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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ravalia's Pasta Bar & Italian Rotisserie, Casselberry, Florida

"Life is too short, and I'm Italian. I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0. "

Ciao amico mio!  May this day bring happiness, good fortune, and environmental enlightenment.  May something otherwise little and insignificant be observed and enjoyed this day.  'Tis a wonderful planet Earth on which we live!

Wrap Planet, Ravalia's, and Maitland Breakfast Club... the trifecta of dining!

Back in early November Chucky did a very, very smart thing.  I saw a dining deal on Hot Deals Orlando for a new Italian restaurant called "Ravalia's".  You know... The type of web site similar to Groupon, $20 now for $40 worth of food later.  Even if you forget and the coupon expires, you still get the $20 face value.

Ravalia's Pasta Bar & Italian Rotisserie store front (Note 1/)

Well... Last night Tiffany and I checked it out.  We intentionally ate a very light lunch fare of lettuce wraps with rice in anticipation of our meal.  I had done some research on this place and everything appeared thumbs up.  From Facebook reviews, to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, to UrbanSpoon, to Yelp; everyone is raving about the place.  To be frank and honest, I was getting excited to try this new neighborhood Italian restaurant.

Fresh pasta made daily! (Note 1/)

All that Tiffany and Chuck can say is "O-M-G!"  "Winner, winner, fresh pasta dinner!"  Even with the many vegetarian menu choices, we were unable to use the entire balance of our $40 Hot Deal coupon.  These coupons are one-time use only and you cannot carry a balance.  I never expected such low prices from an Italian dining establishment.  This is not a bad dilemma, huh?

We thoroughly enjoyed a freshly made vegetarian Italian meal and had ample leftovers for another day.  Each dish and side item that we received was ample and utterly delicious.

Receipt (duh!)

Here's the low-down on our $2.16 (tax) ticket.  When you include the original $20 cost, we're only talking $22.16 for the following items.  How does this stack up to your local Italian restaurant?

  • Caprese sandwich
  • Cavatelli with marinara sauce
  • Rigatoni with tomato sauce
  • Six (6) fresh garlic bread sticks w/ marinara sauce
  • Bowl of tomato basil soup
  • Bowl of minestrone (meatless) soup
  • Glass of Bolla Chianti wine
  • Glass of Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon wine
  • One (1) pound fresh spaghetti to-go
  • Large pistachio gelato

We were so lucky to be able to sample most of their vegetarian offerings.  Basically we sampled their fresh daily made pasta, their tomato sauce, their marinara sauce, their bread sticks, their Caprese sandwich, and their vegetarian soups.  With the exception of pasta styles and desserts, we pretty much tasted what is available to us as vegetarians.

Hey vegans!  Their pasta is sans egg.  The owner explained that it's entirely semolina flour and water.  Pick a pasta and either tomato or marinara sauce and you've got yourself a most marvelous vegan meal.

The gelato bar.... Talk about choices! (Note 1/)

Incredible!  A far and pleasant change from your run-of-the-mill Italian pizzeria.  Everything is made fresh daily and is processed in view of you, the patron.  When we entered we were immediately greeted with a warm welcome by everyone working there.  The owner (one of them) took the extra time to thank us for visiting.  He explained the menu and their fresh styles in detail.

This is not a restaurant.  I felt like I was sitting inside the home of an Italian friend.  Extremely pleasant, warm, clean and welcoming.  You walk up to the counter, place your order, and they bring it to your table when ready.  You grab your own fountain drinks, straws, napkins, etc.  Very much like going to Moe's Southwest Grill or Tijuana Flats.

Come on in!  You're family here. (Note 1/)

We finished eating our soup and gelato at Ravalia's.  Tiffany and I thought these dishes were probably best eaten fresh.  Instead, we have half our rigatoni, half our cavatelli, breadsticks, and fresh spaghetti to enjoy another day.  Lunch tomorrow and dinner on another night!  Ample portions and oh so fresh. 

Yes... We have found a gem of a dining establishment.  Once again, not a mega franchise.  Instead we spend our hard earned dollars for the local business person.  Very much a win-win for everyone.

And... yes, Chucky came home and did his nightly iFit Live treadmill routine.  Pasta doesn't come cheap on the scales my friend!

Chucky & Tiffany WILL be back!

Hi-dee hi-dee Ravalia's-is-highly-recommended-by-Chucky-and-Tiffany-ho my friend.
Keywords:  Review of Ravalia's Pasta Bar & Italian Rotisserie, review of Ravalia, Ravalia review
Note 1/ - Photo Credit:  Ravalia's.

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