Her first night in town we decided to go to Bistro 1245, a cute little pasta place with a great wine selection. The restaurant is small and cozy, and you can see right into the open kitchen. We snuggled into our table by the window with glasses of wine and relaxed to the sweet sounds of mellow jazz. My mom is a big fan of escargot, so naturally that is what we ordered first.
The escargot was delicious in its creamy garlic sauce, and it was even better paired with the lightly toasted flatbread for a satisfying crunch. I was so smitten with the food I completely forgot to take a picture until halfway through the course.
I’m a big sucker for pasta’s with light sauces and lots of ingredients. The Roma Tomato Pasta certainly didn’t dissapoint. The dish consisted of linguini noodles in a light olive oil, large chunks of roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and spinach. The citrusy tang of the tomatos mixed with the mozzarella was reminiscent of tomato caprice, another one of my favorite dishes.
My mother has been watching what she eats recently, but it doesn’t stop her from enjoying her meal when she orders out. Any meal at Bistro 1245 can be deconstructed and reworked to fit your dieting needs. Mom ordered the duck sandwich with a mixed green salad and chose to forgo the breading and mix the duck into her salad with feta cheese instead.
The next night, however, neither of us was counting calories. After the Gators whooped up on the Seminoles during Tebow’s last game, mom and I decided to head to Emiliano’s one of my favorite family owned restaurants in Gainesville. The restaurant specializes in Tapas and we made sure to order plenty.
The Picadillo Empanadas were melt-in-your-mouth good. The savory flavor of the ground beef with Latin seasonings inside made the flaky outside pastry taste even better. Mom stayed away from the fried yuca frita with garlicky mojito, but I couldn’t get enough. I wasn’t a huge fan of the crab stuffed portobello, a baked portobello mushroom cap with crabmeat stuffing, topped with queso blanco and served over a calabaza-jalapeño cream sauce. The crab was a bit fishy and there were too many flavors mixed together, it tasted too jumbled. The artichokes were extremely light and creamy, and easy to pop in your mouth. The last thing we tried was one of Emiliano’s signature tapas dishes, the Churrasco, or Argentinian Flank Steak. By itself the meat was juicy and tender, and mixed with a chimichurri sauce on top the flavor was even more intense.
For more about Emiliano’s, read my restaurant review in INsite magazine here.