Sherman's Food Adventures: Farina a Legna

Farina a Legna

If you can believe it, Viv has never been to Pizzeria Farina...  Yah, it's been around for quite some time, but she just hasn't had a chance to try it.  It's not like she doesn't like pizza and trust me, she's gotten her fair share of razzing from others about it.  Finally, when we had some time on a Friday night, she suggested we head out for dinner.  Well, since Farina a Legna had just opened on the North Shore, we ended up braving the wait to eat there.  To be honest, that wasn't even our first choice as we tried to go for the dinner service at Douce Diner on Friday nights.  Unfortunately, they weren't open and our backup plan was Farina!

Even though it was just the two of us, we tried to get a sense of the menu by trying a little of everything.  That began with the Polpette al Forno consisting of wood fired beef and pork meatballs in tomato sauce and parmigiano reggiano.  Light, loose and moist while still maintaining a meaty bite, these were able to ride the fine line between tender while not being fatty.  The tomato sauce was impactful with a pleasant tanginess while being well-seasoned bordering on salty (but not salty).  For our veggies, we got the Brussels Sprouts with bacon.  Typically, most restaurants fry the heck out of Brussels sprouts so that they are crispy and frankly not "Brussels sprouts" textured anymore.  These were definitely fried, but not enough to lose the natural texture of a firm sprout.  We enjoyed that, as well as the plethora of bacon.

The moment of truth arrived when Viv finally got to try a pizza!  We selected the Finocchiona with tomato sauce, fennel sausage, provolone, parmigiano reggiano, fresh basil and spicy peppers.  This was not lacking flavour as the spiciness really came through as well as the zestiness of the combined tangy tomato sauce and fennel sausage.  Although the crust didn't appeared to be charred much from the top and the edges, the bottom did exhibit leoparding.  Hence, the well-seasoned dough was nutty and crispy throughout.  Viv really enjoyed it and the wondered why it took her so long to try it.  We chose one pasta from the menu in the Vongole with spaghetti, clams, parsley, lemon, calabrian chili and butter.  For people that really know me, this is my favourite pasta.  However, this version was not good.  It was as if they forgot to season the dish.  It was that bland - no saltiness and no brininess.  Furthermore, the spaghetti itself was past al dente.

For dessert, we went for the
Torta al Cioccolato or flourless chocolate cake with salt, EVOO and hazelnut cream.  This was a surprisingly awesome treat for a place that isn't really known for its desserts.  The cake was rich, chocolatey and just sweet enough.  The flakes of salt really amped the flavour as well as the drizzle of EVOO.  Light and nutty, the hazelnut cream added the necessary moisture to the relatively dense cake.  So if you look at the dessert and everything else except for the pasta, our meal was good.  The fact that there is a proper dining room compared to the other location (albeit with a low ceiling), is a bonus.

The Good:
- Solid pizzas as usual
- Expanded menu
- An actual dining room (compared to the other location)

The Bad:
- The one pasta we tried was meh
- Low ceiling means loud and a bit claustrophobic feel


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