On our dreadful night at Brunello there was a comforting thought, that in a couple of nights we would be in for uncomparably better. Let us be specific.
From the Oxford English Dictionary (online):
4. Natural ability or capacity; quality of mind; the special endowments which fit a man for his peculiar work. (Now only with mixture of sense 5.)
5. (Only in sing.) Native intellectual power of an exalted type, such as is attributed to those who are esteemed greatest in any department of art, speculation, or practice; instinctive and extraordinary capacity for imaginative creation, original thought, invention, or discovery. Often contrasted with talent.
In sense 4 the word had come to be applied with especial frequency to the kind of intellectual power manifested by poets and artists
… The difference between genius and talent has been formulated very variously by different writers, but there is general agreement in regarding the former as the higher of the two, as ‘creative’ and ‘original’, and as achieving its results by instinctive perception and spontaneous activity, rather than by processes which admit of being distinctly analyzed.
So, what is genius? Below is a possible answer:
Lamb strips with on ‘puntarelle’ with anchovies dressing and hazelnut. Simplicity and sophistication. Puntarelle (the green veggies on which the lamb strips are resting) in anchovy dressing are a classic of Roman and Latial cuisine. The tender strips of lamb with anchovies are not: do their intense tastes clash? Of course not, with a helping hand from the hazelnuts. While anchovies are often seen in rich French/English lamb casseroles and stews, their use here is all Mediteranean lightness and freshness. Pure genius. And no prizes for guessing where we ate it.