What a delightful, unexpected surprise. I had no clue what to expect, but I knew once again, I had to trust another person's judgement. With an empty stomach and open mind, off to the Big Ragu it was. Greeted with a smile from the über polite and courteous waitresses. Promptly after we were seated and given our menus, a basket of fresh, warm bread accompanied with balsamic vinegar & oil for dipping appears.
When asked what appetizer we would like, I merely shrugged, not knowing what was good, and my boyfriend simply said two words: Magic Mushrooms. I just sat there wondering exactly what that meant--all I could think of at the sound of that was that it sounded a bit like something out of a Mario game! Thankfully, my question got answered minutes later--and I also found out why the dish has its name as I dug in and savoured every bite I could.
The combination of the wine reduction sauce, and peppery baby arugula salad in addition to the portobello & mushroom caps filled with soft, melting goat’s cheese just rounds out all the flavours nicely. Believe me, if I could've, I honestly would have ordered another plate just for myself--despite the fact that it would another $12 added to the bill!
The pear bellini (a perfect combination of pear nectar & Prosecco) compliments the food nicely, and co-owner Carmine is one of those chefs who loves to come out and chat with the customers! Honestly, go hungry, leave happy, full, want more...and always go on an empty stomach with an open mind, as you never know what might happen.
A heavenly delight, I love this place to pieces and I’m still, to this day insanely grateful I’ve had the chance to go. Would I return there in a heartbeat? Absolutely!
Suffice to say, it was the best Christmas gift I received and a nice way to bond before he had to return to his CF base.
(originally written 5 May, 2010 ©)