At some point over the holiday season, my husband and I were out with friends and happened upon this next restaurant in the 8th after a seemingly endless back and forth of playing the “where should we eat?” game. You know that game? The one where no reservations are made and everyone is ravenous (ahem, especially after a Glühwein or two) yet seems to be in the mood for something different? I know this is a common thing for people with children, yet it happens quite often in my circle of friends. Hmm, about that. After crossing off Indian and sushi (ALL Asian food for the record!), things were not looking up. We then came across La Delizia, a hole-in-the wall Italian place with fragrant smells of garlic, dough, and tomatoes escaping from its door. A quick look at the menu hanging in in the window and the darling interior within and we were sold. We’d found our restaurant.
Or so we thought. Not a free seat in the house. Every last table had been booked. A letdown, indeed, though the discovery did put a bit of spring in our step; we pressed on, ended up eating at a Mexican place (meh…) and kept La Delizia in mind for another time.
Good things come to those who wait, my mother told me. (Though I’m not sure she was talking about Italian restaurants.) In any case, were her words ever true with this one. Armed this time with a reservation when out to dinner last week with the same friends from the beginning of this
saga story made our way back to La Delizia. And? The food was delicious, the atmosphere enchanting, and the service friendly and superb. Just a lovely experience all around, which let’s be honest, is of the necessary kind here in Vienna in February, with its many shades of gray and all.
The interior is cozy in all the right ways. Dark, candle-lit, and full of happy guests sitting at checkered tables under rounded archways. Another thing about said guests? Italian! So many of them! Two tables near us were full of our friends from the south vivaciously bantering away with the waiter. Turns out the chef of La Delizia is from Naples and many of his ingredients are sourced from home. Looks like the Italians in Vienna have taken note.
To start the evening, we began with a bowl of mussels. Buttery, garlicky, and with a hint of white wine, these were exquisite.
Especially when paired with the softest bread which had elements of sourdough and the crispest crust. A second basket may or may not have been ordered.
Continuing in the carbohydrate direction, I then had a pasta cooked to al dente perfection: fresh orecchiette made with calabrian salami, capers, olives, and buffalo mozzarella. This was just the right amount, served the authentic way (portioned as a first course and not as a main).
My husband went with his usual, the San Daniele, a pizza with prosciutto topped with rucola. Now he’s eaten a lot of San Daniele in his day, even in Italy’s San Daniele Province itself, though I’m not sure that has anything to do with the pizza. I just felt I had to add it. In any case, he would like my dear readers to know that a simple pizza of tomato sauce, cheese, prosciutto, and rucola isn’t always so easy to get right and that this restaurant was able to. I snuck a slice and can only concur.
To finish, the most scrumptious Stück of tiramisu. The girl in the corner who was technically sharing this dessert, not-so-smoothly scraping her plate to get every last bit of this and its cocoa powder garnish? Guilty.
What a lovely restaurant. As its name means in Italian, a delight.