Thursday, September 21, 2006

Riciotti Italian Deli and Pastry, Riverwalk Galleria

Riciotti at Riverwalk is part of the Garibaldi Group of Restaurants. There is actually a tripartite of reasons for dinner here. Firstly, the Mediterranean salad dude wants to check out the closest thing to real panini. It's an opportunity to show Adrian another place which he can go for food if he wants something nice. Last but not least, I too wanted to give this place a go too.

As it is implied from the name of the restaurant, Riciotti is also a delicatessen. Besides eating here, one can purchase a variety of wines, condiments, pickles, cheeses, cakes and preserves. Stuff. There's also a selection of sandwiches for something quick and easy. Dine in options which is available from breakfast to dinner include things like roasts, grills, pasta, paninis, salads, pastries, wines and whatever else in the works.

Onto the dinner proper, Riciotti serves Italian cafe food. The proof was in the taste and these pictures don't really convey much of the actual experience. The menu had a variety of bites and a smaller selection of mains. There's a fair amount to choose from for the smaller items like appetizers/soups/ salads and sandwiches. There was a promotion of a free Margherita pizza with every bottle of wine for the day which we decided to take advantage of by getting ourselves a Pinot Grigio Friuli to share. Fulfilling one of the main agendas of todays visit, the Mediterranean Salad dude did make his call for Granchio panini which came neatly packed in wrapping as you can see in the picture. This panini was filled with what I thought to be a fair portion of real crab meat and sliced tomatoes. The bread that was nicely spread with pesto. I managed a bite and I thought that it wa rather good. There was a good crunch on the exterior of the bread which was warm and soft inside. Nicely done sandwich. Nicely packaged. Not what I had exactly imagined as a larger slab of bread with fillings that are on the verge of spilling out. At $12.00, it wasn't cheap. Not very filling too.

The soup of the day was cream of mushroom. I'v
e always wondered how come is it that most of the time, soups of the day almost everyone was just that. The waiter explained that the soup had cheese cubes which were added into the soup just before it was served as opposed to adding them before which would have had them melted. Don't really have much comments about the soup except that it was pleasant and the cheese was a nice touch. There was a penne arrabbiata which was just penne in tomato, garlic and chilli. I didn't get to try it, but you can see here how the dish looks like.
Expectedly our esteemed pescatarian Adrian stuck his fork and knife into grilled vegetables. With it, some crab cakes to share. The plate of greens (and others) and mushrooms in shaved cheese flakes was the Grilled Vegetables. Simplistically named, but fabulously tasty. The Crochette which are the crab cakes reminded me of the risotto balls from Aerin's. However, these were possibly the best crab cakes I've had. Note that I haven't actually ordered crab cakes very often. The orange & basil mayo on the side was really refreshing. This dish got a thumbs up from me.
I generally like ravioli. It's not my number one pasta, but it's amongst my favorites. It's probably because they have stuffings. The Ravioli Di Vitello seemed almost a no brainer even though I took a while to finally decide on it. Came stuffed with veal and mushrooms and some brown sauce. Was pretty good. Brown sauce was bursting with flavour. If you haven't guessed, the only grouse I had with it was the portions which I thought was a little small. I was hoping/expecting bigger portions.

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