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La Famiglia

Laura took me on a bona fide date on Saturday night (27th November 2004) to a charming Italian restaurant in Chelsea called La Famiglia. We made reservations for 7:15PM and arrived to find we were just about the only people in the place, but no matter, it is as I said, a charming little spot, with tiled walls and floors which curiously somehow lend warmth to the overall ambience of the place. The waiters were very Italian, the maitre d' was very Italian and quite a few of the patrons were very Italian, always a very good sign. We ordered a bottle of red from the Montepulciano region which was completely delicious and proceeded with a classic Caprese salad for starters, simple in it's flavours and elegantly presented before moving onto mains. I ordered the Spaghetti Scogliari, an excellent seafood pasta consisting of muscles, prawns, calamari and I am sure some other ocean fare in a tomato based sauce with a hint of chilli, just enough to provide the requisite 'bite' to each, erm, bite. Laura decided on the veal which was done to perfection. Looking up at this point, I noticed not a table available in the entire place and several very envious people loitering around the door, lustily eyeing our table. The side vegetables were equallly good, we ordered some steamed broccoli (also mildly infused with a gentle amount of chilli) and some steamed spinach which was, well, steamed... and spinach, no surprises here, but exactly what we were after. The desert cart was the highlight of the evening though and were I several thousand calories in the black, I would no doubt have gotten heavily involved in at least 3 of those decadencies. After some deliberation, we eventuially settled on something, the name of which now escapes me (just another reason to go back I guess), which was nothing short of perfection. On the whole, La Famiglia is a win, for it's ambience, for it's authenticity and for it's sheer quality dining experience.

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