On 4th of July weekend my wife and I took our out-of-town guests to La Pentola at 58 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine, Florida for Sunday Brunch. It was a beautiful day, so we took advantage of their very attractive courtyard and dined al fresco.
The brunch menu is quite extensive and is made more so by inclusion of their regular lunch menu. As always, our server brought us a basket of freshly baked bread, along with an assortment of preserves. The bread here is always exceptionally good, so good in fact you have to be careful not to eat too much of it! We started off with brie which had been covered in honey and pine nuts and then surrounded with phyllo pastry before being baked. This was accompanied by fresh fruit and toast points. Delicious!
Our guests, who have eaten in some of the best restaurants in the country, declared it the best baked brie they had ever eaten.
At $12 dollars this is a steal! My husband and followed this up with a House staple Eggs Benedict with crabmeat, accompanied by home fries and fruit. We have had this so many times, but cannot seem to move on the eggs are always perfectly cooked, the crabmeat very fresh and the homemade hollandaise sauce (with just a hint of tarragon) is rich, smooth and mouth-tingling tasty.
At $10.95, this is a little expensive for what are essentially eggs and potatoes, but it is so good we bite the bullet. Our guests had escargot in a brandy cream sauce and a chorizo/vegetable omelette with a side salad, served with raspberry vinaigrette.
These were price at $12 and $9.95 respectively. Both were declared excellent and the comment of one of our guests: Taste this honey; it has real raspberries in it! Sums up the attitude of the kitchen to everything they do fresh, abundant and prepared with love, respect and skill.
The service, as always, is polite, friendly and efficient without being overpowering. You always feel you are being taken care of and, even when very busy, you never feel forgotten. We have visited La Pentola on numerous occasions and can thoroughly recommend it. Well done La Pentola! If you haven’t visited this great restaurant yet you are missing out big time. Their great food combined perfectly with a wonderful atmosphere makes for a most excellent dining experience.
By Jeff Lincolnbach
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Photo credit: Contributed photo