Printed from:
2022-09-27 02:27:54


DINING -> Restaurants
By Howard Jarvis. 25.08.2011

Skārņu 22 , Riga Phone: 6720 5428
Working hours: Mon-Fri 11:00 - 23:00
Sat-Sun 11:00 - 24:00

Opened by the sentimental Italian crooner Albano (“Al Bano”) Carrisi, this is a restaurant with a big heart. On the corner of one of Old Riga’s most historic buildings beside a bustling cobblestone pedestrian-only street is the new Italian restaurant Felicita.

Opened by the sentimental Italian crooner and actor Albano (“Al Bano”) Carrisi, this modestly sized but big-hearted restaurant focuses on the wine, the food and the soul of Puglia, a winemaking region on the “heel” of southeastern Italy.
Sit inside the restaurant beneath a cheerful fresco of Al Bano’s villa, at the garden furniture outside facing the tall church of St Peter’s, or – best of all – at one of seven tables in the courtyard at the back, which maintains a palpable Italian al fresco ambiance. There’s a constant stream of cheesy tunes to enjoy, tending to attract the more mature class of diner.
Al Bano has his own vineyards, and the fruits of these vines are the only choices on the wine list. But that’s fine, as you wouldn’t want to try anything else. These wines are rarely tasted outside their homelands, and this is the ideal opportunity to sample them.
The key to Felicita is to match the right wine with your chosen dish from the fairly limited menu. For example, a bottle of the Don Carmelio rosso (€20), named after the singer’s father, goes well with the steak. That’s a good order to make as Felicita’s chef confesses to having a passion for steaks. Go for the excellent beef fillet steak with sautéed mushrooms, beer-caramelized onions and red wine sauce (€18.50).
The bright, fruity and gently sparkling Felicita bianco (€26), meanwhile, goes well with fish. The rather tannic red Salice Salentino (€22) can accompany pasta, cheese and grills.
The traditional Italian delights range from lasagna to gnocchi to tiramisu, with crowd-pleasers such as beef carpaccio and Caesar salad thrown in. Another very tasty combination mixes rucola salad, cedar nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and aceto balsamico. Favoloso!