Have you ever been given a gift that you felt was completely undeserved? Last week some good friends of ours, treated my daughter and I to tickets to the musical Wicked. I was totally overwhelmed by their generous gift. Neither one of us had seen the show and we absolutely loved it.
As if theater tickets weren't enough, they also treated us to dinner before the show. We ate at Baraonda in Midtown Atlanta. (It's just a short walk from the Fox Theater.) Dinner was fabulous. We sat outside on the patio. It reminded me of some of the places we ate in Italy last May.
We shared a plate of deep fried calamari with marinara sauce for an appetizer. I ordered Fusilli Zucca for my entree. (Butternut squash, mozzarella, amaretti and sage) It was really good but it was very rich. I couldn't eat very much of it because it was so rich but it was super tasty. Butternut squash and pasta is one of my favorite combinations.
My daughter had a side of spaghetti with marinara. A simple plate of spaghetti can really be extraordinary if the pasta is cooked well and if it's served with a truly exceptional marinara sauce. My daughter was kind enough to let me share her spaghetti so I can honestly say that it was delicious. The sauce was similar to the spaghetti sauce that I had in Italy, very simple and without a lot of spices.
Our friends ordered a Gorgonzola salad with apples, walnuts, cranberries and lemon walnut dressing, and a plate of linguini pescatore. They both looked fabulous. The linguini had shrimp, clams, white wine, garlic, red chilis and cherry tomatoes. How could you go wrong with those ingredients?
I tried to resist ordering dessert but ultimately, I gave into temptation and ordered a chocolate almond cake with a scoop of vanilla gelato. My daughter ordered an apple tart that was also served with a scoop of gelato. Of course I sampled mine AND hers - they were both fabulous. Our friends ordered a tiramisu to share. I still can't believe that I even had room for dessert but I am glad that I didn't pass it up because it was delicious.
Thanks Ben and Tracy for dinner and the tickets. (and for photographing our dinner - you've got what it takes to be a food blogger Ben.)