Café Gia

How have I not been to this gem of a place?  Cafe Gia is small, but so colorful you barely notice.  We stopped in for dinner after visiting their new cocktail and wine bar – pane e vino – around the corner.  We were lucky enough to catch Aaron Joseph from Wit and Wisdom mixing up a bunch of fancy cocktails.  Fancy enough, that we needed food.

We called over to the restaurant and they quickly pulled together a table for 6.  I mentioned we were hungry, we started quickly with a bottle of red and some bread.  And shocking – octopus.  We ordered it. (I think I order it every time it’s on the menu – sorry friends).  And the burrata which was on special.  The cheese was creamy and mild, and served greens and their fresh bread.

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Octopus doesn’t photograph as well as it tastes. This antipasti was marvelous; a perfect start to the meal.  The octopus is grilled to a slight char bringing out stunning color.  I love it, sitting on top of a bed arugula, spinach; a base for the creamy garbanzo beans, salty capers, and crisp red onions.

I think the apps were better than the entrees.  The table ended up going with the papparedelle pasta with Ox Tail bolognese.  Spot on.  A perfect chunky, yet, gamey meat sauce.  I think it was the favorite on the table.

I had gnocchi di spinaci – for some reason, I wasn’t craving the ox.  I can’t let the picture speak for itself, but the menu does a pretty good job: “Sweet and simple, this sauce has a nutty tang from the blue cheese, cantaloupe and arugula”.  They were full of spinach flavor, but it did not take away from the light and fluffy pillow effect.  The sauce… So, I think I single-handedly finished off a loaf bread dipping.

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I have been avoiding Little Italy for quite some time, in favor of Sotto Sopra.  I think my gnocchi was fresh made, I am not sure about the other pastas.  I will be heading back here, probably actually the cute little bar Pane e Vino they have opened next door.  I haven’t quite figured out why they have a urinal and a toilet in a single stall bathroom, but I am sure there is a reason.

Cafe Gia on Urbanspoon

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