October 29, 2010

A soothingly sedate restaurant, where customers can linger over plates of pasta and intimate conversations while an Andrea Bocelli CD plays gently in the background.

The menu is large but mostly unadventurous; all the staples from bruschetta, lasagne and fettuccine carbonara to tiramisu and panna cotta are well-represented, but anyone seeking more unusual fare might be disheartened.

White pizza slices, served with marinated eggplant, olives, mozzarella & tomatoes with balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil. Cumbersome to eat, but worth the effort. Warily scooping the veggies onto the thin, crisp pizza, we tried not to let everything fall all over the table before we could take a bite. The result was surprisingly tasty, like some crisp, carbohydratey salad.

Cannelloni stuffed with seafood in tomato sauce. Not bad; the pasta sheets might have been slightly too chewy, but they enveloped a fair bounty of prawns, mussels & other seafood, all nicely complemented by a creamy, cheesy sauce.

Pumpkin risotto, sauteed with butter, served with Parmigiano cheese & drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. We had mixed feelings about this; it tasted heavenly, with all the wholesome sweetness of pumpkin infused in every grain. Alas, it was the mushiest risotto we've had all year.

Ravioli stuffed with smoked salmon in tomato sauce. Competently prepared, but unmemorable. The taste of the salmon was strangely mild, making this a safe bet for anyone who'd prefer to eschew fishy flavors.

Baked bread pudding, made with fresh vanilla beans & custard and drizzled with limoncello. Undeniably delicious, with a fresh-tasting softness lacking in hotel buffet versions. The only caveat: we couldn't sense any liquor in this.

Astica Chardonnay (Argentina). Not a wonderful wine, but cheap at least.

Tropicana Golf & Country Resort.