It was an international polyglot of women:  an American from Manhattan,  a former New Yorker who lives in Roma,  a Parisian who has called Rome home for over 20 years,  and my Finnish friend who lives in Italy by way of Brooklyn and Amsterdam.

We met for lunch – local local – at a trattoria in Trastevere called Augusto.  No menu.  Just cute waiters who rattled off the pastas of your dreams:  arrabbiatta,  cacio e pepe, melanzane.  The four of us split 2 pastas two ways.  Followed by a secondo (2nd course, the “meat” course) that I shall not soon forget.  You’re just lucky that I took the picture of the dish before I’d devoured this Brasato (braised) Veal with Potatoes.  Fall-apart tenderness with monumental, yet simple, flavors — redolent of rosemary.  And, a basket of bread with the perfect balance of crusty and chewy!

The four of us regaled one another with our childhood experiences of soaking up the juices with bread.  From “no-no” to “hidden scoops” to “of course you can’t let the sauce go to waste!”

Dolce:  a Tiramisu that was still trembling from the tender touches in the kitchen. Four forks,  four mouths.  Devoured.

Along with the spoken menu, the check — il conto — written and calculated on the paper covered with oil, crumbs and escaped driblets of sauce.

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