il Postino”  is in my top 5, and I think that like the French, some Italian directors have turned distillation of an entire scene into an essential beautiful moment captured by a emotion, a face, a voice or humour into an art form.

Also like the French, I feel they more often credit the audience with the intelligence to use their imaginations and fill in the gaps for things like bedroom scenes.

A discarded stocking on the floor is enough to tell us all we need to know…  we don’t need a graphic guide with the A-Z of events to enlighten us to what’s going on.

Most of all I like the humour, it’s found in the most unlikely of places: little gems sprinkled throughout the movie that  round out and complete the characters, they laugh equally at weaknesses as well as pleasures and you identify with the characters all the more strongly for it.

My recommendation: Find this in your local library, or video shop or where ever you can and discover the joy of this excellent movie.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 18, 2013

Da Sebastiano, An Italian Restaurant, Old Style…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After one of Family Kiwidutch’s excursions outside the Hague we arrived back in the city too tired to be bothered to cook at home so started thinking of places we would go out to to eat.

Himself  knew of a place across town that was an Italian restaurant he had heard about and said he’s heard it was rather different because it was more of the “old style” Italian that you don’t see much any more.

Intrigued we head over there hoping that they will have a table. It becomes apparent  when we arrive at the  “Da Sebastiano” what is meant by ‘old style Italian” when we  ask to please see a menu and our request is met with a grin and laughter.

There are no individual menus here:  instead the owner comes out with a blackboard, and leaning it upon his ample frame, joins us at our table to explain in detail the entire menu that’s contained on the board.

Little Mr. squirms in his seat  when he hears the explanations ,  horrified to find that there is no pizza available and that all of the pasta dishes on the menu come with sauces and ingredients he disdains,  asks in panic “is there not just plain pasta with cheese please?” and is visibly relieved when the owner says that whilst this is not on the official menu, it can be arranged.

Kiwi Daughter opts for a simple pasta with sauce whilst Himself goes with a capaccio entrée and a pasta with mussels main course. Upon the recommendation of the owner I opt for deep fried little fish, with turn out to be salty, crispy and rather moreish and cutlets for my main course.

Of course the kids head straight for ice-cream for dessert and Himself for one of his top three favourite desserts, tiramisu. The meal is good but I’d have to be honest and say that the menu is rather less kid friendly than I would have hoped  for if like us, you have fussy children.

Luckily the pasta’s they requested were possible, had they not been we would have not been left with anything on the menu that they would have enjoyed since the menu catered to more adult tastes. The kids were tired after our day out so this also ended up being a bit more of a business meal than we would have liked, but we would see tempers beginning to fray between Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr. so sometimes it’s diplomatic to eat fast and remove the kids before anything kicks off.

Himself and I both agreed afterwards that this would be a great place for a quiet adult dinner for two, but it’s less of a perfect place for children with fussy eating habits. For a simple, short menu that features regional specialities cooked well, this really is an old style Italian restaurant.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 3, 2011

Restaurant Al Dente, Our Unexpected Italian Treat…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post is to complete my “Amsterdam Series”  and was an unexpected extra because we thought that traffic would be heavy on the drive  back home to The Hague and amazingly it wasn’t.

We arrived back in good time and at first just started driving towards where the children were staying with the intention of picking them up early.

At a certain point I phoned ahead to see how the kids were doing and the reply came back that they were all having an enormous amount of fun and were just about to sit down for dinner.

Then came the suggestion ” Well, the kids are settled and happy, why don’t you two go and have a quiet meal together before you come and pick them up?

Now, as any parents of younger children know: if your usual restaurant options only revolve around finding eateries that suit your fussy kids, then you won’t need this suggestion repeating before jumping in with blubbering  Yeses and Thank Yous.

We immediately started scanning the area we were driving in for restaurant to try and the sight of an Italian flag (ok there was also a Dutch Flag at the other end of the awning) , and a sign that said “Restaurant Al Dente”  seemed to be a sign from above that this restaurant should indeed cook up perfectly for our hungry taste buds.

A few minutes later we were happily ensconced with a menu, some bruschetta, and bread with a herb butter as aperitif, a bottle of wine for Himself and a Cold Light for myself since I would be doing the rest of the driving today.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For an Entrée, Himself chooses: Carpaccio di Carne, thinly sliced beef on rocket salad with olive oil, lemon and Parmesan cheese flakes.

My entree: Gamberetti agilo olio, jumbo shrimps in olive oil with garlic, parsley and fresh chilies.

We shared a Main Course, choosing:  Grigliata Mista, a mixed meat grill for 2 persons.

Since time was getting on a little by the time we left, we skipped dessert. We were lucky to have arrived about 20 minutes before the main dinner rush, so we didn’t need to wait too long for our meals even though the restaurant suddenly filled up with a large number of patrons.

The service was good, the food was very tasty indeed and we decided that we would have no trouble in deciding a return visit.

All that was left was the question: Was their pasta really cooked perfectly Al Dente? Since by sheer chance we hadn’t chosen a pasta dish tonight, Himself and I agreed that we need to return and conduct a through taste test so that we may determine that one ourselves.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s brilliant way to end the day and seeing the kids again a little while later, made a brilliant day,  perfect indeed.

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