Olcio, Italy

She made us a French dish, thinly rolled pasta sandwiched between thinly sliced meat. Its white sauce was creamy, slightly tart, and paired well with the bottle of red she gave us when we walked in. A TV played in the corner. It was raining outside.

When our plates were clean, she came back to our table -- the only table -- and asked us how we enjoyed it. "It's a new recipe," she said. "You like?"

"Very much. When do you open tomorrow?"

"You hungry, you come. Then, we start. Non c' `e problema."

There, it never is. 

Bassano del Grappa, Italy

Casco Viejo, Panama