Whenever I dine in a restaurant-pitcher-list (like Aria Cucina Italiana BGC), I lean towards ordering the utterly unusual just for the sake of experimentation. While I am not the most adventurous diner, I still tend to be curious of dishes that cannot be concocted in our kitchen, not because of absent skills, but more of the deficiency in tools and ingredients. Cough, truffle, cough.
This is perhaps to explain how I ended up with oven baked potato gnocchi topped with simple marinara sauce and without a hint of bread on the side. I’m guessing if they wanted to torture me with spuds, no other carbs should steal that starchy limelight.
With the ever safe pesto, pansoti and even arrabiata in the menu were all prized prospects, I stubbornly went for the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. Not a fan of spuds to begin with, not to mention the squashy and boring kind, this was not the best choice for someone who wanted something red, hot and al dente! The marinara sauce was average and nothing fancy loomed in the sauce, making this easy-to-digest dish something for the generous conservative.
The Rucola e Pinoli pizza (arugula, pine nuts, truffle cream) was the prize order of the day, single-handedly finished by the lucky guy who ordered it. Light, crisp and with that oomph factor, any person could live off on that pizza and consider himself solved for the rest of his eating career.
The Quattro Stagioni (4 flavors) pizza has a thicker dough, perhaps the less gourmet version to cater to the plebeian taste. While the pizza’s composition was still grand, cheesy and delectable, having tasted that truffle makes everything else pale in comparison.
The desserts were imperative, despite the starchy redundancy. It did not matter if I was about to start the new year with a an expanded waistline, I hate to leave Aria with a satisfied look; smug is out of the question.
The Mousse ai Due Cioccolat was a splendid cup of dark and white chocolate mousse and hazelnut to ward off the meal’s not-too-pleasant aftertaste. While looking quite miniscule, it’s all in the presentation. This little cup can certainly fill you up, and no matter how full you feel, you will finish it. Blame the sweet tooth. And the potato.
Aria has been a pleasant ride and more so for those who are hungry for gourmet Italian fares right smack in BGC. Inventive and the usual (by usual we mean pesto, carbonara, etc.) pasta and pizza selections are on the menu and if you decide to deviate as I did, make sure it’s something that you have been dying to taste all your life and want it now.
And so potato gnocchi, you are absolved.