Walking into Rogi Orazio, I felt as if I was in a bustling Italian trattoria. Located in the Hydrostone Market, the restaurant offers Halifax’s patrons an authentic Mediterranean dining experience. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, enhanced by the pleasant chatter of dinners.
I decided on two appetizers both within the $9 price range. I chose to start with Portobello Risotto Balls ($ 8.95) followed by the Pear and Gorgonzola salad with toasted Walnuts ($8.95). To begin the meal, a friend and I shared a bottle of Goats do Roam, a South African white at the affordable price of $32.00, while we munched on the house bread; a light, buttery herbed focaccia and a classic Mediterranean dip of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The risotto balls were prepared just as I’d hoped; cutting through the deep fried, crispy coating revealed warm, creamy rice and Bocconcini cheese paired and with the woodsy, musky taste of the mushrooms. I was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected addition of jalapenos. An odd combination, but they worked quite well together as the heat and acidity of the peppers cut through the richness of the rice. These were served atop a bed of tomato-basil rose sauce.
Next came the Pear and Gorgonzola salad with toasted Walnuts. On a base of Mesculin greens were slices of crisp Bartlett pears, fresh, buttery walnuts and creamy, pungent Gorgonzola cheese. Red onions added a nice crunch, and a little bit of spice to round out the sweet flavor of the pear. The salad was perfectly balanced, with no one ingredient upstaging another. The dressing was a light, Dijon vinaigrette, and worked quite well with the other flavors of the salad.
My one complaint for the evening would be the service. The restaurant had a steady turnover, and the servers were visibly busy. However, though we were forewarned that the kitchen was backed-up, a little more attentiveness would have been appreciated.
Service aside, the meal was fantastic, and I would certainly go back for more. Altogether, the total including tip came to less than $50.00. Not bad for an evening of savory Italian comfort food, good wine and great friends!
5517 Young St.
Sun-Thurs: 11:30 am-11pm
Fri-Sat: 11:30 am-2am
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