Sunday, August 5, 2012

ITALIANNI'S WITH MY GIRLS


     There are many special women in my life.. all of them members of my family (and yes, I consider my Yaya as "Family"). Naturally, the first two females that come to mind would be my darling wife, Rina, and my beautiful baby girl, Rain. Prior to Baby Rain coming in to my life, being a part of my niece Cara's growing up served as my "training" to becoming a dad. 

      I learned a lot from helping raise Cara.. Especially about how to deal with an adolescent girl. Though she wasn't by any means a bad girl, I couldn't help but become a protective (often accused as "overly") uncle. And I'd like to think some how she learned a lot from me too. 

    Cara. My "Little Star", as I used to call her, now lives in the United States where she's completing her college education. She's back to the country for her summer vacation, as well as to being her On Job Training at a prestigious law firm. 

    Since she's not going to be here for a very long time, I asked if she could join us for lunch, so she could spend more time with Baby Rain before she left. Since she the most convenient place for her to meet us was High Street, I decided that the best place to have a family style lunch would be at Italianni's. 


             Whenever you walk into an Italianni's restaurant, you feel like you're walking into comfortable elegance. The place has beautiful interiors, without giving you the stiffness of a fine dining restaurant. The service, as expected, was impeccable. The service was as expected, exquisite, with restaurant manager Gem, and other members of his staff dropping by from time to time to make sure everything was in order, particularly with baby Rain, which we deeply appreciated. 

 
THE FOOD


             Every meal in Italianni's MUST start with their bread. They have amazing foccacia and Tuscan bread that, when you begin eating with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture, could very well be a meal in itself. 



              Rina, Cara and I decided to order the Three course indulgence meal (among other things), and we began the meal with the Shrimp Bisque. It was a thick tomato soup with bits or shrimp in it. The soup alone packed the flavor of seafood in it, the shrimp meat was almost unnecessary. The dollop of Basil Cream took the soup to another level, added a bit of creaminess to help temper the tanginess of the tomato. 




       They may be known for their sumptuous traditional Italian dishes.. Pastas, Pizzas and the like.. However, something I learned during this lunch, was that Italianni's knows how to work wonders with meat. 


    The Braised Beef Shank was the main course, and the star of the Indulgence meal. There are three other main course we could have chosen from, namely the Pollo e Granchio, and the Savoury Seafood Stew,  Italianni's version of Osso Bucco proved to be a hit with the three of us.


        The beef was remarkably delicate, almost to the point where it was difficult to pierce it with a fork.


      The shank was drizzled in a herb tomato sauce, and laid on a bed of garlic rice, and a side of of vegetables, such as carrots, and zucchini. 


      As soon as I saw it on the menu, I knew I just had to try their Angus Steak Pizza. Minced bits of tender Angus Steak laid on a thin crispy pizza crust, a medley of Bell Peppers, onions, Mozzarella cheese, and drizzled with mushroom cream.  


      This was sort of like an amazing Cheese Steak Sandwich in the form of a pizza. The sauce had a distinct creaminess to it that blended beautifully with all the other components. 


          As a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay, we've longed for the day that we could try his trademark dish, The Beef Wellington. When Rina and I saw it on the menu of Italianni's, we couldn't miss the chance to try their version. 


      It actually looked a lot different what we saw in Hells Kitchen. The pastry was much thinner, to the point that I thought they had given me Papillote instead of Beef Wellington. Apparently its because Italianni's didn't use Puff Pastry.. they used "Filo Pastry", which is much thinner.


           It didn't matter though, because tt tasted phenomenal. 


       Though the pastry was undeniably thin, the meat was seasoned perfcectly and cooked to a beautiful medium well, while the caramelized onions and porcini mushrooms just helped bring the flavor out. The beef tasted so good, I didn't even realize that there was a pepper gravy sauce that came with it.



             The garlicky angel hair pasta aglio olio was the perfect side to the Beef Wellington. The flavor was buttery and the garlic wasn't overpowering.  


              The final course of the Indulgence meal was the Truffle Chocolate Ice Cream, which Rina and Cara absolutely loved. They're both fans of dark chocolate so they went nuts after their first bite. 

MORE PIX



    My Two little stars.. Although one is not so little anymore


Me with my two girls.. My third girl is the one taking the picture


******************************************************************************

If you like what you see from Italianni's, join my Bistro Group Giveaway now!

2 comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails