Italian food is one of those things I get sudden cravings for. I will not confirm or deny the rumours that these cravings often happen right after my own failed attempts at cooking pasta.
But one evening the familiar stomach rumblings happened and Google decided to recommend a family-run restaurant. And that’s how I found myself at Garden of Italy.
I’ll be completely honest with you, the thing about this restaurant that stuck out to me the most was my waitress and how attentive she was. I honestly was not expecting someone so friendly.
It also resulted in me listening to each of her recommendations because it was very apparent she loved the food and ate it frequently. First up, calamari.
I’ll be honest, I was fully expecting something breaded and deep fried. But perhaps this is the traditional way to make and serve calamari? I wouldn’t know, my favourite type of food is Japanese, if it wasn’t already apparent.
So let me know if calamari is supposed to be fresh and tender pieces of squid in a tomato sauce. It likely is A LOT healthier than the fried variant. And while I was eating, my waitress had already brought me my minestrone soup.
Keeping with the theme of health a minestrone is as good as it gets. The soup was particularly nourishing, possibly because I was a bit under the weather that day. So this was the next best thing to chicken noodle.
I did feel bad for my waitress who cheerily continued to refill my mug with hot water and resupply me with lemon wedges as my entree came out.
I know what you’re thinking, why would a guy who might be getting sick get something as rich as chicken gorgonzola? Short answer, my waitress talked me into the special of the day.
Long answer is it’s difficult to say no to someone who is constantly smiling and being helpful.
It was good though. My chicken was moist and the sauce was creamy. My palette was getting a bit tired of all the tomato by this point but that’s my fault, not the restaurants.
Oh and in staying in character, I also couldn’t say no to the Italian ice cream dessert my waitress recommended, the tartufo.
I also got so excited by dessert that I ate the entire thing before realizing I forgot to take a picture. Oops.
So just use your
Oh, and my stomach later confirmed the dessert passed the lactose intolerance test.
So all in all, a good experience that calmed my Italian food cravings. But it was the service that really did it for me. It was nice to have someone ask me how my meal was more than once, and actually make recommendations from the entire menu.
A shame I didn’t think to ask for her name until I was already on the road. But if you stop by Garden of Italy and encounter a sweet and friendly waitress with what I presume was a UK accent, you’ll recognize her.