Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

Carrabba’s Restaurant, 14760 W Colfax Ave, Denver, Colorado, USA

My husband and I are lucky to have many good friends in and around Denver: some we have known over 40 years. carrabas outOn a recent visit our much loved friends Dean and Jo treated us to dinner at Carrabba’s Restaurant in the Lakewood area of Denver. What a lovely evening!

carr outCarrabba’s is a chain restaurant with a difference. It was set up in Texas by two brothers of Sicilian heritage and has maintained the standards they established. The veal and steak dishes are renowned and the pizzas individually prepared. It offers wines sourced from across the world. Each is individually chosen to pair with one of their dishes. Dean is knowledgeable about wine and chose a delicious full-bodied red wine for the table. They also serve a house wine, carr soupTerraMare that is well received.

 

The group of six of us were shown to our table in the bustling, Italian restaurant. The service was friendly and chattycarrabbas in but as efficient as you would expect in the USA.  When our own conversations paused for a few moments, we chose our meals. Choices of starters varied from salads and soups to a phili-cheese steak sandwich. Portions were generous and the dishes very tasty. The dressing on my salad was light but very good.

carr saldFor our main courses our groups choices varied from veal and steak to pizza, pasta and fish. Each of the dishes were excellent and the servers were solicitous without interfering with our conversation.

It was amazing that any of us had any space for desert, and perhaps we did not, however,carr steak some of us did choose a sweet. The ice cream and desert dishes were varied and very good.  The meal ended with coffees and teas.

We had a lovely evening and a delicious meal at Carrabba’s. Restaurant Access is good for carr puddindisabled people too and I highly recommend Carrabba’s Restaurant.

Valerie Penny

 

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Stone Gate Cafe, 16524 Keystone Blvd, Parker, Colorado 80134, USA,

On a recent visit to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, my husband and I stopped for brunch with friends at the Stone Gate Cafe in Parker. It was late in the morning during the week and the cafe was quiet, so we were shown to a booth right away by a friendly waitress who took our orders for water and coffee almost before we sat down!. The stone outsideStone Gate Cafe is a clean, bright, local establishment. The menu was varied. It included some Greek dishes, an Italian plate and dishes with Spanish sausage.

One of our friends and I both decided to have the spinach omelette. It was cooked to order exactly as we had asked. The home fries and toast were also fresh and tasty while coffee refills arrived without request. Our other friend ordered the hash browns, eggs and bacon, which he loved. My husband had scrambled eggs, sausage and home eggs etcfries. He enjoyed that very much too.

While we were having our meal several other people arrived. Amongst the groups were some older folks who were offered smaller portions for smaller appetites. There was also a larger family group with children. Although they did have to wait briefly for a table, space was made to sit them together and the children were also treated with as much courtesy as the adults. The cafe is certainly child friendly.stone inside

There is lots of parking available near the cafe. The Stone Gate Cafe offers good food at a fair price and without all the gimmicks of the national chain. We all thoroughly enjoyed our brunch and the ambiance of this little gem. It was a very reasonably priced meal. I have no hesitation in recommending it to you.

Valerie Penny

 

Pjazza – Italian cuisine at its best by guest author Reijosfood

 Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Pjazza was opened in Autumn 2014 providing Italian cuisine in quite impressive facilities. Restaurant area consists of several dining spaces like main dining room, loft above dining room, so called boulevard right after main entrance and small round table.

New Bepop Bar & Lounge was just opened on Ascension Day Eve providing better use for separate space. There is also VIP Lounge available and if you need Ballroom or seminar room, G18 is rented by Pjazza. And new terrace when ever the weather allows dining outside.

First visited the newly opened bar and tried Aperol Spritz. It is the best drink to review bar drinks and Pjazza did good job.

One interesting detail is that bar offers some snacks on Friday between 17-19. Typical for Italian bars, but not before in Finland.

