We conversed animatedly, Maria and I, as we sat in the sun-drenched courtyard garden of the authentic Italian caffè she founded with husband Marco. Ours is a relatively new friendship, the kind that transcends the lifetime it took for us to meet. We talked of the splendour of Rome and of the inspiring food markets of Livorno and Firenze where we would each pick up the freshest ingredients for romantic picnics under cerulean skies. We talked of the kind of things that move us to tears, of our shared love for history and the stories that shape our lives. Books, cooks, writers and travellers. Our admiration for curious explorers such as Laurie Lee who famously walked from his childhood home in Slad to Almuñécar aged just 19 years and our new books: ’A Table for Friends” by Skye McAlpine (hers) and the glorious ‘Andaluz’ by Fiona Dunlop (mine).
On the table before us was a cornucopia of Italian stuzzichini including richly fragrant cream of pistachio arancini, the creamiest buffalo mozzarella, earthy marinated artichokes, a sumptuous three-bean salad mixed with beautifully sweet Tropea onions and sweet Sicilian Torpedino tomatoes all perfectly dressed with a peppery extra-virgin olive oil from Puglia and balsamic vinegar which I – perhaps too enthusiastically – mopped up with salty fingers of Genovese focaccia. The wine was a super chilled Chilean sauvignon blanc and the coffee that followed – my favourite in all of York – was lovingly created by Bottega’s Italian barista using South American beans roasted by small family firm in Naples. I cannot think of a lovelier way to pass a couple of summery hours. Plans for the future are to build upon their repertoire of Italian dishes using fastidiously sourced – don’t even bother to underestimate their passion for such things – Italian and local produce as well as a range of Italian gifts. They are also transforming their pretty first floor dining room into a gallery/library space.
Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, cakes and pastries to eat in or take out from Monday to Thursday from 9:30am until 2:30pm and Friday to Saturday until 3.30pm. Walk-ins only. Outdoor seating.
Marco and Maria Di Sora
23 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LW
© Kiki Burton 21st July 2020