Saturday, December 01, 2007

Zino Francescatti

Henri Rondel, Red-Headed Lady

Yesterday evening, I learned of Zino Francescatti.

Not the French violinist with the Italian name whose life spanned the twentieth century. About that fine fellow, I'm still relatively ignorant.

No, I mean the Seoul restaurant Zino Francescatti, a lovely place offering "the best delicacies of Italian cuisine with French culinary influence," or so says the website. It also offers a wine list of fine wines, and we enjoyed a nice Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon -- a 2003 Carmen Carménère, I think (but I'm not certain that I've got that information correct).

The meal was excellent, and I enjoyed the company of two other scholars, Hi-kyung Moon and Julie Choi. Hi-kyung was one of my colleagues during my Korea University days, but Ms. Choi, I was meeting for the first time -- though I blogged about an article of hers nearly one year ago.

This was a business meal, for the two of them are editing the Korea-based journal Feminist Studies in English Literature, and I'm helping again with my proofreading skills, so yesterday's meeting was for agreeing upon a sequence of times by which to finish proofing each article.

Despite its being a 'business' meal, the dinner was one to savor, and not only for the fine food but also for the decor. Upon the walls hang French and British paintings from the 17th through 19th centuries. The original of the image posted above also hangs upon one of the restaurant's walls, and at first, looking at it from across the room, we were wondering if it were a Pre-Raphaelite painting -- one of those red-haired beauties that Dante Gabriel Rossetti liked to portray -- but when we checked in a 'guidebook' to the restaurant's collection, we discovered that it was by the relatively obscure French painter Henri Rondel (1857-1919).

You can see more of the collection at the Zino Francescatti website, as well as at this flickr site.

Or just go to the restaurant, situated between the back gates to the Yonsei and Ewha campuses, and see the collection directly as you enjoy a fine meal with a glass of wine.

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