Hey, Foodwala’s….Welcome to another tale of Alfie Foodwala
Your Alfie Foodwala is a great movie buff as well as a petrol head, one of my favorite movies is the Godfather, I love the scene where Micheal meets dastardly Sollozo and the dirty cop McKlusky at the local “eytalian” restaurant, the reason for the meeting was to clear the air after the failed assassination of the Godfather….can you belive the chatzupah!!
They decide to send the mild-mannered Micheal rather than the hot-headed Sonny (there is one in every family!)
Sonny hides a gun in the washroom cistern so they don’t find it on Micheal when McKlusky frisks him.
Micheal meets them and Sollozo starts begging for forgiveness and bygones be bygones, while McKlusky noisily slurps his pasta and acts like the typical ignorant gora.
Micheal excuses himself to go to the washroom and finds the gun and comes out and shoots the dastardly duo dead.
The whole scene was so nail-biting and the tension was slowly ratcheted up and the whole scene was all the more poignant because the setting was an Italian restaurant.
A restaurant much like La Fiorentina, It is wonderfully old school, where the decor is an homage to Tuscany and where the elderly waiters still shout to each other in Italian.
Sometimes in our rush for modernity etc, we fail to see the gems in our old school family-run restaurants, where all the family works in the restaurant and the food is as close to homemade and the love and passion shine through and you don’t pay through the nose for mediocre factory-produced food.
We kicked off our visit with an oldie but a goodie Margherita Pizza
You can quickly deduce how good a restaurant is by simply tasting the simplest dish on the menu, The Margharita Pizza was on point, the pizza crust was thin and crispy and the base was equally crispy, the sugo tasted of tomatoes, rather than sweet tomato puree and the buffalo mozzarella was creamy yet earthy and with the right umami notes.
I opted for the Chargrilled Chicken and Asparagus Risotto, it was again prepared with the love and attention this delicate dish requires, the rice was al dente and the roast asparagus gave a delicious fresh tasting note to the risotto, if I am critiquing it like an “Eyetalian” then the risotto was a little on the dry side, since I am a wee desi boy fae Glasgow I loved it and I even sprinkled some Parmigan on my risotto, which to some Italians is sacrilege, akin to insulating a red-blooded Italians mother!.
This was wonderful comfort food, penne pasta done just right tossed with spinach leaf, mushrooms and chargrilled chicken. The dish was well balanced and the creamy spinach lent itself perfectly to the whole ensemble.
The Penne topped with Sugo was simple yet delicious, well balanced with the sweet tartness of the plum tomatoes, with a hint of slivers of garlic, virgin olive oil and black pepper.
In Conclusion, I found La Fiorentina to be refreshing in its honesty and down to earth charm, there was none of the fake “Disney Italian” chicanery of the likes of Jamies Italian or Carluccios.
The food was well cooked and fresh, the staff were actual Italians and the service was equally as friendly and professional.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxed and full of families breaking bread.
I can sum up this restaurant in one word…BENE MANGIA!!