Dining In and Out: Spezia

One young foodie explores the local restaurant scene, bringing quality cuisine into your kitchen, sans doggie bag.

By Kaylyn Deiter

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Dining Out

Pasta, bread, wine, tiramisu, the list of mouth-watering Italian staples goes on at one of Sioux Falls’ premier Italian eateries: Spezia.

Though the restaurant is located in the midst of traffic-heavy Louise Avenue, Spezia itself is a welcome retreat from all the craziness—lights strung from the ceiling, traditional music playing softly in the background and wine flowing by the bottle—it’s all in the southern European style Spezia prides itself on.

“I like that you have the ability to see somewhat into the kitchen,” patron Mason VanEssen said. “It’s an entertaining atmosphere, being able to see where your food is coming from. Sitting around those big round tables, it makes me feel like I’m part of a big Italian family.”

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(Photo courtesy of speziarestaurant.com)

If a trip to the Colosseum isn’t in your near future, what better way to experience the wonders of Italy than through the food this country is famous for? Luckily, Spezia’s got you covered.

An Italian trademark, Spezia’s spaghetti and meatballs do the country of gladiators and vespas proud. But spaghetti isn’t the only thing this restaurant gets right. The pizza is top notch, the wine list is extensive (and authentic) and the bread is refilled constantly (though for a girl who has been to Italy, this is more of an American than Italian thing, but who’s complaining?). That’s not to mention Spezia’s weekly Sunday brunch buffet, aka feast, featuring the best the restaurant has to offer, plus its enviable list of Italian-inspired desserts. Giant tiramisu, anyone?

“The pasta was extremely rich, delicious and perfect,” VanEssen said. “I would order it again. I had no complaints”

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(Photo courtesy of speziarestaurant.com)

Although everyone seems to love Italian food no matter what, Spezia doesn’t bank on familiarity alone to keep customers coming back. Each feature is prepared to perfection, and it’s evident that care is taken to ensure the cuisine is as true to its Italian heritage as possible.

That attention to detail, and the delectable food, of course, make Spezia a delicious European transplant that’s here to stay.

Three reasons to eat at Spezia:

  1. Extensive list of Italian wines
  2. Interior that feels like you’re sitting on a streetcorner in Rome
  3. Tiramisu that’s the size of your face

Dining In

Want to try carb-loading the Italian way at home tonight? Look no further than this recipe courtesy of my mom, Jana Hurley of Aberdeen, SD. Warm up some bread, toss a bit of salad, and I promise you’ll be singing bella noche in 25 minutes flat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package spaghetti noodles
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 8 oz. can mushrooms
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Begin browning the hamburger in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Boil noodles until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  3. Once hamburger is fully cooked, add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and mushrooms to hamburger.
  4. Mix together and simmer for about five minutes, adding in spices as you go.
  5. Once sauce mixture and noodles are fully cooked, drain the noodles and combine the two in a pasta bowl.
  6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
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(Photo courtesy of Kaylyn Deiter)

I might be a little biased (after all, this is my mom’s recipe), but this is one of the simplest and best spaghetti recipes I’ve ever tasted. If you want your spaghetti more sauce-heavy, consider upping the amount of tomato sauce from 8 oz. to 16 oz. Otherwise, enjoy your pasta Lady and the Tramp style and see where the night takes you.

Three reasons to enjoy Spezia at home:

  1. Everyone loves pasta night
  2. Second helpings are a must
  3. Light a few candles, throw on some music and you’ve got a fine Italian dinner on your hands

Spezia is the ideal dining locale if you’re craving Italian comfort food with a touch of Roman style. Recreate that pasta-centric dinner at home from our recipe and we guarantee you’ll be planning your trip to Tuscany in no time.

 

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Meet the Interns Kaylyn Deiter