Sometimes you get the best food experience in a restaurant, when you don't look at the outside appearance, but go by the word of month recommendation. I've lived this to be true in Rome, in Paris, and beginning of this month in Helsinki, Finland.
We had a table recervation at the place where my sister had eaten before, and told us the pizza was great. We, my borther and I, were a bit sceptic when we saw the place, but followed through.
From the door we were greeted by one happy Italian -- across the whole restaurant: "Reservation? How many? What name?" Ummmh, okay, all we could do was laugh.
We got a table right underneath the bar, or at least that's how it felt. There were laughing Italian men working in the kitchen, hanging over the bar, talking, living... It was obvious, this wasn't one of those restaurants that advertize to be Italian, and then is just trying to be one -- this was the real deal.
Everything in the restaurant was Italian, so we started with Procecco. Odered some nice Chianti and personal size, true Italian pizzas all around. Now, the pizza I wanted had 9 different ingredients. Out of the 9 I wasn't so found of three, and for a little time considered to ask to drop them from my pizza. Thankfully I didn't, since the combination of all nine was heavenly, one of the best pizzas I've ever had.
And here is the thing when eating out and selecting from the menu. On most accasions, there has been a group of profeccionals working and perfecting the combinations of tastes on the plate. They have put their skills, knowledge, experience, and possible education, all in line, and delivered the menu. Of course we don't all like everything, allergies etc play into the picture, but next time you sit in a restaurant and consider 'writing your own ticket', remember that the people who wrote the menu put the incredients together for a reason: harmony in taste and your enjoyment.
We ended our meal with Tiramisu. It was served in a glass, obviously been prepared in a big form, and portioned out of there with a spatula. No finesse, no play with presentaion, just the best tasting Tiramisu of my life. Yes. The best.
So next time you are out travelling, and you see a tiny little 'hole in the wall' restaurant full of people, step in, you might just have found the best tasting food in town!
I'm a chef and a pastry chef, and I love food. Preparing a meal for someone is a show of love; for your craft, for the ingredients, and for the ones eating.
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