By Kelsey R.
I think Italian food is the best food to have when you are with friends or family. The big portions are great for sharing and not many people will be opposed to Italian food. It is always a win. When I walked into Bel Paese at 1201 Memory Ln York I was not surprised to see long dining room tables packed with family members. There were some couples enjoying a date night. There was also a group of business gentlemen in the back corner. My waiter, John, shows me to a cozy booth off to the side.
I explain to John that I want to try a variety of food. I am eyeing up the pasta e fagioli since I know I have had something similar in the past at different restaurants, but I turn to John for some recommendations. He suggests the soup of the day.
A basket of bread appears in front of me. I tell myself just to have a little slice since a big meal is coming. I grab the bread, and it is warm! How perfect. The butter melts instantly, and I am already thoroughly enjoying Bel Paese. John brings out the soup of the day. It is a potato soup. I start digging in. The chunks of potatoes are fabulous, and as I push my spoon toward the bottom of the bowl I notice something dark. I overturn the soup and see onions and bacon. I’m not an onion fan, but I am trusting John! I take a bite with the onions and bacon. The soup’s flavors have instantly intensified. The onions and bacon add a salty taste. It is perfect. I mix the soup around and notice how much the bacon and onions are the show stoppers of the soup. It is absolutely delightful.
I completely trust John and his suggestions after he impressed me with the soup of the day. He takes my soup away, and I tell him I want an appetizer. We read down the list together, but really I am trusting him to pick for me. He says the Gameloni all Nadia, which is Jumbo Shrimp, seems to be a favorite. So that is what we go with.
I look around the restaurant and see everyone enjoying their meals. The table in front of me is one of the couples on a date, and they are deciding what to get for dessert. John brings out the shrimp. I dig in. There is Salmoriglio sauce, tomatoes, and garlic. It is similar to a salad. The sauce is so good! Bel Paese has found the perfect sauces for their food! I take another piece of bread out of the basket and dip it into the sauce. The shrimp are seasoned well and taste great with the tomatoes. It is a combination that pairs well together.
Let me set a scene before I go into the Lobster Ravioli. It is Tuesday evening at 7:30. It is raining. The weather is finally transitioning from summer to fall with an early dark sky, and some chilly wind. I have been up since 5:30 a.m., and I haven’t eaten much of anything all day. The Jumbo Shrimp and bread were a nice sample of what Bel Paese has to offer, but I am ready for a hot, filling, delicious meal. I am trusting John and his recommendation for the Lobster. It didn’t take much to sell me since I love lobster and of course, cheese!
John brings out a full plate of perfect pocket shaped raviolis covered in sauce. I take my fork and break a ravioli in half. I see the lobster and ricotta ooze out. I slide my fork to get as much sauce as I can. That first bite was amazing! There are pieces of shrimp scattered around the plate as well. I grab a shrimp and add it to my next forkful. Delicious! John comes back to check on me. My mouth is stuffed with lobster. John says, “It’s that champagne sauce, isn’t it?” Yes, such a flavorful sauce to pair with the lobster and shrimp. I don’t take a break from my meal like I usually do. I keep eating. I dip some of my bread into the sauce. Can I have this meal to go? Can I have this meal every day for the rest of my life? The Lobster Ravioli instantly made my rainy Tuesday evening the best part of my week.
I am absolutely stuffed after such a wonderful meal. The rain is still pouring, but I am warm with a full belly. John says that I have to try just one bite of a dessert. I am in a food coma, but I agree. He brings out a pastry dessert, similar to a pie crust. It has custard and is flaky. It is very good. I take a few bites and tell John it is delicious, but I cannot eat anymore. Bel Paese exceeding my taste bud expectations. My experience with John was wonderful, and I would love to bring friends with me next time, especially as we get closer to winter and will be seeking comfort food!
Hi everyone, I want to share a few things about myself. I have lived in Lancaster County my entire life.
I went to The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and received a Bachelors in English Education and Writing. Currently, I am working as a real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway, and of course I am doing some writing on the side! I live with my wonderful cat, Waffle in Lancaster City. Besides working and playing with my cat I also read and practice yoga.