Careful Indulgence top 5: La Porto a Casa: Bringing Authentic Italian home to the Burbs.

I think what I love most about La Porto a Casa, Barrhaven’s own Italian gem is the home-ee atmosphere (the checkered tablecloths and interior decor remind me of what I have seen in a Ristorante in Rome) and its true dedication to the authentic ingredients and flavours of Italian cuisine. I have yet to try a menu item that wasn’t worth bragging about for days after. It is nearly impossible to settle on one appetizer and one entrée so sharing is definitely a smart strategy to ensure you get the most out of your dining experience. The caesar salad, dressed perfectly with a burst of anchovie flavour (as caesar salad should) is an appropriate way to begin your meal. For something a bit more sophisticated, I would suggest the Insalata Veniciana (mixed greens, tomatoes, goat cheese, red onion and pinenuts) is tangy, creamy and generous in portion size. For a seafood spin, try the muscles (Tigulio in my opinion) with its lemony, flavourful broth. The calamari is also seasoned and fried to perfection with savoury aioli and marinara for dipping. For an easy to eat and delicious shareable, opt for their thinly battered and salty zucchini sticks.

Your entrée choice will depend entirely on which Italian food appeals most to you. Their pizza sits on a thin and chewy crust and is absolutely covered in toppings of your choice (carne carne has meatballs, pepperoni, italian sausage and pancetta, which I also took the liberty of adding onions and green olives to). The pasta choices, which I believe are the true stars of this restaurant, are irresitably flavoured (from creamy, cheesy linguini carbonara to spicy sausage and pepper penne) and can definitely be shared when paired with an appetizer. Anything covered in their signature homemade tomato sauce (such as the chicken parmiagiana or eggplant parm dianna is sure to thrill your palate. My mouth is watering just thinking about my current pasta go to-the Rigatoni Soprano, made with onions, pancetta and spinach in a white wine rosé sauce.

The best tip I can leave you with if you plan on visiting “Porto” as we call it, is to call far in advance. Space is limited and unfortunately for us, word of this outstanding cuisine has spread further than Barrhaven….even take out has an order cap.

Various soups, cold and hot paninis make this a perfect lunch spot as well.

Website: under construction (www.laportoacasarestaurant.com/)
Location: 3500 Fallowfield Road.

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