Take out:

PUGLIA RIS­TORANTE ITAL­IANO

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - UPFRONT - – Sarah Daniell

If any­one tells you that you can’t have a supreme din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence via a take­outs app, say: “Caz­zate!” and di­rect them to Puglia Ris­torante Ital­iano. My nearly-15-year-olds and I had made a date but the rain was an im­pen­e­tra­ble wall out­side and we were stay­ing in­side. There is a newish Ital­ian restau­rant in Kings­land and I went on Uber to see if it was there too. There are just a hand­ful of truly ex­cel­lent Ital­ian restau­rants in Auck­land. Puglia Ris­torante Ital­iano is part of that club. If some­one tells you it’s not a good idea to or­der cala­mari as a take­out, they haven’t or­dered it from Puglia Ris­torante Ital­iano. This it­er­a­tion con­trasted so rad­i­cally from the heavy, oil-laden ver­sions I’ve tried be­fore, it was axis-shift­ing. It was so ten­der and light, and the per­fect starter for three. We or­dered tagli­atelle car­bonara, tagli­atelle alla Gen­ovese (veg­e­tar­ian) and gnoc­chi al ragu. The pasta is made from scratch each day and was so fresh I nearly cried. Exquisitel­y ex­e­cuted, per­fectly sea­soned, the dishes lost noth­ing in the trans­port­ing. We shared panna cotta, tiramisu, and watched The Break­fast

Club. The John Hughes film, viewed through a con­tem­po­rary lens, is prob­lem­atic. But it is also prob­lem­atic to un­der­es­ti­mate the wis­dom and in­sight of 15-year-olds. The star, Molly Ring­wald, says in an es­say in the New York Times that it’s up to younger gen­er­a­tions to ex­am­ine it. And they did. But this is a take­out re­view and I can con­firm there were no shock­ing or prob­lem­atic stereo­types re­gard­ing the food. The owner, Cosimo, comes from Puglia, in south­ern Italy. My friend An­narosa tells me that the best Ital­ian food is from the south. She is from Napoli and I wouldn’t ar­gue with her. Gra­zie to the peo­ple of Puglia — the restau­rant and the place, where the sanc­tity and au­then­tic­ity of the cui­sine is hon­oured. We were trans­ported, with­out go­ing any­where.

Puglia Ris­torante Ital­iano, 509 New North Rd, Kings­land. We spent: $96.40 for three, for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, plus left­overs for lunch the next day.

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