We were supposed to be having dinner at a very newly opened Greek restaurant in Stony Stratford. Unfortunately, although we’d made a booking, they hadn’t written it down. So, there we were at 7pm on 31st August all dressed up and nowhere Greek to go …
Well, one door shuts and another opens. We’d been meaning to try Casa Cento, the Italian restaurant at 100 the High Street, for some time and this was the ideal opportunity – if they could squeeze us in. We ambled gently down the High Street and though it was very busy we were warmly welcomed and told that if we could wait 10 or 15 minutes, they’d find us a table.
This seemed like a plan. We ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio (I had no intention of being moved on anywhere by that stage) and parked ourselves at a reserved but unoccupied table to wait for a table to become free. The wine was delicious, soft and fruity in flavour, so it was no hardship to spend a bit of time people (and food!) watching.
Our unscheduled evening at Casa Cento did not disappoint. The food was excellent, the service was prompt (even though the place was packed), the surroundings were pleasant (I was amused by the antics of the Bacchus cherubs in the décor), and it all came at a very reasonable price.
It seems that Italian food is officially the most popular cuisine in the world. Earlier this year an international YouGov study asked more than 25,000 people across 24 countries which of 34 national cuisines they had tried and whether they liked or disliked them. Italian food topped the poll receiving an average popularity score of 84 per cent across all the countries surveyed.
You can see the charm. It’s a country with over 310 forms of pasta. Pasta rolled and folded around anything from prawn mousse to nettles, layered or filled and baked for lasagne or cannelloni. And then there’s all the other dishes Italians make using dough – from pizza to panettone, focaccia, cornetto and panini. In Venice they turn stale bread into a polenta-like peara bread sauce, while in Tuscany they add it to soups such as pappa al pomodoro or salads such as panzanella. And then there are the wonderful rice-based dishes – from risotto to arancini.
Why do we love Italian food so much? Quite simply it ticks all the boxes …
- Italian food is famous for using quality ingredients. Everything – from olive oils to wines to cheeses – is made with the freshest ingredients and prepared according to the highest of standards.
- It is not fiddly. It’s simple to cook Italian dishes. Most of the ingredients are common and it doesn’t take much effort to find them in the market. For example, you can make Italian food using nothing more than tomatoes, bread, olive oil and cheese.
- Most people are aware of the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, but few know that this cuisine is associated with Italy. Eating ingredients commonly found in Italian food can help prevent heart-related diseases.
- What makes Italian dishes so delicious is that the ingredients are unique and high quality. For example, it’s simple to make a tasty salad by combining fresh veggies and drizzling balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top. That’s all you need, and it takes no time at all.
- One thing that’s nice about cooking your own Italian food is that the ingredients are simple and affordable. You don’t have to buy sauce from the market; you can make variety of them at home by combining a few simple ingredients.
- Italian cuisine offers a large variety for you to choose from. The most popular Italian dishes include cold meats and cheeses, sandwiches, pasta, bruschetta, risotto, ravioli and so much more.
Casa Centro is definitely a restaurant I can recommend to our guests!
To learn more about Casa Centro follow the link.
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