Hazelnut Crunch Cake from Ariccia Cucina Italiana in Auburn.

The age old question - what’s your favorite food? For me, the answer has always been “pasta.” I don’t even have to specify what kind of pasta. Any kind of pasta is good pasta.

So when it came time to review the Ariccia Cucina Italiana, located in The Hotel at Auburn, I was waiting with bated breath.

I brought a friend with me so I wouldn’t have to dine alone, and we made a reservation for 5:30.

Right off the bat, we were impressed. Our waitress was kind, attentive and made great suggestions (which we thankfully listened to).

We started off with an appetizer, fried artichoke. I’m a sucker for artichoke anyway. When I was a kid, this was always a meal I requested. I loved to dip the leaves in hollandaise and was always sad when it was gone.

So this fried take on one of my childhood favorites was welcome. When she took our order for the appetizer, she also took our order for our entrée.

We devoured our artichoke bites, but before we’d even finished, she’d brought us our entrée - Summer Truffle Ravioli (baby spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmigiano Reggianno, tomato & basil salad, truffle cream sauce).

While the portion wasn’t huge, the flavor made up for all of it. Both of us were in love with the ravioli.

Our experience so far had been amazing, and we didn’t want it to end. So we took our waitress’ advice and ordered a dessert, which neither of us had planned to do.

Her recommendation was for a Hazelnut Crunch Cake (Praline crunch, hazelnut milk chocolate mousse; toasted white chocolate mousse). This honestly wasn’t my first choice, but I’m so glad I ignored myself.

This cake was not only beautiful, but delicious - absolutely worth it.

Overall, I just want to say that if you live in Auburn and haven’t tried Ariccia Cucina Italiana, I recommend you do!

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