Volume 95, Issue 25

Wednesday, October 17, 2001
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Sher shares new look at historical Truscott case

La Costa: a taste of Europe right here in London, ON

Watchmen release innovative collection

Outside the box

La Costa: a taste of Europe right here in London, ON

La Costa
359 Ridout St. N.

By Andrea Chiu
Gazette Staff

Although the restaurant La Costa prides itself on serving the finest in Mediterranean seafood, the downtown dining establishment also boasts a diverse menu to please even the pickiest of patrons who may prefer inland tastes instead.

The antipasto menu ranges from sautéed escargot with pancetta in a peppercorn garlic cream sauce to sautéed Chorizo sausages with sweet peppers, eggplant, cheese and tomato sauce.

Like most of the dishes served at La Costa, both appetizers are beautifully displayed with colourful vegetables and sauces, topped off by edible flowers for the perfect final touch.

La Costa dishes look just as delicious as they taste – a visual masterpiece made to mirror the dining room's comfortable, yet vibrant, décor of reds, blues and oranges.

The atmosphere is perfect for an intimate dinner or a small gathering with close friends. Tables are spaced at a comfortable distance apart and patrons are seated to provide all parties with a private dining experience.

La Costa's staff are not only friendly, but quite knowledgeable. Our server told a story of La Costa's popular ossobucco, a two inch-thick centre cut of braised veal shank – a dish whose fame has reached as far as New Orleans.

Served on a large plate, the veal comes in an eclectic collection of vegetables, including broccoli, roasted potatoes and two, zucchini-like vegetables. This main course dish is not only tender, but the serving is large enough for two to dine on.

While size does matter, La Costa knows bigger isn't always better.

The restaurant offers a size option on almost all of its dishes (except desserts), to please patrons of all appetites and budgets. The main courses range from $12.99 to $36.99 for the baked scampi tails.

One of the specials was a tri-colour fussilli with chicken in a brandy blush sauce full of flavour and pleasantly different. Although the pasta dish was available in two sizes, the smaller is more than enough to make diners' stomachs happy.

Even though the main course portions are generous and often sufficient for a full meal, those with a love for chocolate and all things sweet should leave room for dessert.

While the white and dark chocolate with roasted almonds is a delicious finale to the meal, the dessert is no match for the La Costa favourite – chocolate paté with crme Anglaise. The paté is truly a slice of melt-in-your-mouth heaven that will make all future chocolate experiences pale in comparison.

One of the newest promotions for La Costa is the Vintner's Dinner. The restaurant invites wine merchants to promote their wines at a special monthly dinner where the chef prepares a five course meal to complement a different wine sample from the merchant.

The monthly gathering is an enjoyable wining and dining experience and is quickly gaining popularity. This restaurant is actually one of seven La Costas throughout Southern Ontario. Still, each restaurant prides itself in having its own distinct feel.

La Costa is definitely an experience. The wait between courses may be long, so sip on some fine wine with a friend and relax.

Like a visit to the coast, La Costa is best experienced at a slow pace, as it's well worth the wait.

Lauren Starr/Gazette
DID SOMEONE SAY FREE FOOD? La Costa sure didn't, but what they lack in free stuff, they make up in quality and quantity.

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