Emiliana Osteria Italiana must be the best kept secret in town – of the Italian variety that is. The intimate and warm Italian restaurant is tucked away on Longden Street, in close vicinity to Lapeyrouse and I don’t doubt that passers-by have often wondered what lay behind the frosted glass facade, a building so starkly different from those surrounding it.
I was invited to a tasting at Emiliana’s last night by my friend Ian Royer, the man behind the PR and promotion of the restaurant. Upon entering we were offered a shot of prosecco with strawberries – so delicious I wanted to sip mine slowly. Luckily the servers kept coming back around with more, and they also offered up the house white and red – a Bianchi and a Chianti if I remember correctly.
As far as the actual tasting went, there was a wide enough range of items to give you an idea of what the restaurant offered without the choice being too overwhelming. Three or four different types of pizza, shrimp wrapped in bacon, mini-meatballs, mini brushetta and the most divine stuffed mushrooms were on display for patrons to sample. I had been to Emiliana’s with the Boy some months earlier and there’s no denying that the food is good; the menu may be a little different from what the meat-enthusiasts in Trinidad may be accustomed to but the prices are reasonable and you could easily select a 4 or 5 course meal from the options available.
What impressed me the most though, on that visit as well as this one, is the restaurant itself. I mean this is not just a restaurant, this is a space. It’s not hard to imagine hosting some fabulous cocktail or networking events in this restaurant, and with rumours of a rooftop deck becoming available in the not too distant future, I could easily see it becoming a sought-after spot for after-work limes and business dinners. There is an air of sophistication about the interior decor that really appeals to me. The wait staff is courteous and efficient and the directors seem very keen on catering to their customer’s every whim. I love attention to detail (being somewhat of a self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive personality) and it impressed me when one of the wait staff – seeing I had just rested my purse on the floor – offered me a purse holder (not unlike the one I own). One of the owners – a gentleman I know only as Kelly – commented to me excitedly that he loves little gadgets like those. Promising…because while a purse holder to keep your bag off the floor may not seem a big deal to most, to me it represents an attention to detail and an interest in customer comfort that might mean even more and more significant conveniences to come. Quite a few customer service points for that one Emiliana’s.
I have nothing but high hopes for Emiliana’s, it seems like it has the proper people behind it in order to push it to great success. Keep an eye on this space folks.