Aperol Spritz at Pjazza

Pjazza personnel - reijosfood.com

On Sunday you can enjoy brunch buffet and what is definitely welcomed speciality, live jazz three times a week! Even during brunch you can listen live jazz, which makes event lively and distinguish Pjazza from other brunch spots.

Pjazza bar - reijosfood.com

Menu consists naturally of Italian dishes. You can start the dinner with Antipasti, continue with Primi Piatti (pasta), enjoy Secondi (traditional Italian meat or fish) for main course and finalize ensamble with Dolci (dessert). But what differs Pjazza from other Italian cuisine restaurants in Helsinki?

Pjazza dining room - reijosfood.com

If you like to eat pizzas then you must try Pjazza. Dough used is left to rise for a minimum of 72 hours, and even up to 96 hours. And you can order all pizzas glutein-free. Nowadays quite necessary option. Tried neighbours pizza and it was one of the best in Helsinki.

First you are served some just baked bread with olive oil. One good example of Pjazza’s commitment to Italian cuisine. And when it comes to red wine you can buy a bottle of it with the price of 29€. And this time I mean wine is not basic carrafe wine, it is definitely better than basic red wines you might drink.

Bread. olive oil and wine - reijosfood.com

For starter had Affetati Italian Misti Cold cuts including ham and salami. Especially liked procioutto cotto, which was delicious and fresh without any ham fat. Perfect starter as also olives were small and tasty with stones.

Antipasti at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

For main course decided to taste pasta, as it is best proof of capability of providing Italian kitchen for customers. Chose FETTUCINE GAMBERI E ZUCCHINI Fettucine with prawns, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and garlic.

What were pleasant surprises?

First of all pasta was al dente, which is not the case typically in Finland. People prefer unfortunately over cooked pasta. Then there was big king prawn included in the portion, which made the dish perfect. One of the best pastas available in Helsinki.

Pasta at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Had to try Tiramisu for dessert. It is the only Italian dessert I can really compare. And Pjazza survived perfectly!

Excellent serving bowl, which completed enjoyment.

Tiramisu at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Food at Pjazza is excellent. If you are friend of Italian kitchen, then you go to this restaurant.

Maybe it is due to personnel working at Pjazza enabling Italian flavors really to carry the country on to your table.

And take a look at wine list. One of the best red wines is really under 30€ per bottle. Tasted also pinot grigio with pasta and it had enough character. Grappa selection is also reasonable. Without that digestive restaurant would not be Italian.

Grappa at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

When summer comes the terrace will be the spot for next dining experience. Improvement from previous a little bit “cold” restaurant is significant. Different spots for different moods. Please prepare to book table in advance.

Pjazza terrace - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5-/5

This article first appeared at http://reijosfood.com/2015/05/16/restaurant-review-pjazza-italian-cuisine-at-its-best/.

REIJOSFOOD

La Vita, 161 Queen Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G1 3BJ

My sister and I meet up for lunch every 5-6 weeks. We usually go somewhere mutually inconvenient! Last month wela vita out chose to go to  La Vita, 161 Queen Street, Glasgow, Scotland. This restaurant is situated in central Glasgow, on the corner of George Square, very close to the Queen Street Train Station. As it is on a corner of the street, it has an interesting view to the downstairs dining area. The stairs, however, are rather steep. The tables are also very close together. I would not recommend this restaurant to those who are disabled or with mobility issues. I was also slightly surprised that none of the staff I encountered were Scottish or Italian: for an Italian restaurant in Scotland, I thought that was unusual.

Our table was booked for 1pm. My sister arrived a few minutes early: I was a few minutes late. During this interval the waitress was keen to unite my sister with a complete stranger, who was also waiting for a friend, at pizzaanother table – twice. My sister was incensed by the time I arrived, not with me, but with the unwanted introduction the waitress seemed intent on making for her.

We ordered our meals. We each chose a margarita pizza with a side salad to share. At this time the waitress took it upon herself to berate me for my late arrival. I was bemused but I thought my sister was going to explode. She had, in fact only been waiting about 5 minutes. In any event, it was hardly for the waitress to take this up for her.la vita inside

La Vita has separate menus for food and drinks. There are also chilrdens’ meals available. The menus are varied, but the lunchtime selection for vegetarians is not wide.

