Friday, April 22, 2011

Review Time: Lunella Ristorante/Ferrara Dessert Cafe

I'll say it: Italian food makes my life. There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta and a nice slice of Italian crusty bread. Ahhh, I'm practically drooling just thinking about it! I'm fairly sure that my mother, who is not Italian herself but was practically raised by Italian people, imparted this taste for carb-laden deliciousness into me. So when we were in New York, my mom and I had to make sure we went to Little Italy, the only place in the US to get REAL Italian food. It's a fact. Anyway, we have a favorite place that we always go whenever we're in the city. It's a cheerfully campy little place by the name of Lunella Ristorante. Now, this was my first time visiting Lunella as a vegan, so I was really worried that my favorites would now be off limits. But alas, I was safe. My old favorite, Pasta alla Pomodoro e Basilico (AKA spaghetti with marinara...I'm a lady of great class and distinction), was accidentally vegan. I quizzed the poor sweet waiters in the restaurant about the ingredients, and they were more than accommodating, assuring me that no eggs, dairy or butter went into the pasta or the sauce. I also ordered grilled portabellas and pasta e fagioli for appetizers.
The first thing to come out (that I stupidly forgot to take a picture of) was amazing, fluffy, warm italian bread. It made my heart sing! I doused it liberally in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Next came my grilled portabellas, which were positively amazing! I even shared some with my parents. I can honestly say that there was something almost meaty about them, but not in a weird, unpleasant way.
My pasta e fagioli soup (which I stupidly and possibly offensively pronounced pasta-ee-fag-ee-olee when ordering) was also deelish. It was so creamy from the pureed cannelini beans that I had to double-check to make sure it was vegan!!!

Of course, my entree was its usual amazing self. Homemade pasta, fresh, olive-oily tomato sauce--what more could you ask for?
After dinner, we headed up the street to Ferrara Dessert Cafe, which is something of a Little Italy institution for its amazing gelati, sorbetti and baked goods. I ended up getting mango sorbetto, which was sweet but not syrupy like a lot of sorbetti. You could tell it was the real deal. 

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