A new year, an old favorita!

Ok, so probably in a similar vein to many folks out there, I started 2010 with the vague intention of maybe cutting down on some of the rich eatings, primarily for the sake of my waistline. Hey, this blog is actually starting the new year with a deficit of food. Kind of. In the final weeks of the last decade, I munched out in (count em’!) Daniel’s, Tempus, Chop Chop and The Basment, but I’ve yet to review any of them, which to readers of Leil’Appetit might suggest that I’ve acutally been exercising some restraint. Mais non! I’m just a wee bit behind on reviews, as I’ve been rather busy doing a whole lot of nothing for two weeks. I could blame the snow, but the fact is the dinners were eaten. I’ve just yet to key in the info and tell anyone about it.
Back to the beginning, if I may. Twentyten has now begun, and I thought no better way to see in a new year – !New Decade!- than revisitng an old favourite. La Favorita has been on the radar for a few years now, and it was exciting to hear that they’d managed to procure an AA Rosette in the autumn. Quite a coup for a  place mostly known for being a pizza joint, it has to be admitted, and their PR machine worked hard to make sure the the press heard about it. Middle sister has been home for 3 weeks for the festive hols, and just found out her vacation had sneakily been extended due to snow related travel problems, so we said we’d head out for some nosh last night.
Given that this was the first ‘proper’ Friday of the year (New Year’s Day definitely doesn’t count), I was amazed to see how busy the place was at 6:30pm. The pre-We Will Rock You crowd were still in town for the run’s final weekend, and this place definitely seemed to still be packing them in too, despite being a good jaunt further away from The Playhouse than several other well-established Italian Restaurants.
If we were going to do this right, I figured there was no way past a bottle of Prosecco to start, so we got tucked into a bottle of the Rocco Venezia Brut. A nice bright little sparkler – and at the risk of sounding like a total lush, a nice change from some of the more full-flavoured vintage Champagnes we’d had over Christmas. Good grief, not that I’m complaining.
I’d already big-upped the ‘thing they do with mushrooms and truffle oil’ pre-visit, so for a starter , we shared a whopping order of the Bruschetta Tartufata. First off, this is elevated above many restaurants’ bruschetta, in that they use a fantastically rustic Italian bread, rather than some of the bland white stuff you sometimes get.
As I’ve said before, stick truffle oil on pretty much anything, and I’ll fall in love with it. The supercrunchy toast was a great contrast to some soft melted Taleggio cheese, and then the mushrooms on top. Not only that, but we totally rated the marinated and pitted Kalamata olives that came with a few rocket leaves as a wee garnish. So far, so deelish and with four slices, easy peasy to share between two people.
Although this restaurant does have a really good selection of main dishes, the draw to La Favorita is really about the pizzas, so we each picked a pizza for main course, and also shared a really good rocket and Parmesan side salad.
If anyone out there is ever wondering how a pizza base should be cooked, I’d say head on down to Leith Walk and check out this place’s wares. Two wood-fired ovens keep the pizza flowing out of the kitchens like nobody’s business here. The bases are super light  and crispy, always with a little hint of smoky taste with only adds to the authenticity. Flavours-wise, there are a few house specials, but last night we went for a Colorata  which was a yummy combo of tomato sauce, goat’s cheese and asparagus. Only duff note was the cherry tomatoes. We had a bit of a chat about this actually, thinking it would have been nicer if these had been invited to the party in the oven. Kind of like arriving sober at a party just in time for last orders. One G&T  isn’t really going to cut it. Imagine how tasty those toms would be if they were all roasted and soft!
The other choice was a Quatro Stagioni, chosen mainly due to the presence of marinated artichokes of which I’m a huge fan. This was a good pizza too, if a little less exciting than the other, but the quality of the ingredients were tops. After a 40 minute period of eating, and swapping, and ‘taste this’ we’d worked our way through what felt like a mountain of pizza, but evidentially-speaking looked like two girls who really could have gotten away with sharing one pizza. Fear not, people! For the total boon about this place is that this scenario is probably a rather common occurrence, and it’s totally cool to ask to take the left over pizza slices home with you.
Whislt we didn’t have an appetite for any more ‘food’, a second bottle of bubbly did seem a good idea, so we tried out the Rocco Rose. Another nice bottle , still quite dry, but it had a nice berry flavour through it, and I guess that took care of dessert.Staff were great throughout, if slightly jumbled up in terms of sequence of who brought the next thing out, but a nice friendly team.
And what of this intention to take the gourmet-ing a little easier? Fat chance! A belated Christmas Party on Sunday, my birthday the Monday after and then a week of all-inclusive in Egypt at the end of the month. And besides, I’ve got half a pizza in the fridge to get through. That’s lunch sorted!
2 Bottles of Prosecco
1 huge starter to share
2 amazing pizzas
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