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Restaurants & Bars San Diego


mayache | | May 25, 2010 04:17 PM

People have made a few Bencotto posts in other thread but I went there Saturday so I figured it should have its own thread.

Started with the riso fritto, their interpretation of the classic arancini, i.e. fried risotto balls. For me this was the best item of the night, the risotto milanese was well made (even though you could tell they "cheated" a bit by using lots of cheese) and the outside was nice and crispy. Normally it comes with some kind of pork ragu dipping sauce, but we subbed in an arrabiata instead.

Since gf and I were sharing all dishes, we wanted to have the pasta course before the meat, as is conventional in Italy. They said they would bring the courses separately but brought them together anyway, which I found annoying. Sloppy service. Anyway the pasta course I'm referring to was a papardelle with bolognese sauce (as an aside, I find their "choose your pasta, choose your sauce" bizarre and kind of low-rent, but since we went with a classical pairing it didn't matter). The sauce was very well made, and you could tell the pasta was as well, but the texture was kind of gummy, I assume from overcooking. Tasty dish but the overcooked pasta threw it off a bit.

For our main course we had the rare steak marinated in mustard. Unique and very good, lightly dressed with olive oil. Mustard was complimentary and not overbearing. Unfortunately since they brought this and the pasta at the same time, it was kind of cold by the time we got to it which was distracting. Finally for dessert we had the pistachio semifreddo (right after our "semifreddo" steak!); the semifreddo itself was enjoyable, I didn't care for the black cherry sauce they put on it, but then again lots of cherry things taste medicine-y to me anyway.

Bencotto is a solid restaurant doing traditional Italian cooking, an option otherwise mostly lacking in SD (except for Buon Appetito). Their service needs work and in this case impacted on the food itself. For the same money, you get better food and wine at Cucina Urbana, so 9 times out of 10 I would choose CU. However, this is a nice addition Little Italy, and exceeds almost everything there right now.

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