Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Special Place for Dinner

We started having dinner at L'Invito seven or eight years ago when the restaurant was on Correo. It was an interior patio and the bar and kitchen were in rooms at the back. The owner is Silvia Bernardini. She is Italian and has culinary training from Italy and France. At that time she was serving fixed price dinners....salad, pasta and dessert for $100 pesos.

The patio setting was beautiful with bouganvilla up the walls, soft lights and cozy tables. We loved dining out, except when a sudden rain came up or in the winter when it was cold. When that happened all the diners tried to crowd into the little bar. First Sylvia tried the little chimeneas but that often meant that smoke from the fire was wafting into someone's face. Then she tried the portable outside gas heaters, they worked better but on a cold windy night it wasn't sufficient. Still we loved the atmosphere. But most of all we really liked her food. The ensalada mixta was and still is one of Ned's favorites. It is a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and onion but she must use a special olive oil to dress it.

About 4 years ago she lost her lease and moved to a place on Umaran. It was all inside and although the food was still good but getting pricier, we seldom went there because we didn't like the atmosphere. There were several rooms and I felt closed in. So we were delighted when she moved once again. This time to the Instituto de Allende. The restaurant is in a wonderful space that is long and bordered by a deep portico that looks across a big patio toward the Parroquia Church. The portico is a great place for cocktails or if the wind gods permit, a great place to have dinner. Inside the restaurant There is a huge fireplace at one end and a long bar and windows and doors that open to the view of the Parroquia. It is a charming, relaxing atmosphere. When we want a special romantic dinner, L'Invito is our restaurant of choice.


On this night we had cocktails on the portico and wanted to have dinner there but the wind was gusting so hard that at times the table covers flew off the table. We moved inside. Silvia had several specials which were tempting but Ned ordered a Penne with eggplant. It was the first time he had ordered that dish and he thought it was delicious. Of course he loves eggplant.

I chose the chicken scallopini. Muy delicioso. We always plan to have a dessert and Silvia had told us that she had just made a Tiramasu....one of my favorite desserts but we were too full to order it. One night I must go to L'Invito and just have dessert otherwise, I may NEVER get to try the Tiramasu.

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