Wednesday, July 26, 2006

La Piazza - Techport Drive, Harrisburg

3950 TechPort Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17111

This charming, locally-owned and operated Italian restaurant is located among the explosion of new shops and attractions near the Harrisburg Mall on Paxton Street in Swatara Township. The menu lists most of the usual items you would find in an American-Italian restaurant; but if you look carefully there are features from the Little Italy sections of many cities across the country. My friend and I both chose the “build your own pasta dish” item on the menu. We both chose the Puttanesca sauce – a delicious and unusual blend of tomato sauce with capers, black olives and garlic. Very flavorful. This particular version included something I never saw or heard of before – caperberries. This strange delicacy had both of us baffled until the chef explained what they were. They come with stems intact and resemble a small pepper with seeds inside, but tasted a lot like a green olive. They added an exotic twist to the meal…lots of fun.

My friend supplied the wine. She is a bit of a collector of wine and decided it was time to start drinking the 1999s before it is too late. We shared a bottle of the Beringer Founders Estate 1999 California Shiraz. It was a perfect match for our salty and savory pasta dinner.

There were a few glitches with the service that I would attribute to start up jitters, but this is certainly an excellent place to enjoy wine with friends in a casual and charming atmosphere.