Our drinks arrived. They were chilled and nicely served. The pizzas did take a little time to arrive. That is not unusual for freshly prepared food and gave us time to chat. The salad, arrived first. It was quite large and served with a tasty balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It was delicious and complemented the pizza perfectly. The pizzas were also large. The tomato base was tangy and tasty as was the cheese used. Both my sister and I enjoyed our meals very much. It was unfortunate that the service was so intrusive. As a result of that service, I am unlikely to use this restaurant again. If you and your companions arrive at the same time, you may enjoy a meal at La Vita.

Valerie Penny

Tony Macaroni, 2 Greenock Rd, Largs KA30 8NF, Scotland

This week was my husband’s birthday. As part of his birthday celebration I arranged for his cousin and his brother toimage1 join us, with their spouses, for dinner at Tony Macaroni in Largs, Scotland. It  is an Italian restaurant next door to Nardini’s cafe and icecream parlour. It seemed like a good idea as we had been there before and enjoyed our evening. The restaurant was also mutually inconvenient, so the venue was chosen.

Our table was booked for 7pm and we sat at a table that gave us enough space for us all. The staff were helpful and we started with drinks before we ordered. We were not rushed in any way. We were there on a Friday evening so the restaurant was busy and it was a warm happy and friendly atmosphere. Each of us had something different, my brother-in-law chose soup and his wife went with the rosemary foccachia, My husband’s cousin had the calimari and her husband chose the garlic tony napkinmushrooms, My husband chose the half rack of lamb and I had the mozzarella sticks.

We had to wait a little while for our starters to arrive, but only as long as you might expect for the dishes to be cooked. All our starers were delicious and we enjoyed not only our food but also the restaurant experience. It was really fun.

When our main courses arrived we were equally pleased. My husband’s cousin chose the sea food risotto and her husband chose anther risotto dish, my brother-in-law swithered but eventually plumped for the spaghetti bolognaise while his wife had a risotto, my husband hand a filet steak and I had a margarita pizza. We washed the meals down with lager or pinot grigio white wine. We all enjoyed our meals very much. My husband’s steak was cooked exactly as he likes it and was extremely tender. He was thrilled. The only tony macaroniproblem with my pizza was that it was too much for me too finish. It was a very big pizza! However, I was offered a box to put the leftovers into. I do not usually accept such an offer, but, the meal was so delicious, I did accept on this occasion. My husband and I had the left overs for lunch the following day with potato salad.

After our meals, my husband, his cousin and her husband decided to make a move on pudding. The rest of us just opted for various coffees. My husband chose the banana split. It was enormous! He enjoyed what he had, but could not finish it. His cousin opted for the chiacciere which is really pizza dough cut into long strips and deep fried then sprinkled with sugar. At Tony Macaroni this is served with chocolate and toffee dipping sauces. She really enjoyed it, but, like me could not finish her meal, so she opted to take the leftovers home in a box. Her husband did manage to finish his Tiramusu. He said it was excellent.

What a good evening we had. A delicious meal, good service, happy ambience and a great time had by all. We will definitely be back to Tony Macaroni in Largs.

Valerie Penny

Azzuro, 35 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QJ, England

Azzuro is an Italian restaurant near London Bridge Station in London, England is on the main road and is easy to azzurrafind. Azzurro  is located on Tooley Street, opposite the entrance to the London Dungeon. It is a modern restaurant is open from midday until late seven days a week, serving top quality, freshly prepared, great value, Italian food. The downstairs bar comes to life in the evening and has a daily happy hour in the bar between 5pm and 8pm. It is a veritable tardis.  Azzuro looks tiny from the street, but it seems quite roomy when you get inside. My husband and I joined our daughter and son-in-law for dinner there when we were visiting the big smoke recently. It is always good to see them.

