Saturday, July 19, 2014

Three-year anniversary at Liviano

Sorry I've been a bit scarce lately, but this is just a brief post to note that Terezia and I celebrated our three-year anniversary at Liviano (again), our favorite chi-chi special occasion place in Bratislava, where we had yet another drool-enducing meal. Not only have we been married for three years, but in just a few months from now, on October 4, we will have been living in Slovakia for three years. It's a bit surreal to think that we've already been living here that long. That means we've spent more of our relationship so far - since we first started dating in late 2009 - in Slovakia than the US.

We weren't initially certain that we'd go to Liviano again, but seeing that they had their thoroughly stunning tagliatelle with porcini dish back on the menu (which I raved about last summer) sealed the deal.

For the starters, I had what was this one big raviolo filled with quark, awesomely runny egg, and spinach with summer truffle shavings on top, which was quite tasty, and Terezia had the tempura shrimp, a pretty yummy asian-inspired dish.

The raviolo with summer truffles

The tempura shrimp

Of course I devoured my rich, flavor-packed plate of porcini pasta, and Terezia ordered the braised pork cheeks with pea puree, which, despite needing a bit of salt, were sublimely tender and flavorful.

The potent porcini pasta

We had this Bulgarian cabernet that was absolutely one of the best reds I've had in this country. For dessert we split a piece of carrot cake. Since we're both huge fans of good carrot cake, we thought we'd give it a shot. It was tasty, moist, and presented a bit unconventionally, in the shape of a big flat rectangle, with a generous dollop of whipped cream-cheese frosting on top and some berries sitting in a little puddle of some kind of raspberry jam next to it on the plate.

I still trip out on how Liviano is uncompromisingly situated deep in the bowels of Petr┼żalka, far away from the tourist grind - or just about anything, really.

Views of panelaks in Petrzalka from from Liviano's window

The lovely Technopol bus stop just outside Liviano

Our only complaint was that it's been insanely hot and humid here this week, and they didn't seem to have the air conditioning on. We were a bit sticky when we left the place. (Slovaks have this intense and somewhat irrational fear of A/C - they are convinced that the cooler temperature will make you horribly ill, and they would rather suffer from heat stroke than cool down with A/C. For example: even though they have A/C in the office building where I work, they all complain about it being too cold and they either turn it way down or off, and some people on our floor even open the windows to let all the heat inside. Result: yours truly is an over-heated, disgusting, sweat-drenched mess at work on sweltering summer days. I've never been overly reliant on A/C myself - I rarely ever used it in my car back in California - but I definitely took for granted having it at work. There are valid environmental concerns about using A/C, and recirculated air can potentially circulate germs if the filters are not regularly maintained, but here the fear of A/C seems to be rooted more in a kind of superstition, much like the ever-prevalent and completely absurd and unfounded fear among many Europeans of cool, breezy drafts. Once when we were in an open-car train on a punishingly hot, humid summer evening, it was starting to cool off ever so slightly, so I opened the window to let the refreshing breeze into the un-air-conditioned, suffocatingly stuffy, sauna-like train. Within minutes, the conductor told me to shut the window because it was creating a draft which would apparently make the baby sitting a few seats over deathly ill. So you want us all to die of heat stroke because of your silly belief that this slightly cooler breeze is going to give the baby pneumonia? [And I fully realize that these are totally first world/white people problems, to quote both Louis C.K. and 'Weird' Al Yankovic, but they do offer an interesting sliver of insight into the culture here.])

At any rate, here's to another fun-filled year of marriage, and I'm excited to see where this year will take us.

Look at the happy couple - don't you want to punch them in the face?

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