Photo by Faith Willinger
The elegant graphic sign reads Damini Macelleria e Affini, "Butcher Shop and Affinities." The Damini brothers--butcher Giampietro and chef Giorgio--have created a polyvalent gastronomic paradise in the village of Arzignano, outside Vicenza.
Begin the tour at the entrance, with baskets of bread: fresh and local, long-lasting altamura from Puglia, slender grissini. At the butcher shop, Giampietro sells carefully raised and fed Limousine beef--he works the whole carcass. Giorgio, who trained in some of Italy's most interesting restaurants, knows what to do with the lesser cuts, which he cooks at the restaurant.
The salumeria case displays an amazing selection of salami and cheese. In the bottega, shelves are lined with gourmet products--local, Italian, and beyond. The enoteca's selection of wine, artisanal beer, and distillates come from all over Italy. Many wines are biodynamic. All are offered in the restaurant, by the bottle or glass.
There's a coffee bar with coffee supplied by cult roaster Gianni Frasi's Torrefazione Giamaica. The salottino, or parlor, is for hanging out--read a guidebook or magazine, leaf through a cookbook, have a glass of wine, an aperitivo, a pot of tea, or even a sandwich, and check out the designer housewares.
Damini Macelleria e Affini, via Generale Cadorna 31, Arzignano 36071, tel. 0444-452-914, fax 0444-458-363, closed Sunday afternoon and Monday.