Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mama Natalina

Mama Natalina is in town, all the way from Rimini, Italy. And when mama is here she is usually making fresh pasta in the kitchen of the Tampa restaurant which carries her name, Osteria Natalina. This South Tampa favorite is owned by her son, Spartaco and previously operated under his name. Regardless of the name, the food is still amazing. This past Friday, when we dined at Osteria Natalina, Spartaco was busy working the crowd, offering an amazing array of specials, which I believe outnumbered the items on the menu. Of course, for Spartaco, there are specials, then there is the "What would you like, we will make it for you" option. Appetizers? Since no one could decide, Spartaco offered to bring each of us a taste of two of the appetizer specials; gnocchi in tomato cream sauce, and sacchetti (little purses) filled with cheese and pears, served with a gorgonzola sauce. OMG, both were wonderful. The dilemma continued with the salad, which he solved by offering two salads to share between the four of us. First was a classic Caesar, and the other was arugula and fennel. Finally on to our entrees, Frank and I both ordered Mama's hand made strozzapreti, or priest's collar pasta, served with a light tomato sauce with shrimp and clams. Our two friends ordered snapper, one from the regular menu, prepared with eggplant, the other was a special prepared with crab meat. Both were delicious. For the finale, we had two desserts, mini cannoli, and amaretto cream cake. The cake won the day; it was oh, so good. Molto buono !!!. Grazie mille Natalina and Spartaco for a lovely meal. 

No comments: