Folks,I m a foodie at heart! I love to experiment new recipes and places in search of authentic flavours and delicacies. My recent weight loss regimen does not restrict me from my adventure! I have to be watchful of every morsel that goes into my mouth,that’s it. That kind of makes me picky when we go out into restaurants but also helps me choose newer options on the menu. And,there could not be a better way to learn about new tastes and aromas,isn’t it?
Introducing a new column into my blog ” The glutton in me”. This shall feature my journey into the food coma and back :).
My friends Ru & Me took me out for lunch on the Friday after my birthday to a place called Caffe Riace in Palo Alto,CA. The restaurant is located in a posh neighborhood with proximity to the University Avenue and Corporate offices there.
On a cloudy day, this Sicilian–Italian joint is a perfect date place with friends and loved ones. My son was with us and thought its not exactly a kid friendly restaurant,the staff was very cordial and polite. They offered my son a sheet with colouring space and he was happy.
The most delightful part of their ambience is the FIAT and the cart that’s parked in the outdoor seating for the restaurant as soon as one enters the place. My son had his eyes and heart glued to the car (Luigi from Cars is the same model,so you can imagine his excitement!).
My friend Ru had picked up this place and been there before. We just followed her tips while selecting the menu.
We were served home-made bread loaf and a black olive crushed and minced dip with it. It was the first time that I tasted a crushed olives. And,they tasted so good! Almost like chutney! (Whatt? Don’t be such a desi! I know you are thinking that,cannot help it :P)
We ordered an appetizer platter first. It was good enough for 4 of us. It had a bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and chopped parsley, roasted eggplant with cheese and olives and obviously tomato caprese with fresh Mozzarella. I particularly enjoyed the eggplant. The herbs and seasoning was spot on. Unlike the usual belief (specially from my country) that Italian food is bland,the food here was spiced to perfection.It wasn’t hot,it was just balanced.
The stuart who was attending at our table recommended that they had specials for the day were extremely delicious. While reading out the menu for the day,we heard Salmon! And we were stuck there :P. Firstly all three of us love fish and we are on a weight loss journey together (My friend Me-remember Meena’s story? 🙂 so we decided to have a Warm Spinach Salad with Salmon with light vinaigrette and Chicken Veggie Pasta.
The Warm Spinach Salad had the crunch from the fresh baby spinach. I think that the spinach was shocked into ice-cold water as well that added to the crunch. The vinaigrette was light and citrusy. I love a little citrusy-lemony taste to compliment the fish. The salmon was seared in rosemary and garlic butter. But not greasy. Sometimes,the seared fish are so greasy that the there is only one tone throughout. Oily and greasy! But,this was a refreshing change from the usually pan fish soaked in oil and salads dressed with drizzled rains of olive oil. We were lucky with this one 😛
The Pasta was really delicious! The roasted garlic was just the punch one needs to elevate the pasta from bland to bold.My son loved it too! The pesto in the Pasta was very earthy and balanced. Again perfectly seasoned dish.
This is slightly on a pricey side so it’s not the joint one could visit frequently. But,its great. I’d give this place 3.5 stars for food and 4.5 stars for the ambience. The indoors are decent,but the outdoors were great. Had it not been so windy and cold that day,we would have loved to enjoy our luncheon outside.
I m not being a cynic here,so let me justify the 3.5 stars for the food. I have written rave reviews about food here until now,but haven’t given a 5 on 5 for the simple reason that the Cannoli was average taste wise. For the price that it was served,we could have enjoyed a better portion size and taste too.The cannoli cream was good but not rich. The part chocolate and part nuts dress-up looked beautiful but taste wise it just fell apart for us. So,it was good but could be better.
Does anyone else think that Cannolis with cream tastes similar to Shrikhand-Puri? (A typical India sweet youghurt dusted with cardamom and saffron along with nuts and nutmeg served with a fried puffed bread). Everytime I dig into a Cannoli,my mind just thinks about Shrikhand and Puri 😛 (I think its normal for a desi to behave like one. After all,we were raised in the heat and soil of our motherland and nothing could take that way from us 🙂
And last but not the least,I had a wonderful time with my friends! Any restaurant in the world cannot beat the fun out of unlimited chatter and yapping with friends 🙂 can it? Thanks girls for making it so special for me 🙂