Had dinner here on Friday. Overall: very positive.
We were seated fifteen minutes late for our reservation, so FoH(?) comped us 3(!) appetizers:
Focaccia: fluffy, nice herbs, hard to find anything to complain about
Pork Meatballs: excellent - perfectly fried, with a deep porcine flavor. Not too sold on the "salsa verde" - the only note I got was garlic?? Still, feels like a "must order" at least once.
Vegetables + Ricotta: Grilled bread here was fantastic, vegetables were very fresh, and ricotta was very creamy. Might've actually wanted a bit more funk, but overall, very good.
Also ordered the Crudo: prawns were obviously very fresh. Olive oil was an interesting accompaniment. I think it actually worked better without sort of "base" (countervailing element), to let the flavor of the seafood shine through, but this opinion may be polarizing.
Would've ordered the squash blossoms, but they'd sold out the day before!
Wanted to get the pappardelle, but they'd sold out of it just 15 minutes before.
Spaghetti: Really great, excellent bitterness from the bottarga.
Trofie: I guess I'm a bit contrary because I thought the pesto was perfect - I definitely prefer the more delicate approach. Tied with the spaghetti for my favorite pasta of the night.
Cacio e pepe: This is what Jon & Vinny's rendition wants to be when it grows up. The creeping heat from the pepper was surprisingly strong but very pleasant.
Orecchiette: Saucing was changed - something not too dissimilar to the earlier pesto. This felt a bit undercooked, and one of my dining companions agreed - they very graciously insisted on taking it off the bill, but explained that it was "supposed" to be like that. (What, less cooked than the other pastas, despite its greater size? Sure )
???: I forget... this is what I get for not taking pictures. Similarly shaped to the gnoccetti, but a bit longer. Red sauce. Perhaps I was getting a little too full, but I was not as impressed with this as the first three. Tasted vaguely like BBQ sauce, though one of my companions insisted it was more like buffalo (he's wrong, of course).
Gnoccetti: @Chowseeker1999 has it right: this did taste like BBQ sauce (though, funnily enough, of a different variety than the last pasta. I'm not enough of an expert to tell you which was was which). Slightly better than the last one, but still not to my taste. I'll need to try again when I'm hungry.
Hey Nineteen: You'd think tequila + pineapple would be a played out flavor combination, but they kept it interesting, somehow. Maybe a touch too boozy on the back-end, but still very good.
Too Soon?: Really excellent, taste remniscent of grapefruit despite lemon and orange being the only citrus present. Nice bitterness on the finish. Didn't pair well with the pastas, but that's my fault for being a heathen.
(Also, cocktail prices are down to $15-16 - for some reason I thought they were at $17-18, which was edging into the "silly" range.)
I'm amazed that I can get pasta that tops places like Republique and Bestia for far less money. Too bad Venice is so far away.