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“L’Appetito Vien Mangiano – the appetite comes while you’re eating”. After our shopping trip (see Part I in “La Village”), we arrived at our favourite Italian restaurant with big appetites. It was 9:00 p.m.

The restaurant was buzzing with activity when we arrived. We were soon escorted to a corner booth with soft seats that could easily have fit more. We felt like celebrities! The walls were covered in vintage black and white, and colourized photos of families and family occasions – lots of happy faces. We had happy faces too – and wet chins. The aroma of fresh herbs, savoury meat, and rich tomato sauce was making all of us drool.

The menu says “Chi se move mangia E chi sta fermo secca – he who moves eats. He who stands still dries up”. We had done our fair share of moving in “La Village” so we were ready to eat. It didn’t take us long to make our selections.

We munched on crusty bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and chatted until our appetizer arrived. We shared 2 large, battered and lightly deep fried (how do you lightly deep fry anything?) mozzarella balls stuffed with tomato risotto and peas. Peas? Yup – sounded weird to us too, but it tasted really good. As we pulled them apart, the melted cheese stretched and oozed, engaging my visual senses too.

Our main course was served up Family style” – put it all in the middle and dig in. We shared:

1) Insalata of mixed greens, chévre, roasted red peppers, and toasted walnuts tossed in balsamic vinaigrette;
2) Penne with grilled chicken, mushrooms, spinach, and cherry tomatoes, tossed in a white wine, garlic, and grana padano sauce;
3) Rigatoni mezzi with oven dried tomatoes, roasted eggplant, arugula, and ricotta di bufala, tossed in olive oil and a tomato sauce; and,
4) Thin-crust pizza with gorgonzola, pears, caramelized onions, walnuts, and arugula.

So goooood!

We thought we were too full for dessert…One friend commented that now she understood what her kids meant when they said they were too full to finish their meal…but they had room for dessert. There’s always room for dessert! We finished the eating portion of our evening by sharing a small chocolate mousse cake with gelato. The gelato was so light, with a hint of lemon. And even though the cake was only two-bite-sized, it was creamy and rich.

Before I left for my Girls’ Night Out, Hubby has asked me what time he might expect me home. I told him “late”. I was home by 12:30 (2 ½ hours past my bedtime). I was right!