“Little Tibet” Coming To East Passyunk

There is an area in the mountains of Abruzzo called Campo Imperatore, Italy’s “Little Tibet.” In the winter, the gondolas of medieval ski resorts whisk fashionable Romans to snow-capped trails. In the summer, wild boars and European antelopes scamper along the blooming alpine meadows crisscrossed by autostradas lined with roadside barbeques serving arrosticini. These skewered lamb kebabs are among the “the quintessential Abruzzese summer food” Francis Ceratola and Catherine Lee will be serving this season at their sunny Avenue ristorante Le Virtu. The garden adjacent to the trattoria’s patio was originally supposed to be an art gallery, but funding fell through, and we’re kind of happy about it. Not that we don’t like art, we just much prefer grilled lamb chops, sausages, steaks, veggies, shrimp, calamari and Scamorza (smoked mozzarella). Might we humbly suggest some organ meats on the ‘que too? (David Ansill has given us an unnatural craving for hearts and kidneys.) Expect all that working on an outdoor grill, as well as communal picnic tables scattered along the lawn. Just imagining Il Campo (that’s what Le Virtu is calling the greenspace) is seriously perking up our day, what with the dreariness outside. Barefoot on the grass. The grill going. A little Vermentino or Avery White Rascal. Stop teasing us spring; there are lambs waiting to be eaten.

Photo: Wiki

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