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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gabriella's - Always a Favorite!

My sister and I really, really, REALLY wanted to try out one of the newest eateries on the island Thursday night.  We'd had a lazily tiring day on the beach, laying under umbrellas for over 5 hours, with only a break for a walk to Wanna Wanna for lunch and some time bobbing in the quiet waves.  We had a menu we picked up at Paragraph's on Padre Blvd for Windy City, purveyors of Chicago Hot dogs and Italian Beef, and that is where we headed... to sadly be greeted by a big old closed sign in the window.  At 6:00ish, we thought that must be a mistake and jiggled the door handle.  Alas, it was locked.

We were re-loading into the car and someone came to the door and opened it, apologizing, he had to close for a family emergency.  I sure know how that goes, so we assured him we would be back another time.  And I will :-)

That left us with the need for an alternative low-cost dining selection (it's been an expensive few weeks for this writer - lots of company).  Sister said, kind of hesitantly, "is Gabriella's too expensive?".  Well, of course it is, but once that light bulb was lit, there was no turning it off...we looked at each other and said "let's do it" - we giggled that we had certainly gone more upscale than our hankering for hot dogs!  She took pity on my pocket book and offered to treat the teen (we were going dutch this evening) and both gave him a talking to about not ordering the most expensive thing on the menu - trying to keep him in a specified budget (LOL - really?) and on we rolled.  I expected a long wait...July evenings are not times I traditionally enjoy eating out on the island.  We were fortunate to have arrived just when we did, because we were seated immediately and had really excellent service from our waiter.  Dang, I wish I recalled his name.  He was great!

We, of course, had their hot bread and fabulous dipping oil (fried garlic, herbs, balsamic vinegar, olive oil - yum) and their salad and mini antipasti tray to get started.  Excellent as always - and we ate two baskets of bread (oink oink).

I have always wanted to try their Dominic's Truffle Chicken - everyone raves about it - but I always think "fried chicken at an Italian Restaurant???" and order something else.  Today, however, I was in the mood to give it a whirl.  It is a half of a fried chicken - and I'm sorry Mom, but it is quite possibly the best fried chicken I've ever eaten.  Even better than Mom's and better than my own.  Just perfect - so crispy - I was moaning as I ate it.  I ate every single bite of that bird except for the leg, which I shared with the teen.  It is served with garlic mashers slathered in truffle gravy.  Sorry to say, I didn't like that at all.  I'm not a truffle fan (well, unless it is of the chocolate variety LOL).  I'm also not a fan of garlic mashers.  But that chicken rocked my world and I was filled to the gills!

Sister had Pasta Pomodoro and she said it was spicy and excellent.  The teen had the same ravioli with marinara sauce as last visit...sister sampled the sauce and said it was excellent as well!

By golly, if we weren't stuffed enough the guests at the next table over had to be served dessert...damn them!  It made us want dessert.  They were having banana splits and a piece of Italian Wedding Cake with White Chocolate (groannnn).  Sister let the teen select the dessert...I could have told her it would be tiramisu...and it was.  Not my sister's favorite, but I told her she would be surprised.  She WAS surprised.  Said she had only had tiramisu at chain restaurants and had not been impressed.  This was obviously freshly made and light and outrageously delicious.  No picture because we all dug in like piggies and thought of it about halfway through the decimated dessert...and it was no longer photo worthy :-)  but it was surely good, good, goooood!

She announced, as we exited the restaurant, "tonight, the walk on the beach is not optional - it is mandatory".  I agreed.  As I type this she is laying in her bed, sound asleep, no beach walk, in a food-and-sun-induced slumberous coma.  Sweet dreams sister.  Zumba will kick our butts tomorrow!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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