Okay, this has been quite frustrating. Another great place to eat and it's both far away and not open for dinner! Much like Chez Meme, La Ghianda is not exactly accessible for those who work during the day (unless you work nearby that is). Hence, it has taken a bit of time for me to visit the place since it opened. Part of the La Quercia family, La Ghianda is an Italian deli which offers up fresh, inexpensive fare. I dragged Pomegranate out for this food adventure so that I could try more food. We decided to try one item from each of the categories starting with the Roast Beef Panini with horseradish & arugula. Since the place is extremely small, we had to share a table with some other people. They were already munching happily on the same sandwich. They were raving about the bread and indeed it was very good. It was crusty and chewy, which made it a bit difficult to eat. Yet, that didn't take away from the tender medium-rare roast beef and wonderful horseradish dressing. There was just enough horseradish bite without being overwhelming. By virtue of using arugula rather than lettuce (such as romaine), resulted in the addition of some welcomed bitterness.
For our pasta dish, we decided to try the Orecchietti with Meat Sauce. The pasta was very al dente and personally, I like it this way. For fresh pasta, it is usually very difficult to make it al dente without under cooking it to a degree. In that respect, I thought it was executed perfectly. The meat sauce was surprisingly light and mild tasting. I often complain that pastas are either too salty or bland. Not this one. It was perfectly balanced. For our meat course, we opted for the Pork Scaloppine alla Limone. With everything here, it is only $10.00. I don't know about you; but that is a pretty good value in my books. The thin slices of pork were perfectly cooked and bathed in a tasty lemon caper sauce. The sauce was gentle enough that I could still taste the meat while there was enough impact to add flavour. Pickled beets, zucchini and fennel salad rounded out the dish. Pomegranate thought that the fennel really went well with each bite of pork.
We were already quite stuffed at this point; but something told me to go get a Leek & Potato Soup as well. Actually, there is always a voice telling me to eat, so I guess it's normal... Anyways, the soup was fantastic. Silky smooth and balanced, this was elevated above its modest ingredients. In fact, we were both very impressed with what we were served for the price. Except for the soup, everything was $10.00. Sure, $10.00 for a sandwich is somewhat steep; but that is fast becoming the norm anyways. Considering the quality and execution of the food, one would expect to pay more. Much like La Quercia, Adam Pegg and Lucais Syme have another hit on their hands.
- Food is solid
- Fresh house-made ingredients
- If you choose to eat-in, there might not be any tables and if there are, you'll need to share
- Sandwiches for $10.00 could be steep for some people