It was C’s birthday on Tuesday and I decided that I would take him out for a romantic meal in the evening just the two of us – its surprisingly how seldom we go out to eat on our own.
Literally 2 blocks from my apartment is an Italian restaurant called Bellaria, I have walked past it many a times and have always wanted to try it. Something about it looks incredibly appealing to me – small and unpretentious, and you can see the chef making pizzas in the wood oven through the window. This coupled with the fact that a friend of mine promised that they can do no wrong – I decided that this would be the perfect place to take C to dinner. I was NOT disappointed.
Everything that this little restaurant promises to be on the outside – it delivers on the inside. The interior is intimate, and tastefully decorated with creams and wood, the tables are simply set up with silverware and white table-cloth and the waiters are incredibly friendly and service minded.
Best of all…there is no telly! No I am not joking – in every restaurant in Mexico city there seems to be a telly, and I absolutely hate it! There is nothing more distracting than having a telly on in the background both for you and the person you are talking to…usually you just end up staring at it mindlessly – even if you have absolutely no interest in what is on (usually football or music videos from the 80s!). An absolute moodkiller!
Anyway…back to Bellaria…not only was the ambiance lovely so was the food. We shared a beef carpaccio to start with – not very adventurous maybe, but you would be surprised at how many awful beef carpaccios I have had – and this was anything but. There was a great balance of flavours with the thinly sliced beef, shaving of parmesan, sprinkling of rocket and drizzling truffel olive oil. It all came together in that perfect bite.
For the main I had the ‘risotto with prawn, asparagus and saffron’ and C had the ‘pappardella with duck’. Both were fantastic – but if I would have to choose again, I would go for the duck papardella…which says a lot coming from me, as my love of rice usually trumps everything and anything. Like I said, the risotto was lovely, perfectly seasoned, a lovely creamy texture with juicy tiger prawns and perfectly cooked esparagus which still had a bite to it – not to mention the saffron flavour! However, the couple of mouthfulls of the pappardella I managed to sneak from C’s plate before he finished it all – was fantastic!
The only ‘slight’ disappointment of the evening for me was the desert – the tiramisu. It was incredibly creamy, they were slightly too heavy handed with both the liqure and the cocoa powder, and there was no bite or crunch to it..it was all the same consistency. To be honest most restaurants I have been to do this, and I should know better than to order it – but I thought maybe they would get it right….however, this is really such a small complaint (especially coming from someone who doesn’t really eat deserts!) compared to the lovely restaurant and evening that we had.
I found out later that there are two Bellarias in Mexico City, the one I want to was the one in Polanco, the other being in Santa Fe. However if any of you are in town and I would highly recommend that this restaurant is worth a visit. The website is: www.bellaria.com.mx and you will be able to find all the contact details there.
PS. My hunt for the perfect tiramisu is still on…if anyone has any recomendation on restaurants or recipies – let me know!