Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Loading Zone, Civic

Ahh Loading Zone, how I love thee.... I never feel compelled to write more than one review on the same place but this is so worth the extra effort. I can't sing enough praises about the whole team at Loading Zone but I will try anyway. 

I wrote about my first experience at Loading Zone here, and it was one of "I can't wait to go back for more". So I did and I fell in love with this place all over again so here comes the second review. This time I decided to put my dietary restrictions aside and live a little and am I glad I did! 

Loading Zone isn't doing their "comune di pranzo" menu anymore but that doesn't mean you'll be missing out on anything. On the contrary, I would say. Now the servings are larger and you have more options (pastas, soups, salads AND piadinas!) so it's a win-win situation. And the menu changes on a daily basis, which in itself is fantastic. The best way to keep up with the daily menu changes is through their very informative and witty Facebook page, which tends to announce the lunch menu by midday before those hunger pains set in. But a word of warning; if you are unlucky like me and don't work in the area, seeing this menu on a daily basis and not being able to get a taste of it is a guaranteed way of torturing yourself!

So my lunch date and I had the most amazing meal here yesterday and I will be dreaming of these pasta dishes for some time.

Here we have the Penne with roast pumpkin, hazelnuts, ameretto and mascarpone. Talk about a winning lot of ingredients! This was comfort food of the best kind. The juicy pumpkin, the crunch of the roasted hazelnuts and the hint of amaretto with the not overly creamy mascarpone made each mouthful an absolute pleasure.

We also tried the pea and ham hock on parpardelle with mint. Simple, fresh, delicious. What more do you need from a pasta?! The ham hock was so flavoursome and considering I'm a bit iffy about peas at the best of times, I still loved this dish. The taste of the peas wasn't over-powering and the mint sauce was just heavenly.  

And of course we couldn't have a long lunch without a glass of Sangiovese in the true Italian style. And then of course how could you say no to a coffee and a perfect little lemon meringue tart!

Credit must again be given to the flawless service at Loading Zone. First there's Joe, one of the owners of the business, who I think is an absolute sweetheart for the way he interacts with customers and makes everyone feel comfortable and welcome (take note, owners of Eightysix, THIS is how you become a successful and respected restauranteur in this city). Then there's the wait staff who are incredible friendly, approachable, attitude-free and seem to be genuinely enjoying their jobs. So refreshing! And then there's the chef (who is the ex head chef from The Lobby Restaurant; so this lady obviously knows a thing or two), who popped out to say hi, who also seemed genuinely appreciative to hear how much we loved her food. 5 star service all around!

So the verdict: Ummmm could you not tell I love everything about this place?! That is all. Go here. Have lunch. Walk away happy. Guaranteed! 

Loading Zone on Urbanspoon 

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