Last night I met up with a friend for dinner at Ricardo’s Cafe Trattoria in Lowell. My friend loves food as much as me so when she suggested Ricardo’s, I had a feeling it would be good. The place is somewhat of a hole-in-the-wall but also a very cute, rustic Italian restaurant. I had checked out the menu online beforehand (like I normally do) and immediately noticed the Stuffed Fried Olives. Luckily, my friend noticed them too so we ordered those as an appetizer. Boy, were they tasty! I was expecting whole breaded olives but they were actually a mix of Asiago cheese and olive chunks that were breaded and fried. Amazing! We were also served soft Italian bread with a olive oil and garlic dipping sauce. Yum!

For dinner, I was predictable and ordered Penne Alla Norma which was described on the menu as “pan fried eggplant, topped with roasted red peppers, spinach and mozzarella cheese…smothered in Pomodoro sauce.” I love eggplant and red sauce! My meal was so tasty. The eggplant was crunchy and the combo of the peppers, spinach and cheese was perfect. I was stuffed halfway through my meal but it was worth it.

Not the healthiest night but it was fun to see my friend and try a new restaurant. I went running this morning to balance out my heavy meal last night. It’s all about balance, right?

If you’re in MA, I would definitely suggest Ricardo’s. Our food was great and the waitstaff was friendly and welcoming. You won’t be disappointed.

(PS – Next time I’ll take pics!)