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 La Piccola Casa

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PostSubject: La Piccola Casa   Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:56 am

[size=55:o8kuy38i]Sofia echo 17 September 2010

La Piccola Casa

Imitations of Italian food often leave much to be desired – basically nothing seems to beat the authentic variety, so my expectations of La Piccola Casa were modest.

Having booked a table in advance, we were ushered to a corner. The tablecloth was a bit sullied and the air rather smoky;
also the paper menus were a bit rough and ready. But La Piccola Casa has a nice atmosphere;
the walls were covered with rickety drapes and we sat on wooden benches covered with soft pillows.

The waiter came to take our orders after a decent interlude. I ordered insalata caprese with tomatoes, basil, oil and pesto – 250g for 5.90 leva. It was nicely done with ripe red tomatoes and authentic olive oil. My wife ordered Lattugasa salad – 6.60 leva for 250g. This consisted of lettuce, tomatoes, rocket leaves, anchovies and capers with parmesan cheese and sweet balsamic vinegar dressing. She liked it but felt they economised a bit on the capers. We had two Burgaska Muscatova rakiyas – one large and one small – well chilled.

Service throughout was attentive but not too in-your-face. (Personally, I can't stand it when waiters hover over the table trying to clear the table as soon as you finish a course). We were there for more than three hours but we never felt rushed.

My main course was tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and parmesan cheese – 350g for 11.60 leva – very good and nicely seasoned. My wife's main dish was spaghetti with black mussels – the same weight and price as mine. She liked it and even wondered if they had used some typical Sicilian herbs because of the unusual taste. Since we were at an Italian restaurant we ordered a bottle of Sicilian red wine, Tasari Nero D'avalo Merlot, for 20 leva, a very good nose, quite strong at 13.5 degrees, perhaps ever so slightly acidic and hangover-inducing.

My experience of desserts in Bulgarian restaurants is often disappointing. Often you think that not much thought has been given to them, as if they are just add-ons that people won't really care about. Actually, the dessert can make or break the meal and I'm happy to report that this sweet was something else. My cassatina siciliana (5.20 leva for 250g) consisted of brioche topped with ricotta cream, dried fruits and marsala covered in almonds, pistachio and marzipan. It was easily the best dessert I've ever had in Sofia. To be honest that alone would lure me back. My wife also liked her tiramisu, finding it soft and creamy.

The bill was 73 leva, not at all unreasonable considering the high quality of the food. By the way, we noticed many enticing dishes on the menu: mussels with garlic and tomato sauce, Tiger shrimps with honeyed pesto, Calamari, grilled marinated octopus and sea bass, also chicken, beef, lamb and special Sicilian pork sausages.

In sum, highly recommended. Perhaps slightly noisy on a Saturday night but that's testament to its popularity.

Overall rating: 5/6
Service: 5/6
Atmosphere: 5/6
Food: 5.5/6
Price:
(Up to 12 leva a person for three courses;
12 to 20 leva pp;
20 to 35 pp;
35 and over pp)

Address: Lagera, 4 Kniaz Boris III Blvd
Tel: 02 / 954 6745
Open: 11.30am to 11.30pm
Credit cards: yes

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PostSubject: Re: La Piccola Casa   Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:34 pm

Sounds like a nice place I might look it up when I'm next there T
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