I’m baaack! I took a little holiday break from blogging. We had a great Christmas (posts coming soon), and 2 days after Christmas I turned 32, ugh. After you turn 30, birthdays just aren’t as exciting anymore. But, I had a great time nonetheless! On Monday night I was in Orlando, and my mom, aunt, Jay & I went to Prato to celebrate the big 3-2. Sorry for the horrific photos!
Prato is a new restaurant on the Park Ave scene and I was excited to try it out! It’s an Italian “chef-driven” restaurant, with an ever changing (mostly locally grown) menu. I loved the design and openness of the restaurant. It reminded me of Chicago for some reason.
Our wonderful server gave us her recommendations and we decided to split some different goodies. But of course at any Italian restaurant, bread is first! It was a very soft focaccia with some tasty EVOO. My only wish was that the bread was a little warmer.
Round 1 – Heirloom Tomato Caprese. Two fresh mozzarella balls with a wide assortment of heirloom tomatoes and green beans. I loved the heirloom tomatoes…but they could have added 2 more mozz balls. But the flavor was crisp and well seasoned.
Round 2 – Meatballs. These were 2 pretty big meatballs (made with veal, pork, and beef) atop mascarpone polenta. The meatballs were really good! They were a little crusty on the outside and rich and meaty. Even Jay (who is very picky about his balls), said they were deeeelicious.
Round 3 – Rigatoni Cacciatore. IMO, it was one of the better dishes of the night. The rigatoni was perfectly cooked, and the Rabbit (yes, rabbit) Bolognese had a sweet richness to it. I also loved the crunch of the almonds that were spread around.
Round 4 – Casarecce Amatriciana. This was my mom and aunt’s favorite of the night. It was a twisty little pasta with pancetta, caramelized onion, and pecorino. It was delicious, but for some reason it just tasted to “familiar” to me to get excited about. I do love my pancetta and cheese though!
Round 5 – Margherita Pizza. Of course it was very good…but I like Sicilan Oven’s “The Boss” better. I loved the crust at Prato and said combined with “Boss” (a slight twist on mozz, tomato, basil) topping wise it would be the perfect pizza.
Round 6 – The Widow Maker. This is probably the ultimate pizza… Coppa (like prosciutto), sausage, braised kale, and an egg. Now, I hate most eggs (except Jay’s omlettes or tons of cheese in it). But yolks I don’t mind. The over easy egg was smack dab in the middle and Jay cut it open and spread it around the pizza. Next time, I would do a crust dunk instead because I didn’t realize that the egg in the middle it’s its own totally separate piece of pizza. Anyway… the pizza had so much flavor it was redonkulous.
Final Round – Chocolate thingy. I don’t know what it was called, but it was my little birthday surprise. It was an uber-thick and creamy chocolate custard with a tenny bit of salt on it. We each only had a couple spoonfuls of this goodness. It was the best chocolate custard like substance I have ever ingested. I also loved the little hint of saltiness at the end. Must learn to make.
Birthday Cake – what is a birthday without some cake?! My awesomest husband Jay picked this up at Yalaha Bakery. It was a Black Forest Cake…chocolate cake, chocolate shavings, vanilla buttercream, and dark cherries. It looked heavy, but was light and delicious. I still have 2 slices left, yay. Call me Bella Cullen, because I really turned 311 today! Hehe
What was your best birthday cake?