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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

italian inspirations

Hi bento pals! This weekend we explored some reviving Italian flavors and art. At the National Gallery of Art in D.C., a new show of Venetian paintings ushered in an Italian-themed brunch menu. Some treats from the spread:
Rich, savory eggplant parmigiana:
A lovely custard with vanilla and fresh berries:

Some of paintings in the Gallery's permanent collection are like old friends, always uplifting and inspiring to see. My favorites include this beautiful Madonna and Child by Nardo di Cione:
Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi's The Adoration of the Magi is dazzling, I love its sensitive animal portraits, two closeup views, below:


Where to next? Arlington's The Italian Store, of course!
Inside, a great selection of specialties you won't find in other area shops, such as olive oil infused with oranges from Sicily (more on this great oil in a minute).
 Yum...

Smoked salmon pasta! I will be cooking this for tonight's dinner...
We had a fun lobster feast at home for Valentine's Day dinner. Today's bento features some reserved lobster from this extravaganza accented with Italian flavors:
sliced fresh fennel and lobster is drizzled with the wonderful Sicilian orange infused olive oil and salt-crusted Italian mini capers.

Watercress and fennel fronds for green color and flavor, ripe blueberries and pink grapefruit for a juicy, sweet finish:
A warming trend continues here with a bright and beautiful day forecast for tomorrow...spring's on the way!






20 comments:

Mrs. P said...

wow what a treat! Italian art with italian food and wine! mmMMMMmmm lobster!!! I haven't had that in awhile. You must've enjoyed your valentine's day! Even the leftovers spelled delicious!

Bentobird said...

Thanks so much, Mrs. P! Hope you had a great Valentine's Day :D

Bobo said...

mm.. and that's what we called enjoy life..
thanks for sharing the pics of the food and paintings..

and can't get the savory egg plant out of my head.. haha..

Bentobird said...

Hi Bobo, yes indeed! A pleasure to share with you...have a great rest of the week, dear ^^!

sheri fujihara chen said...

Always know I can come here for a blast of sunshine, both in your scenery and your bento! Let's hear it for a warming trend, yay! That pink grapefruit looks fantastic.

Mayu said...

Looks so yummy! Your bento is like painting!

Token (Bento-Lunch-Blog) said...

So lovely and with cat-content! ^_^ 8-D Very cool. Spring is coming!!!

KidsDreamWork said...

Finally I'm back from a long holiday break and your blog is a must to visit first! I missed all the lovely bentos and photos! :)

Lia Chen said...

Beautiful art! And your bento is an art itself. Your blog is one place that I really enjoy, just amazing :)

Bentobird said...

Hi Sheri, its always a delight to read your sunny comments--thanks so much for your support ^^!

Bentobird said...

Wow, thanks Mayu!!

Bentobird said...

Hi Token! "cat content"--love that! Soon we'll be making cherry blossom viewing bentos, right?

Bentobird said...

Hi Ai Ping, this made me so happy to read, I'm honored! Welcome back, looking forward to your new bentos :D

Bentobird said...

Lia, your encouragement is wonderful, thanks so much! How special to share inspirations from across the globe with you...

Robin said...

Just warms me up looking at your pictures and reading the travelog. What better than lives richly lived, food that is art, art that is soul stirring. What a fabulous theme for your weekend and bento Jenn! Happy to see the sunshine and sweet kitty. Cheers!

Bentobird said...

Hello Robin, such a graceful and gratifying comment you've shared here. My heart is warmed and afternoon uplifted. Thank you...cheers!!

Lyndsey said...

I feel like I am traveling around the world in living color with your bento boxes! I love seeing all the new products that you use!

So nice that Spring is coming!

Bentobird said...

Soooo sweet of you my friend! Can't wait for spring--let's celebrate it with good food--pasta primavera anyone? :D

Anonymous said...

Bb, you are amazing! So, so beautiful and radiates love and fun...live well my friend.

Bentobird said...

Thank you for such wonderfully kind comments!