The restaurant was warm and the tables are not too close together.  Also, the restaurant was not too noisy. We could have a conversation. However, it was busy and I would recommend booking a table. The lavatories are downstairs where there was a bar with music and lots of atmosphere. There are also stairs to get to different parts of the restaurant, so I would not recommend Azzuro to those with physical disabilities or mobility problems.

restaurantImgThe staff in the restaurant were very polite and efficient and the menu is large and varied. Drinks arrived quickly and we did not have to wait too long for our meals. We started with a selection of black and green olives and breads to share. They really were delicious and the breads included onion bread, tomato bread, garlic bread and whole grain varieties too.  My husband is not that fond of olives, so he chose the bean soup. It was very thick and hearty with a wide variety of vegetables and beans in it. He really did enjoy it.

Our main courses were all different. My daughter chose a pasta dish, while my son-in-law had a pizza. They had had busy days at work and I was glad to see them both tucking into their dinner. My husband chose a steak. He was mapLondonBridge2delighted because it was cooked exactly the way he likes it and it was very tender. I was not so keen on my vegetarian rissotto. It sounded much more interesting than it was. Even black pepper and parmesan cheese could not save it. Still, three out of four ain’t bad!

We finished up with a selection of teas and coffees. There is a wide variety of tea and the coffee is a delicious blend. The restaurant offers good food, a friendly ambiance and excellent value for money. I would certainly visit Azzurro again, but I will not have the vegetarian risotto.

Valerie Penny

Room, 48-52 Gallowgate Square, Largs, Scotland

My husband and I recently went to dinner with his brother ad sister-in-law to Room in Largs.  Largs is a traditional largs-450holiday resort on the west coast of Scotland.  it is located on the River Clyde, and has everything you would expect from a Scottish seaside resort. It has a Victorian promenade and Nardini’s, one of the best known ice cream parlours in the area. Largs is a good base for exploring the many west coast islands including Cumbrae, which is just a mile offshore reached by  the regular ferry service to the islands. The town has a railway station, several restaurants, including Room.  at: http://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/largs-p242571#sthash.LLeusuSP.dpuf.

I had never been to the restaurant before and was pleased by the warm friendly, reception we received from the staff.  Access is easy for those with mobility problems. room_outsideThe atmosphere was fun and the was a wide variety of people there. Family groups with young children finishing an early meal, groups of younger people, mostly around the bar area while other older parties gathered at tables for dinner in the restaurant area. We were shown to a comfortable table where the four of us ordered a pre-dinner drink while we chose our meals from an extensive and varied menu. I was surprised by the wide choice available on the menu, even to me, as a vegetarian. Room is a stylish venue in the heart of Largs that offers a great selection of Italian, Mexican and Asian cuisine as well as the usual pub favourites there is also a huge range of cocktails so it is nice just to relax in the bar.

Room is a family friendly bar & restaurant, specialising in quality, home cooked food made with ingredients sourced locally. It has a unique atmosphere, good service and great food , best tapas in the South-West of  Scotland, outside Glasgow.

The quality of the food in the whole is very good. I noticed that there is a budget dinner option with two courses for £11.95, and at lunch time there is an even cheaper option menu with 3 course for £7.95. The variety in the cheaper lunch menu is not be as extensive, but I understand portions are not skimped on and neither is the quality of the roommapfood and so these are worth every penny. The service was fast, friendly and efficient even when the restaurant was busy. Drinks wise its a pretty standard choice of beers and spirits but you could try a cocktail for a change. The drinks were more expensive than other pubs in the vicinity, but the value of the meal definitely offset this. We did feel we got good value for money at Room. We enjoyed our meal and our evening. We will certainly go back and recommend Room, however, I suggest you book a table in advance to avoid disappointment. Another restaurant in Largs, Henry at The Brisbane Hotel, is reviewed on this site: https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/henrys-restaurant-at-brisbane-house-hotel-largs-scotland/.

Valerie Penny