A very dear foodie friend of mine emailed me one day and said, “We HAVE to try this Italian place in Bethel. When can we go?” Now, I must say, that I love these kinds of emails and questions. *laugh* She was so excited about La Zingara Ristorante in Bethel that I could not help but get all excited myself!
The online menu was so decadent and mouth-watering that we immediately decided to meet there for lunch. And to curb our guilt-meter, we decide to start dieting from the day before – in anticipation of our special meal.
I did a little research and found out that this place has been around for over 9 years and the reviews have all been fabulous. Believers of farm-to-table philosophy, the owners grow their produce on their own farm. How cool is that?! Featuring authentic northern and southern Italian food with a contemporary twist, this is pure Italian heaven. The gem of Bethel village!
The very Tuscan-style exterior sets the tone before you ever step foot into the restaurant. The interior is rustic, welcoming and cozy. We were giddy with excitement, and could not wait to order. The meal exceeded all our expectations and we shall thank God every day for that!
We started with Calamari Affumicati – Calamari sautéed in fresh tomato broth with fresh arugula and finished with white truffle oil. OMG! It was too good. The truffle oil did wonderful things to the fresh tomato broth. We sopped off every morsel and drop on that plate. This is a must have!
Next we ordered Gobetti all’ Aragosta e Capesante. This was an awesome dish of pasta tossed with lobster, scallops and leeks in tellegio cream sauce, baked off in the oven with fresh bread crumbs and truffle oil. This was rich creamy goodness on the plate. Once again the truffle oil was the perfect garnish for the flavor profile. BTW: I could not hold a straight conversation while I ate this. After every bite I found myself saying, “Mmm…”. Yeah! It was that good. Although, not a dish for dieters and calorie counters.
The Scallopine di Vitello Saltimbocca was tender veal scallopine topped with fresh sage, prosciutto and fontina. It was finished with delicious veal glace. The sauce was the perfect complement to the delicate flavor of the veal. Light yet filling – this is a great choice if you like veal.
Every dish tasted fresh and complex all at the same time. It was so good to know that farm fresh ingredients were satisfying our palates in such a wondrous way.
We finished our meal with a decadent Torta al Cioccolato. Dense flourless chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate and rum, garnished with raspberry coulis and whipped cream. With perfect sweetness, creamy and rich texture, this was indeed a great finish to a great meal.
The owners are excitedly adding a rooftop dining area to the restaurant. It should be opening soon – just in time for dining alfresco on those beautiful warm summer evenings.