Have you ever come across one of those family run Italian shops hidden among the streets of Zurich? Little Italian gems inviting outsiders with their colourful displays and tempting smell of fresh focaccia. Where fruit is more expensive, but smells freshly picked. Where cheeses like stracchino and burrata are to be found next to a selection of homemade antipasti.
Well, if one of these shops would become a restaurant, it would be Italia.
Italia does not need publicity. It has been around for a while and it was one of the first restaurants I visited during one of my trips to Zurich. I remember falling in love with their traditional approach to Italian food while staying trendy. A week ago, I decided to go back and see if our love was still vibrant. It is, oh…it is.
As the hungry women that we are, we went for two appetizers. The first one was a bruschetta topped with roasted yellow beets and a slice of smoked goat ricotta. Delicate and aggressive at the same time, it made way for the polpette, fried bread, vegetable and pecorino patties, which to me could very well be the Italian chubby cousin of the falafel.
For the main course, I chose the grilled calamari on a bed of citrusy mashed potatoes. The dish was elegant, yet filling and flavourful. Paired with a bottle of fruity Trancredi, it proved that happy endings do exist and red wine and seafood can make a very happy couple.