Every once in a while you come across something unexpectedly unique.
This weekend was one of those times as I checked out Acqua e Farina, an Italian restaurant in Hayward, California.
Now I’ve been to many Italian restaurants over the years. You have everything from the pizza joint to the standard family fare, to the high end restaurants that cater to a discriminating palate.
What was unusual here was the combination of reasonably priced food and an unexpected ambiance.
Stepping in from the outside into the waiting area, with the bar you pass next, it has more of a cafe or unassumingly casual feel.
However, when you get to the back you find something else entirely. It is like you are transported to another world. The Italian street-scene murals painted on the walls hearken back to a slower simpler time in old Italy.
The Italian opera music continues drawing you in.
Then the food. Delicious as well. I chose the Gnocchi della Casa – with a smooth, tomato-cream sauce. They just melted in your mouth.
And just when you didn’t think anything more could complete the picture, an adjacent group eating nearby were speaking Italian. This is a first for me. Lots of Italian restaurants but I haven’t been to any where people were speaking Italian…I know I must have lived a sheltered life.
So for a spur of the moment decision. I am definitely happy to have discovered Acqua e Farina and would recommend it to friends.
Anything I would suggest to improve things? The biggest thing I see missing is their story. I would love to see that on their websites. People love stories. How did they come to start their business? What inspired the menu and the ambiance? Where did the owner or chef come from originally? Anything to bring all the pieces together.
Other than that I think they have a great concept that delivers. Go check it out.