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Niche, nibbles, tidbits – A Touch of Italia to Remember

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It was early evening as we turned into the Farm Shopping Center, a spot of Tulsa country not so long ago, which was rebuilt during the oil days as a country village around an old country barn. Little did anyone realize at the time that it would now have some forty retail regional and international shopping and dining establishments as gathering places for all ages and mid these many peopled centers, we came upon the very place we were to enjoy - a little bit of old Italia known as Villa Ravenna

Villa Ravenna was just as we had envisioned it; waiter’s ala aprons, scenic visual of old Itasly and aromas, o my yes, just like the old country - only in Houston does another exist, how good does it get.

Our table was already prepared awaiting our dining presence allowing the ambiance of old Italia to settle in. We were each served salads with bread ala oil and balsamic to flavor our senses for the meal to come. For the entrée, I chose Pollo ala Parmesan and my spouse elected an entrée of Red Snapper soup and Tilapia. As we chatted of a choice of wine, our waiter suggested a new light fruity wine with a of hint sweetness, ‘Mia Dulcea Moscato’, the wine proved to be the taste of the evening. As we savored our entrée’s, little hints of the real Italian owners Sergio and Yani Orioli became clear: ‘You can’t take the flavors out of old country so loved by each’.

Our dining experience was followed by a superb bread pudding with a dollop of ice cream topped with a creamy butter sauce and a seated waiter who challenged our senses with small verbal vignettes adding to the experience. As we left, a feeling of home, warm foods and company sitting ‘round left that feeling of family – we shall return.

Light Italian Pasta Salad

½ cup Radiatore, simmered 10 min’s, blanched ice water to chill, drain completely
1 Bunch Spinach, rinsed in cold water, then drained tom rid water
¼ cup Black olives chopped large
¼ cup Roma Tomatoes, squeezed gently of excess fluid
1 Tsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

Mix chilled pasta and spinach, arrange on plate, add chopped olives center of salad in a small circle, add tomatoes inside circle of olives, drizzle olive oil atop salad then Balsamic vinegar, serve fresh and enjoy.

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