Wednesday, May 9, 2012
|Photo by Robin May|
|Romacelli's Danielle Schexnayder|
There are healthy restaurants, and then there are those that seem to be healthy. By virtue of décor, uniforms, menu, a café can give the impression that its menu was sponsored by Dr. Oz when, in reality, it may use shortcuts to make its food tastier than your average healthy food. And by shortcuts, I mean butter.
This is where River Ranch’s Romacelli shines. As stated on its website, “Acadiana could really use fresh, casual Italian/Mediterranean cuisine,” so the creators of Café Roma in New Orleans decided to bring a spinoff concept to Lafayette. We went on Sunday evening, April 21, that day that should be formally honored by the city as “The Best Day of Weather Ever in Acadiana.” Unfortunately, the outdoor dining area was already packed with others who had also obviously recognized that 72 degrees, blue skies and a breeze equates to al fresco.
Speaking of outdoor dining, Romacelli is tops in this town — even in the hottest summer months. It seats about 50 in a breezy outdoor space; the restaurant is perfectly oriented directly toward the east, getting only soft, light morning sun but staying shaded from mid-day on. That means even on warm evenings it’s more comfortable than most outdoor dining areas because its surfaces remain cool throughout the day. Stepping inside, the design of the place is casual-modern and immediately lends an air of cleanliness and comfort. That’s in large part due to the complete remodeling and expansion of the restaurant about a year ago (a word of advice though, please dim the lights in the new addition at dusk; it would really enhance the ambiance). The menu is simple, centering around a selection of pastas, sandwiches and pizzas. The plating is clean, leaving significant white plate space without a bunch of inedible knickknacks hanging around. All this makes you feel that whatever you order will be somewhat healthier, lighter and fresher than a version you could get somewhere else. And it is.
The Mediterranean hummus is a clear winner at Romacelli with tomato, crumbled feta, roasted garlic and olives covering a mound of creamy cool hummus. Surrounded by grilled flatbread pieces, it was the perfect combo to start the meal.
The pizza here, appropriately raved about in online review sites, is excellent. Utilizing a crust similar to the aforementioned flatbread, the pizza came out topped with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onion, sun-dried tomato, roasted garlic, something called “CELLI-peppers” and feta cheese with a homemade garlic sauce. Let’s get this straight. I am a meat eater. If I walk through the doors of Dean-O’s, I am ordering the T-Rex. This pizza, however, largely made up for its lack of porcine products with sheer flavor. Whole cloves of roasted garlic combined with the homemade garlic butter sauce brought an utterly unkissable smile to my face.
The Mediterranean pasta was angel hair coated in olive oil with shrimp and feta. While not on par with the pizza or the hummus, it was good. I was looking for something a little bit lighter as an entrée, and this kept us on the feta trend that ran through the meal.
The wine list featured a decent selection of reds and whites at appropriate prices, and the wine was served in a nice big glass, poured at the table from a small decanter.
Small wine glasses and small pours are a pet peeve of mine, but Romacelli does it right.
Overall, the moderately priced Romacelli (which also has a location in Sugar Mill Pond) puts fresh, healthy-ish food on the table in a clean, friendly and casual atmosphere.
115 Stonemont Road
Sugar Mill Pond
220 Prescott Blvd.
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
Lafayette manufactured home or Scott two bedroom home
Cajun fan fierce
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Homecoming outfits with ease
Acadian style home in St. Martinville or traditional Breaux Bridge home
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."