I can’t remember the last time I went to a restaurant that I could absolutely rave about, but this is it! My new favorite Italian restaurant. Even if I tried I couldn’t find anything to report negatively on after this dining experience.
There’s ample off street parking, with an attendant to keep an eye on your vehicle. Very friendly guy who will even open the door for you! Everyone on the staff tells you hello. Mr. Tony Mandina himself even stopped buy our table to see how things were going. The restaurant is also beautiful inside and out.
The bread they started us out with is dangerous. Fresh, soft rolls, right out the oven, with softened butter. This is my weakness. It was hard to control myself.
We started off with the Quail with Honey Pepper Pancetta. A totally boneless butterflied quail, covered with a honey pepper sauce with diced pancetta. Delicious.
My dining partner had the house salad with blue cheese dressing. They make their own salad dressings and she loves blue cheese. There were so many nice chunks of blue cheese in it there were some left over when she finished the salad. I tried it too. One of the best blue cheese dressings I ever tasted.
The seafood gumbo was full of seafood and excellent. Rivals the Pelican Club’s (Report #142). Like homemade.
My dining partner had spaghetti and meatballs. Really meaty, well seasoned meatballs and a great “Red Gravy”, which apparently they’re famous for. They sell it in jars in the restaurant. Very good.
I had the Shrimp Mandina. Described as, “Jumbo Gulf shrimp sautéed in a Worcestershire spiked butter sauce loaded with fresh herbs and spices. Served over a bed of Linguine pasta.” The menu also noted it was, “on the spicy side”. Don’t let that scare you. You could taste it had a nice little spice to it, but nothing overly spicy. It was like the sauce from BBQed Shrimp, thickened, and served over a perfectly al dente linguine. Excellent dish!
Finally, the bread pudding. Don’t you hate when you order bread pudding and they serve it with just a drizzle of rum sauce on it? Doesn’t that make you want to throw a chair through the nearest window? Or am I the only one that almost does that? Anyway, you won’t have that problem here. It’s served in a bowl swimming in rum sauce! Or bourbon sauce. I’m not sure what kind of liquor was in the sauce but you could definitely taste it. And it was utterly delicious. As was the bread pudding. There were some kind of small pieces of fruit in it. Maybe pineapple. But NOT raisins, which I despise! Not much fruit in it either. And I hate a hard, dense bread pudding. This one was nice and light.
If you’ve never been here, I HIGHLY recommend it! Fantastic.