The food: Linguini a la olio with fresh black tiger shrimps, broccoli and chili peppers from Pallucci
I’m mad busy with writing endeavours right now, and am simultaneously working on (or pretending to work on) a new novel, a roundup newspaper review of 8 (8!) books, a radio piece, my students’ manuscripts, and this blog.
So when my mother organized a restaurant lunch this week to be attended by me, my two sibs, and her, my first thought was forget it, I’m too busy, and my second thought: hey, if the food’s good I can blog about it, so yeah, let’s do it.
The restaurant my mother chose was Pallucci on Mount Pleasant Road in Toronto. To begin with, we were offered bread:
The presentation was lovely, but I found the bread a bit ordinary and soft. I would have liked a crisper crust and firmer crumb.
Next came sweet potato frites for the table to share as a starter:
Also well presented, and good-tasting: crunchy on the edges, soft inside, not greasy. But at $9, the price was a little steep. They were good though, and the drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze a sophisticated touch.
I ordered the linguini with shrimp, broccoli and red peppers shown at the top of this post. I don’t usually order lunch entrees that cost $21, but I can never resist pasta in stylish Italian restaurants. And the linguine was coated in a fragrant olive oil that made every strand slippery in a luxe way. The shrimp and broccoli were good too, firm and perked up by the red pepper and the hit of lemon juice.
My brother and sister each ordered the Estate pizza with grilled chicken, goat cheese and roasted red peppers.
Look at that crust! There was the crispness I craved, and when I cadged a small piece from my sister, I warmed to the goat cheese – it was nicely puffy and tartly flavoured. And I’m totally into fresh greens on a pizza. I should have ordered this. It was only $16, too.
Would I go back to Pallucci? For the pizza, yes. And for the linguine and sweet potato frites if someone else were paying, yes! Though when does that ever happen? Kind of never. So now I feel guilty for not doing work while I sat in the restaurant, for spending more for lunch than I like to, and for eating three high calorie starches in one meal.
Guilty but with a good taste in my mouth.
Update: Pallucci is currently (as of late June, 2009) offering a special Summerlicious $25 3 course prix fixe menu that includes the linguini with shrimp and broccoli as one of the mains – good food made more affordable.