A few weeks ago, after running errands around the city with our little sidekick, we stopped in at Deli di Luca, a “deli boutique with a café, restaurant and winebar in Södermalm” from the di Luca family, the same family behind Zeta, the well-known brand of Mediterranean food products. We’ve recently been going through a bag a week of their orzo mix, which is delicious, nutritious and extremely toddler-friendly, so I was curious to see what they cook up with their own products.
While we perused the menu and then waited for our meal, RF entertained himself by rearranging (over and over again) their shelves of products, running back and forth in front of the deli display case and moving goods from one basket to another. Luckily the staff were all very kind and understanding of his design style (and I also put everything back as soon as he was finally in his highchair to eat).
We began with Bufala e Prosciutto di Parma (a salad with bufala mozzarella and prosciutto crudo) and Tagliere di Formaggi (a plate of mixed cheeses with nuts and marmalades), the latter of which was handily devoured by RF, so R and I were left to share the salad.
Then, for some reason, I thought of ordering a milder dish for myself and the baby to share, somehow forgetting that he enjoys all manner of tastes, the stronger, bitter-er and saltier the better, meaning that he wasn’t all that impressed with the Gnocchi di Spinaci, Pecorino e Limone (potato dumplings with spinach, pecorino cheese and lemon) and instead kept reaching for his father’s Carbonara di Scampi (linguine with shrimp, chili and garlic). And I have to admit, he had a valid reason, while the gnocchi were perfectly fine, they were not nearly as tasty as the carbonara, which was outstanding. We also ordered a side of Funghi Trifolati (a mix of mushrooms with garlic and parsley), which we ended up just picking at, as we were too focused on the carbonara.
Us adults washed down our myriad plates with an Italian bottled beer for R and a glass of Venetian white wine for myself.
I would have loved to try one of their desserts (specifically, the almond Torta della Nonna), but we had already pushed RF way past his naptime so we quickly got our things together and settled the bill before his sudden onset of crankiness pushed the restaurant’s staff and our fellow diners’ goodwill too far.
Even if we hadn’t heard of the restaurant or known its connection to Zeta products, I’m sure we would have stopped in had we just walked by—its such a lovely space. Large corner windows overlooking busy streets, warm colors, beautiful light fixtures and an inviting selection of ready-to-eat deli products and home-cooking goods to satiate and inspire. I’ve long been a fan of “multi-zone” eateries like this (e.g., the much larger Eataly in New York), but now with a toddler in tow, having the combination of sit-down eating and interesting things to pursue makes having a meal out with a child quite a bit easier and enjoyable.
It also helped that the waitstaff were friendly, patient and not at all too busy to “play” with RF each time they passed our table (…or when he sought them out behind the counter).
All photos by Jillian Mascarenhas.
*Our meal (apart from our drinks and gratuity, which we covered) was provided by Deli Di Luca.