On our mission to expand our dining experiences beyond the downtown core, we jumped in the car Sunday and headed out to Zolas Restaurant in Bells Corners for a late lunch.
I had recently met Gina Vacchio sister to Chef/Owner Antonio Vacchio while planning an event. This bubbly, excitable soul encouraged me to stop by some time. So I did. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, good food, good wine, good company.
We started with the Porchetta Poutine topped with a perfectly cooked fried egg. The golden yolk really added warmth to this indescribable mouthful of complete and utter genius (with a Pelee Island red, perfection). Zola’s own delicious Porchetta. Heaven. That is all.
Next up, Chicken Gorgonzola. A gorgonzola cream sauce topped with roasted pine nuts served with seared vegetables and roasted potatoes, a creamy, dreamy dish. For the gorgonzola lovers out there this is a real treat. This sauce served with my personal favourites, pine nuts, over a moist, generously sized chicken breast.
We finished with, Penne with Hot Sausage (Grandpa’s recipe), pan seared calabrese sausage in a spicy tomato sauce. As you know I like a little heat, but really need the flavours to shine through. This dish did the trick, layers of tomato and spice with a nice kick.
Zola’s open style kitchen and funky atmosphere really lend to its warm, inviting feeling. The little Italian shop out front offers up pasta (both fresh prepared and packaged), a variety of canned goods, and take home meals. Soon to come sandwiches to grab and go, including the delicious porchetta.
Question….does porchetta trump bacon? Perhaps…..
As I said in the beginning of the post, my first experience with Zola’s is in planning an event for the Sunshine Foundation happening, Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at Ashbury College. The Sunshine Foundation is the only national Canadian charity to provide individual dreams to children with severe physical disabilities (such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy) as well as life-threatening illnesses. In fact, 80% of Sunshine Kids are challenged by a severe physical disability. Sunshine was the first organization to bring DreamLifts to Canadian children. Sunshine’s one-day, whirlwind DreamLift adventures transport approximately 80 children by plane to an exciting destination such as a Disney theme park.
This event, Bright Night, Big Dreams Masquerade Ball is being hosted by the National Capital Chapter. Some of the food I showcased today will be on the menu for the evening along with Pelee Island wines, a martini bar and some great big band music.
For ticket information visit Eventbrite.
For your added viewing pleasure:
Please plan on a visit to Bells Corners and Zolas soon, and if you want to support a great cause join us in October!