It’s billed as honest Italian food highlighting fresh ingredients – and a fresh and pure approach to food and drink served in an unpretentious setting – and yes, I’ve enjoyed many a delicious meal at Fi’lia at the SLS Baha Mar over the years, but with so much variety to be had, sometimes a favorite dinner hunt can fall by the wayside, for no other reason than taking time to explore the many options. A recent visit to Fi’lia made me realize that it had been more than two years since I’d dined at the SLS outpost. And that’s taking into account the scrapped year of 2020.
So, my recent visit was all about menu exploration as the options have changed since I was last there, all the way back in August 2018. Fi’lia’s chefs had a point to make, and it was that I was missing out… well, not exactly a point to make to me personally, but the point that they are putting out great food, and for anyone that may have not dined there in a while, they are missing out.
My game plan was to go for a variety so that I could have a little of this and a little of that, so from the antipasti menu I went with the bruschetta (tomato, shallots, garlic, grilled bread, and extra virgin olive oil); arancini (lump crab, mixed herbs aioli); and the impossible polpettine (plant base meatballs, ricotta and pomodoro sauce).
I realized I was in trouble when the bruschetta was placed before me. It was huge. The portion sizes at Fi’lia have always been generous, and by no means dainty, but now you get even more bang for your buck.
With that in mind, it was a taste of their reworked arancini, which featured lump crab, the calamari fritti, and the polpettine (plant base meatballs, ricotta and pomodoro sauce) which I had been encouraged to give a try, and which have become a favorite – seriously. I still can’t wrap my head around this meatless product that tastes and feels like meat, and so delicious, so-much-so that you won’t miss the meat.
I also went with the grilled king prawns with paprika, lemon, fine herbs, anchovies and broccolini – again a generous portion of huge prawns with the heads on. If you’ve never had shrimp with the heads attached, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of flavor. They are shockingly delicious. And if you want to suck on a shrimp head that’s up to you. I do!
The braised short rib is served with a creamy soft polenta and salty lovely Parmesan cheese.
A marinated grilled vegetable board tossed with aged vinaigrette showcased lovely artichokes, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini and lovely peppers for that hint of spice to round out the flavors.
No matter how replete I was, I needed to end the meal with dessert, and opted for the lemon crostata (lemon tart, raspberry confit and fresh berries). This was a satisfying dessert on all levels. It’s a simple Italian desert and sweet with a lemony-tang which works for me and Fi’lia dressed it up with a sweet tangy raspberry confit and fresh berries. With a cup of cappuccino on the side, it was the perfect ending to a lovely meal.