CARLO & CARLA Italian Tradition in Guayaquil When we talk about pasta we know that nobody surpasses the Italians, but it is not the only thing in which they are exceptional, they also incorporate seafood in several of their preparations and they obtain astonishing results, which is obvious considering that almost all their regions are located on the coastline. So, the next time you go to an Italian restaurant, I recommend that you combine these two specialties before ordering. The spaghetteria and risotteria Carlo & Carla, located in Plaza Lagos, Samborondón – Guayaquil, has a sober and at the same time cozy decoration, similar to an Italian “palazzi”. Great murals with landscapes that guide our imagination towards the Tuscany environment, that magical Italian region with paths surrounded by vineyards of Chianti, that are perfectly complemented by the set of dark wood furniture inside the restaurant. This is the ideal place to have a family meal or spend an incredible evening with friends; it is a delight even going by yourself to enjoy the variety of the menu offered by one of the best Italian restaurants in Guayaquil. And if you would like more privacy, the upper level holds an exclusive lounge that you can reserve. Its owner, chef Carlo Colombara, who opened his first restaurant in Ecuador in 1997, and since then has received many awards for rescuing the traditional flavors of Italy, designed the menu. His daughter Carla is in charge of the administration, and it is with whom he gave life to this business that began as a rotisserie and only lasted two months, because guests demanded a restaurant. The menu options are varied. Entrances such as cured meats, olives, cheeses and vegetables, or marine antipasti like skewers of prawns, or shellfish with scallops’ gratin are a great choice. After that you can step right into one of the soups or salads that are just the right alternative to taste before for the main course: pastas with different sauces, risottos, or the insuperable gnocchi of Carlo that guarantees the maximum pleasure to the palate. All this can be complemented with a delicious and fresh cocktail made of a surprising variety of combinations. Undoubtedly, one of the favorites on the menu is the lobster preparation, which we strongly advise should be accompanied with a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, an Italian red wine made with Sangioveses grapes. An authentic tiramisu for desert rounds up the experience with a delicious finale. The wine list really deserves a special mention. It contains up to 50 varieties and brands to achieve the perfect match with your choice of food, whether it´s fish, meat, pasta or seafood. The three-course event menus are priced at $40 plus tax, and the price for dinner for two ranges from $65 to $80. This restaurant works with the best local products, but also incorporates Italian ingredients that are imported to guarantee greater fidelity with the flavors origin of the author’s cuisine, and at the same time balances out quality and price. Carlo and Carla constantly hold events with live music, and they organize gastronomic festivals with seasonal dishes that are not part of the established menu. It is preferable to reserve your table ahead of time to be attended to as soon as you arrive, but if you must wait, do it, because it is worth every minute. The telling of this dining experience is not complete without mentioning that the service is attentive and courteous, and that the restaurant honors the growing movement of slow food. Before or after eating, take the opportunity to visit the elegant urban project in Plaza Lagos Town Center, where the restaurant is located. It is a beautiful setting where you will find art galleries, bookstores, and several plazas where water fountains and lakes are amazing, and the wonderful mood of the people; combined with the delicious weather, flood the environment.