La Grotta Mediterranean Market: Do as the Romans do, even when you’re not in Rome
Le Grotta's chicken parmigiana delivers ripe red tomato lusciousness.
You’ve heard of Little Italy?
This is really Little Italy.
The flavours, aroma and even sounds of the rousing country greet you the moment you step inside La Grotta Mediterranean Market at Piazza de Nardi.
Spread over one half of a strip mall, La Grotta is a bustling one-stop Italian market complete with espresso bar, gelato, deli, crusty breads and a vast cheese counter.
There’s also an artisan chocolate shop, pre-made food gift baskets loaded with Italian treats and a wine store.
A wood-fired pizza oven pumps out thin-crust, Naples-style pizzas.
This south River Heights market cum caferteria-style eatery is a hot-spot for Winnipeg’s Italian community. You’ll definitely hear the language spoken behind counters and in the aisles.
If you’re looking for an intimate meal or a quiet conversation over coffee, La Grotta is not the place to be. But there is a lot of charm in the cacophony.
Ignore the plastic red tray. La Grotta Mediterranean Market at Piazza de Nardi serves traditional Italian classics that hit the spot, like this spaghetti and tomato sauce.
Shoppers armed with grocery lists peruse the aisles for that special ingredient for their DIY meal.
The market is stocked with specialty foods not found in the Italian aisle at large grocery stores.
Convenience items, like instant risotto, are also sold here.
If however, you want an expert to do your cooking, visit the hot and cold deli counter.
We tried the chicken parmigiano, pulled pork and, of course, spaghetti with tomato sauce.
The chicken parmigiano was the highlight. A thin-cutlet of chicken breast, smothered in ripe red tomato sauce and melted mozzarella satisfied and then some.
Spaghetti with tomato sauce delivered classic Italian flavours. Pulled pork was simple but tender with no fussy sauces or rubs.
In typical Italian fashion, the meal was filling but we couldn’t resist the sweets counter.
We loaded up on chocolate canoli to go.
You’ll visit La Grotta for Italian flavours, but you’ll leave with a taste of la dolce vita.
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