Posh pasta for family fun

Those with a penchant for pasta can enjoy oodles of noodles when dining at Periwinkle by Eric Ripert Family Pasta Night.

Served up at the Ritz-Carlton’s trendy signature restaurant, overlooking the tarpon-filled lagoon, FPN provides the perfect antidote to the Saturday night takeout and video.

The informal evening, in its breezy location, is a great spot for cultured family time.

The eatery, a popular hot spot, with easy access to the North Sound, has charmingly laid back and has boat berthing for patrons who really want to arrive in style.

Periwinkle Manager Karan Jain and Assistant Manager Richenette Siosong have 15 wait staff and ensure that the restaurant caters to clients needs.

Balanced and well-thought selections give families the choice of ordering either a la carte or from the make you own pastas menu.

The latter, a buffet-style option, adds to the relaxed environment, allowing families to sample as much, or little, as they please.

Eating al fresco under the stars whets appetites, as can nibbling on a selection of starters ordered and brought directly to your table. The crispy fried calamari, Caribbean crudités and kebab of Caribbean conch with mango dipping sauce, went down well with our party. Soups and appetizers including gazpacho or mozzarella and melon salad are also available.

A glance at the FPN menu clearly shows that the winning choice of pasta dishes is designed to appeal to every taste. Classic Italian style pasta dishes, vie for attention alongside Asian infused pasta offerings balanced with a generous mix of vegetables, seafood and meats. Periwinkle’s Chef de Cuisine Wanda Teraguchi ensures endless pasta choices by changing up the selection for each Saturday. Designed to keep families eager for return visits, this also ensures a steady stream of diners to the colourfully dressed buffet area.

The selection always caters for even the most catholic of tastes and has pasta dishes to win over the young palettes. My youngest, a 16-month-old toddler with a good appetite, happily tucked into the bowtie pasta, tossed in a cheesy sauce. Topped off with a dusting of Parmesan, a bowl full was easily enough for her.

Lulu’s elder sisters, aged six and three-years-old, respectively, though more adventurous picked at their pasta in fits and starts and tried a little of each dish.

My favourite was Fusili Alla Genovese with artichokes, pancetta, shitake mushrooms, leeks, and basil and tomato confit. The sun dried tomato fettuccini Alla Fiorentina with baby spinach, chicken gratin, feta, and scallions in a crème fraiche sauce came a close second.

Fussy children, who threaten to derail the magical evening, can often be won over with the promise of desserts. Our children tried the toasted marshmallows on the s’mores fire pit Periwinkle’s and a scoop or two from the restaurant’s mouthwatering ice cream sundae selections. All this was washed down with mineral water, juice and tropical smoothies.

Rob and I tried out the excellent Mango cheese cake, the dark chocolate tart with fresh cream and the feather light doughnuts dusted with sugar with three sauce options.

Leaving us to enjoy our dessert a deux, our eldest daughter traipsed off with her BFF to the movie viewing area, conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the dining area. The rest of us followed at a leisurely pace once we’d finished our meals. If you have older kids who like to roam then try booking a waterside table for an even better vantage point as it overlooks the movie cinema area.

With adequate deck chairs and loungers to go round, the movie area, with its screening of Nanny McPhee, provided the perfect backdrop to the meal.

For many kids, and I daresay adults, the Family Pasta Night and outdoor cinematic experience, with a warm breeze and your bare feet in the sand, definitely calls for seconds please.

Periwinkle by Eric Ripert has nightly movie screenings

The restaurant opens from 5pm to 10pm. For reservations for the Family Pasta Night – Adults $22 and children $12, call 815 6091 or 943 9001.

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