Saturday, January 15, 2011

lunch with larry

and dinner too.  Larry arrived right around noon and we spent a little time with the dime tour of River Cottage (it is small so it only took about five minutes to show him everything)  then we left for lunch at Mar Vista on the top of Longboat Key.  it has been enlarged over the last few years and now has a permanent cover for weather where there used to just be umbrella tables.  the food has gotten fancier as well. 

we all had the grouper sandwiches after sharing tuna fusion and tater tots for starters.  everything was very good and we were happy.  from there we headed to the farmer's market to pick up some produce.  by the time we got back it was after 4 PM.

here are some photos from Mar Vista

later we went to a fabulous place for dinner- Ortygia

we had an amazing meal of Italian inspired dishes.  the chef Gaetano is of Sicilian heritage from the eponymous town - near Siracusa and his food is French influenced so how could we go wrong.  the symbol for the restaurant is the Sicilian flag-

above - a fabulous dish called farsumagru- a sirloin steak stuffed with provolone, prosciutto, Italian sweet sausage, hard cooked eggs and pancetta.  it was superb!

below - a timballo di penne comprised of meatballs. eggs. mozzarella. provolone, roasted red peppers, and other Sicilian delights between layers of pasta and bathed in balsamela and parmagiano cheese.  (description lifted directly from the menu.)

the starters we shared were a lentil salad and a portobello mushroom stuffed with spinach and Gorgonzola cheese and a torta rustica (ricotta tart.)

we liked the place so much that we made reservations for dinner for when Sheila and Mary come to visit.

the chef and his son, Joel (our waiter) and the chef's lady friend Jill all stopped by several times during dinner to talk to us and after dinner we got to know them a bit better.  this is a wonderful place with excellent food and lovely ambiance and a super friendly staff- what's not to love???

we already are planning lunch there next week so we can try some additional dishes we missed out on tonight!

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