As summer quickly fades into fall, each young member of my family slowly packs up their belongings and leaves for their respective colleges--me included. With most of them already a month into their fall semester, I am the last one in the bunch to leave for school in a few days (as I am on the quarter system). Before I say goodbye to my beloved Norcal and depart for my final year at UCLA, I met up with my cousins and our significant others for some quality time in Berkeley, where half of them go to school.
We decided to meet at Trattoria La Siciliana, a quaint Italian restaurant on College Ave in Berkeley. The reservation was for 16 people; my family is super big!!
I ordered the bucatini 'chi finucchiede', which is a Sicilian specialty that includes fresh sardines, pine nuts, currants, sweet onion, Sicilian anchovies, saffron, fennel, and toasted breadcrumbs in the sauce. It was VERY different from anything I've ever had before. Extremely herbaceous and pungeant, the flavors were striking but perhaps a little too out there for me to fully enjoy. I loved sampling everyone else's typical gnocchi, spaghetti and meatballs, rigatoni, and mushroom ravioli, though! And there was a particular seafood stew that was divine.
Me, my younger sister (far left), and some girl cousins. Coincidentally, we were all wearing dresses!
Standing outside Ici (pronounced ee-cee) to get ice cream for dessert
Some baked goodies for sale
The names of the flavors (changed regularly) are hung up on the walls in rectangle frames. This time there were flavors like brandied cherry, malted chocolate chip, rose vanilla, bartlett pear sorbet, earl grey, and brown sugar gingersnap
Display case with some ice cream scoops and brownies
I ended up getting Earl Grey, a very creamy, delicious flavor with the essence of a cup of good tea. The not-too-sweet cone proved to be a perfect vehicle for the delicate taste of this particular ice cream. The surprise chocolate filling at the bottom of the cone was nice too :)
Holding my Earl Grey and the boy's brandied cherries ice cream
A bunch of us standing outside the sweet shop, savoring our frozen treat before we say goodbye...
I will miss all of my family and loved ones here in Norcal. However, I am extremely excited for school to start! I have a feeling that it's going to be a very busy, exciting year for me :) Wish me luck!