To say that I had been dying to go to Prato would be an understatement. It was probably about two years ago that I was walking with my family down Winter Park’s trendy and upscale Park Ave, when either my nephew offered or I suggested that he get me a gift card to one of the many restaurants that lined the street. Either way, he obliged and for the last few years, I have had my Prato gift card packed safely away waiting for the perfect moment to use it. This past Friday, I decided that it was time, so I took the day off from work and tried the vegan and vegetarian side of Prato, and loved every bite!
Since returning from an amazing trip to Rome a few years ago, I admit that I have been quite the snob when it comes to Italian food. I almost went into a total conniption after being forced to dine on Olive Garden’s salty, over-cooked, and greasy take on Italian food. Boy, do they get it wrong. But, thankfully I have found a few places that get it right. Ferrara’s Pizza and Pasta is one of those places. Now, after only one visit, I can add Prato to that list.
In some ways, Prato is exactly the kind of restaurant that one would expect to find on Park Ave. The deluge of fancy ingredients on the menu being one of them. But, in the most important ways, it was just a good ol’ neighborhood Italian restaurant. The dishes, although fancy, were simply made. At my urging, my friend ordered a dish of spaghetti and meatballs. When it arrived, that was precisely all that it was. In its simplicity, my friend loved it, and raved that it was quite possibly the best meatballs he had ever tasted. Although we dined on different dishes, our sentiments were pretty much the same.
Arriving at Prato, I had two goals in mind: 1. to try a vegetarian dish and 2. see if they could cook me up something completely vegan. Within a few minutes of talking it over with the kind and very knowledgeable server, we decided that a pizza and pasta dish would be the perfect way to leave having met both of these goals. For my vegetarian dish, I went with the half bowl of Tarragon & Artichoke Ravioli, which was topped with sundried tomatoes and pinenuts. For my vegan dish, I ordered one of their raved about wood-fired pizzas. The Funghi, topped with oyster mushrooms, radicchio, onions, and aceto, was the perfect choice. Of course, the pizza usually comes with cheese, but because everything is made to order, the chef was kind enough to leave it off of my pizza. The menu changes daily, so although my selections probably won’t be on the menu when you go, just ask your server to help guide you in the right direction.
Be sure to check out the pictures below along with the descriptions for a more detailed look at my visit