You know what, I forgot how good this place is for dinner. It had been several years at least, but the vibe on a Saturday night is convivial, the servers are nice, and corkage is a very reasonable $20 / bottle (for first two bottles not on their list, $35 thereafter). I don’t think their pasta is quite as good overall as Felix and I enjoy Bestia more, but this is a very solid option that I should visit more often, especially given the very favorable wine policy. Wasn’t taking pictures with FTC in mind, but here we go anyways…
Bar was crowded as they were running a bit behind in seating, so we started with some mules as apertivos.
peperú - soft cheese stuffed sweet & spicy peppers, grana padano, arugula oil
A nice way to start, slight heat from the peppers, and the cheese is mouthwatering.
palámita - seared pepper~coated albacore tuna, cucumbers, pickled red onion, white frisée
Pretty standard, but good to get some protein in before the carb loading starts.
mandilli di seta - handkerchief pasta, ligurian almond basil pesto
Wow, so good. Tangy, nutty, creamy, yet not oversaturated sauce drapes over the supple yet still chewy pasta. I think this goes better with an acidic and floral white wine, rather than a red, but that’s a personal choice. I chose an arneis from Piemonte, which had just enough acidity, but compensated with a complementary almond aroma and a nice finish to cleanse the palate between bites.
casonzei - veal, pork sausage filled egg~pasta, cured pork, brown butter, sage
The filling was not as flavorful as I expected, but still quite good, with the browned butter sauce being quite delicate. This really was screaming for a bright barbaresco, but the Chianti Classico Riserva we brought worked fine too, just was a bit too young and tannins not yet resolved. The wine would have been better with meat on this night.
pane - warm multigrain banana bread pudding, caramel-banana sauce, vanilla gelato
Nice, good texture, satisfying, but I could do without this. Not generally a dessert person.
crostata - baked seasonal granny smith apples, caramel gelato, pear syrup
Yes! Flakey, savory crust really made the apples feel more concentrated, the buttery aromas were soul warming. Had this with some coffee.
I split some of these dishes with my friends, so total was around $70 OTD, including corkage fee, but not including the cost of the wine itself. I think good company and having a good time can really elevate a meal, but regardless, will try to return later this year.