Hungarian in Punta Gorda
A newspaper article about Villa Gaspar was interesting enough for my husband and I to give it a try. The restaurant is in a little mall with only two other shops. Inside it is bright and cheerful with murals of Hugarian countryside. Everything looks spotless. The menu features Hungarian dishes cooked by the owner-chef. They also specialize in pizza. We have eaten at this restaurant twice and the food was very good.
Today we tried the lentil soup which the owner assured us was from a 100 year old recipe and different from other lentil soups. It was excellent and I did like it much more than other lentil soups I've had. Usually they are a dark color with a thin broth. This was very red and thick. There was anther surprise when we got our order of stuffed cabbage. I was expecting the usual cabbage leaves wrapped around a meat filling. What I got was a large bowl of chopped cabbage cooked down almost like a thick soup with three large meatballs. The meatballs had rice mixed in with the ground beef. It was really delicious and I told the owner it was not what I expected. He said it was Hungarian stuffed cabbage and what I expected had a different name.
We finished off the meal with a wonderful apple strudel. There was cherry strudel as well.
The owner wanted my husband to try something different and brought a glass that looked as though it was a parfait. It was cake with rum and citroen bits and "three kinds of cream" which the owner assured us had plenty of calories!! I would compare it to trifle but not as sweet.
The local economy is rough on restaurants here. We are snowbirds to this area and hope this nice restaurant will still be here when we come back next year.