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Outer Boroughs Italian

Aliseo - new Italian on Vanderbilt report (long)

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Aliseo - new Italian on Vanderbilt report (long)

Lambretta76 | Feb 1, 2003 06:32 PM

Saw that it was open on Thursday night, and decided to try it out on Friday evening. They're currently in a soft opening right now and they officially open on February 7, though they may or may not be open continuously until then.

So on to the food. It's northern Italian, no pasta on the menu. A fairly informal place with food served at a relaxed clip, but the service is very attentive, though you may have to ask for an explanation of the menu. The space is very warm with wallpaper and a bronzed-colored tin ceiling. Nice little bar at back, though they only had a few wines available.

Upon being seated, we were served a bread basket with some very crusty Italian bread and a few pieces of pizza bianco, some very fresh olives (wonderful), and some nice eating parmesan.

There's a $30 four course tasting menu that comes with a glass of wine, though as it seemed like a tremendous amount of food, we chose to order plates for ourselves.

After placing the order, we were presented with a plate of nine pieces of bruschetta with a black olive spread, mushrooms, or the standard tomato/basil topping. The mushroom was particularly tasty according to my companions, though I didn't get to try it - the black olove spread one's were incredibly tasty.

To start, we ordered the minestra del giorno ($6) - a very nice vegetable minestrone, a cured meat plate (~$12), and the figs with cheese and prosciutto($14). The cured meat plate consisted of a nice portion of prosciutto, pancetta, a very heavy sausage, and a much darker ham-like meat which was fantastic. The figs came with a nice helping of proscitto with 4 different kinds of cheeses - two of which were taleggio and asiago. Very, very nice.

For entrees, they only had two offerings, a lamb leg ($9/$14) and a cuttlefish/artichoke stew ($7/$12). However, they had just run out of the lamb and instead were offerig a porcetta(sp?), a very nice herbed pork roast($9/$14). It was served at room temperature (how it was suggested to be served, though the owner offered to heat it up if that was to our liking) and it was amazing, very moist with a great flavor. Though I do wonder if it could be better served warm (though there isn't much room for improvement).

Also offered, but not tried, were a pair of cheese plates (regular and "stinky") which were around $11-$13.

During the meal we enjoyed a nice montepulciano blend ($25), though the wine list was brief - about 4 reds and 3 whites. I assume everything is available by the glass, no idea if there is a BYO policy or a related corkage fee.

After the meal, we were served a nice fruit plate with 3 kinds of grapes and two pears. Those of us who were drinking were served a very nice mulled wine (I forget the Italian name for it) that smelled like a nice blackberry crumble (tasted as good, too.)

We didn't try the desserts, though from peering at our neighbor's tables, they appeared to be some kind of syrupy/nutty pies. Looked very good, ut we were too full.

All in all, our final tab came to $95 for 4 people before tip - very reasonable for the amount of food we had. It is a great space and will be a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.

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