Monday, 18 March 2013

Sunday Evenings in Trinidad: La Cantina Pizzeria & Bacco Pizzeria Italiano

This Sunday, I went to IMAX Trinidad to watch Oz. A bit hungry after the movie, my bf and I decided to look for something to eat. We decided to check out Chaud Cafe & Wine Bar which was also located at One Woodbrook Place, on the opposite end of IMAX. It was closed.

We drove around and around, trying to figure out where to go. I should also mention we love trying new and different places.

So I called a few people. Some places were recommended but they were either:

Police Mounted Branch around the Savannah
  1. not open on a Sunday afternoon, 
  2. closed already, or
  3. too far away.

So after much browsing on Trini Chow and a few horses later, I was very much delighted to find out that La Cantina Pizzeria was open!

Thank goodness for modern technology: a phone with internet to access Trini Chow and Google Maps for directions.

It seemed to be destiny that La Cantina Pizzeria, a place I've heard about and wanted to try for a while, was the closest open place on that Sunday afternoon. It opens Tuesdays to Sundays. After 5pm on Sunday and is located on Victoria Avenue, (which if you are a Southie like me, means its right off the Savannah, 2 parallel streets away from Jenny's on the Boulevard)

I added La Cantina Pizzeria (the orange rectangle) to the map as their location needs to be updated on Google Maps. 

La Cantina Pizzeria is located in one of the beautiful historical buildings common to Port of Spain. The building may have been old in years but there was nothing old about La Cantina. Fresh modern colours and artwork highlighted the old world charm and architecture, and I felt as if I were dining in a comfortable plantation house.

My Passion Fruit Drink. Cheers!

You can see their full menu on I really liked that there were vegetarian options, because most of my good friends are and veggie pizzas have some rather unique flavor combinations.

We initially intended to have 2 pizzas, but did not want to order them at the same time because nothing beats a hot pizza right out of an authentic pizza oven. Our first pizza was called Salmone. It had Smoked Salmon, Onions, Capers, Mozzarella Cheese and Arugula.  

Goodness in my tummy! I added some chilli oil and pepper flakes to mine for some extra spice :) mmmm
My mouth is watering just thinking about how good that pizza was. Of course after having one pizza, we were almost full and opted for dessert instead. Our fantastic waiter pointed out that there were 2 other desserts available which were not on the the menu. The one of interest to me was the Panna Cotta, which I will definitely go back to try as it sounds delicious.

So how does it compare to another great pizzeria, this time in South? 

I can't help comparing the two because I visited Bacco Pizzeria Italiana in Duncan Village Trinidad very recently and it was amazing. 
Sunday Dining available! 
Prices were about the same. However Bacco's did not have a service charge. 
More seating available at La Cantina, with a lounge/ bar, indoor dining room and a patio for options and the ambience may have been better, and more modern. Bacco's is smaller with bar and dining area but has charm with its simple rustic deco and it feels more like home. Maybe because I am from south. 
Great service on both ends. In La Cantina, they all speak English so no chance of miscommunication but the charm of the Italians at Bacco's makes you feel as if you are really in Italy. 
Drinks: Both have a selection of wines to go along with your meal but La Cantina has more cocktail/mix drink options. La Cantina also has specials on their drinks, esp on Thursdays. 

A Passion Fruit Daiquiri which I cannot remember the right
name of. Chilli Oil, Parmesan Cheese, and Red Pepper
 Flakes for the pizza:Behind & to the right
Cherry O (melon cherry something)

Bacco's AND La Cantina both have wood burning pizza oven.  
Menu at La Cantina is strictly Salads, Pizzas and Desserts. I like that they know what they do good and stick to it. At Bacco's in addition to those, you also have the options of pasta and soups. I felt that Bacco was a bit more inventive in their desserts even though they offered similar things, like the Panna Cotta. They had that and a little something extra. While the Tiramisu I had at La Cantina was delicious and screamed of great quality ingredients, I know that I would also get the same high quality at Bacco. Plus I don't think I really am fond of Tiramisu so I am a bit biased there.   
Bacco gets points for using local products, like Dolce Valle Dairy. Don't you just love places that use quality local ingredients? I'm not sure about La Cantina though I was impressed with the ingredients in their drinks (the Passion Fruit infused Daiquiri that I had tasted of Passion Fruit and not some synthetic product) and pizza (smoked Salmon and Arugula).

At the end of it all, I have to say both have their charms and each provide a different atmosphere, depending on the occasion or mood you fancy. I know which I like the most (Bacco, La Cantina, Bacco), but in order for me to pick a favourite in a fair and unbiased manner, I think I need to go stuff my face sample both restaurants again :D I highly recommend both.

I also have to say that I've read that former owners of La Cantina (in Tobago) are the current owners of Bacco Pizzeria in T&T. I am not sure if I got that right but it might account for the similarities in menu and flavours.

As for Sunday evenings, I am going to make a list of restaurants/things to do in T&T, because I honestly can't seem to find one, which is sad because I know there are a lot! If you have any suggestions, let me know.

As always, thank you for reading my blog.
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