The restaurant where a couple has their first culinary adventure together is a special place. For some it may be a place that is a local institution. For others, it may be one of the many new restaurants that opened as the city’s culinary offerings expanded in the last decade. For Kirsten and me, on our first double date, that place was Moda, a relatively new Italian offering located in the hip college town area.
With Kirsten in a lovely green top and skirt for the occasion, and a pink tie around my neck we arrived at our destination ready to try some homemade Italian food (near and dear to my Sicilian heart.) It was a mild evening, and we chose to sit outside at one of the tables lining Madison Street. We were joined a few minutes later by Ryan and her boyfriend Bill.
Our waiter appeared and took our drink order while we surveyed the menu. There are many interesting cocktail offerings to choose from on the menu. While wresting with our entrée options we ordered two appetizers for the table, the caprese salad and polenta fritta con salsiccia. The caprese consisted of large pieces of deep red tomatoes topped with basil leaves. In the middle sat a ball of fresh mozzarella. A balsamic glaze was drizzled over all of the ingredients. While admittedly it was an unadventurous choice, the freshness of the ingredients, the sweetness of the tomato together with the basil and balsamic elements, made for a very delicious dish.
As for the polenta fritta con salsiccia, fried polenta (the Italian version of grits) was topped with sautéed onions, peppers, and thick cut slices of sausage. This was my favorite of the two appetizers and the combination of flavors reminded me of the sausage and peppers my mom made when I was just a young foodie. For more on Moda read the full review on Tallahassee.com.
NOTE: Since I visited Moda the polenta fritta con salsiccia is no longer available as an appetizer. The men’s restroom is also in need of some TLC.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: