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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Palace Italian Restaurant in Lakeland, Florida

My husband and I have always enjoyed eating out.  By eating out I do not mean fast food restaurants but rather any restaurant from pubs, diners, drive-in, casual dining, and occasionally finer dining.  Our focus is usually on restaurants with home style cooking.   Not only is eating out a form of entertainment it is also a wonderful source of culinary inspiration.  Discovering that little pearl of a diner off-the-beaten-track -- priceless!

Palace Italian Restaurant is located at 6120 North Highway 98 in Lakeland, Florida.  There are five more locations in the Lakeland area.  The restaurant has been family owned since 1997.  This restaurant is well worth the visit.  The atmosphere is warm and welcoming with friendly staff.  The food is divinely delicious because they use only the freshest ingredients to create authentic Italian dishes.  To quote them "Mangiare bene per vivere bene! (Eat well to live well!)".  This is one restaurant were you will be eating quite well!

Prices at the Palace Italian Restaurant are more than reasonable with dinner pasta entrĂ©e $15.95 or less and a reduced price for the lunch sized portions.  They have a good selection of gourmet pizzas, of appetizers, and salads.  We spent $36.73 for two meals with drinks.

All of their classic pasta dishes are served with freshly made traditional focaccia served with a shallow bowl of dipping sauce made with sun dried tomatoes and olive oil, just light seasoned.  The sun dried tomatoes gave the dipping sauce a lovely, rich flavour.   I often serve bread this way at home so will work on a clone recipe for this one.

spaghetti puttanesca
My husband ordered the veal parmigiana (not pictured)  while I ordered the spaghetti puttanesca.  Spaghetti puttanesca literally means whore's style spaghetti, made with ingredients typical of Southern Italian cuisine.1  The sauce consisted of black olives, capers and garlic sauteed in marinara sauce so would be very easy to duplicate at home starting with the basics of a marinara sauce.  The sauce tops spaghetti cooked to al dente.  Although the dish is noted to be spicy by some sources, I found the spaghetti puttanesca to be quite delicious, definitely not too spicy.  The whole black olives combined with the capers gave an nice, chunkier texture that was quite pleasing.  The funny thing is I've put black or green olives on my pizzas for ages but never thought to use olives in a pasta sauce.  I can't wait to start experimenting to create a recipe for this yummy pasta dish!

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